Kommission zu Auslagerung von Asylverfahren durch Dänemark13. August 2021
YLVA JOHANSSON Rue de la Loi, 200 B-1049 Brussels
MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Tel. +32-2 295 01 70
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Thank you for your letter of 8 July 2021, addressed to the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles, and to myself regarding the recent amendments to the Danish Aliens Act.
External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection. Such a practice is not possible under existing EU rules or proposals under the Pact on Migration and Asylum, which both reflect the fact that the right to asylum is a fundamental right in the European Union and guaranteed by the EU Charter.
Due to its opt-out from Justice and Home Affairs, Denmark does not take part in EU immigration and asylum policy with the exception of the Dublin and Eurodac Regulations, which Denmark applies on the basis of an international agreement. However, under international law Denmark remains bound by the non-refoulement principle of the Geneva Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.
My services have conducted a first analysis of the amendments to the Danish Aliens Act and have noted that it provides the legal basis for carrying out transfers to a third country, should Denmark conclude an agreement with such a country. To our knowledge, no such agreement has been concluded. In order to determine whether the amended Act respects Denmark’s European and international law obligations, further detailed information is required including examining the content of any such agreement with a third country. I have requested my services to carefully follow up with the Danish authorities, and closely monitor the developments with regard to this new legislation and its application.