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Germany systematically rejects Greek requests for refugee family reunification, NGOs say

The systematic rejection of family reunification requests sent by Greece to Germany and their detrimental impact upon the rights of refugees, was denounced by the NGOs Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) and Pro Asyl, in a legal note published on Thursday.

The systematic rejection of family reunification requests sent by Greece to Germany and their detrimental impact upon the rights of refugees, was denounced by the NGOs Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) and Pro Asyl, in a legal note published on Thursday.

Under the Dublin III Regulation, an EU member-state can file a “take-charge request” to ask another EU member-state to process an asylum application, if the person concerned has family there, for the purposes of family reunification.

The legal note points to a dramatic increase in the refusal of take-charge requests sent by the Dublin Unit in Greece to its equivalent in Germany in the last couple of years, since the end of 2017.

The report stressed that German authorities usually reject applications as inadmissible on the grounds that the time-limit has expired; it also found significant delays in the registration of reunification applications in 2016, and a tactic of delays during transfer adopted since the second half of 2017.

Indicative of this trend, the organisations report, are statistics provided by the German authorities. These show that from January 1, 2018 until May 7, 2018, Greece had sent 870 take-charge requests to Germany, of which Germany rejected 582. From January 1, 2019 until May 22, 2019, meanwhile, Greece sent another 626 requests, of which 472 were rejected.

The note concludes that these practices are based on an extremely strict and unfounded implementation of the Dublin Regulation, and point out their serious concern that these systematic rejections by German asylum authorities impact on the right to family reunification and family life, as well as being detrimental to the best interests and well-being of refugee children.

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