Statewatch News Online
Bookmark and Share  
Council Presidency calls for action on "secondary movements" of refugees
Follow us: | | Tweet

The Austrian Council Presidency has circulated a Note to the Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA) on: Secondary movements (LIMITE doc no: 13353-18, pdf) which seeks to monitor the movement of refugees from the country of arrival northwards - particularly from Greece and Italy - to other EU Member States.

On 28-29 June the European Council underlined that:

"concerning the situation internally in the EU, secondary movements of asylum seekers between Member States risk jeopardizing the integrity of the Common European Asylum System and the Schengen acquis.

Furthermore, the European Council calls on Member States to take all necessary internal legislative and administrative measures to counter such movements and to closely cooperate amongst each other to that end."
[emphasis added throughout]


"when it comes to the scale of secondary movements, so far there is no EU-wide clear picture."

The Presidency says that the two issues that "have to be addressed" are:

"1. Secondary movements of already registered persons

2. Unregistered asylum seekers

Secondary movements of already registered persons

A starting point to measure secondary movements of already registered persons is the number of EURODAC hits across the EU. According to the annual report of eu-LISA in 2017, there were:

257,163 hits related to data for applicants for international protection who have lodged a new application for international protection in another Member State,

99,032 hits related to data for persons apprehended while irregularly crossing the external border of a Member State who have subsequently lodged an application for international protection in another Member State and

129,433 hits related to data for persons found illegally staying in a Member State who had previously lodged an application for international protection in another Member State."

Eurodac data however has limitations: there may be multiple hits, minors are not registered, data of persons found illegally staying in the EU "is not stored" and data for people "irregularly" crossing external borders is only held for 18 months.

Unregistered asylum seekers

The above does not include refugees "who were able to enter the EU territory and avoid registration by circumventing external border controls".

The reasons for previously non-registered asylum applicants may also be related to persons with temporary residence permits applying for asylum, the asylum application of newly-born children, applications of visa over-stayers or the 18-months EURODAC storage period having elapsed.

'Limiting abuse and secondary movements' - Dublin Regulation

Last year, when the Council was discussing changes to the Dublin Regulation (LIMITE doc no: 9221-17, pdf) some Member State wanted to take a hard line:

"AT, BE, CY, HU: favour stricter sanctions to strongly discourage secondary movements such as detention to secure the transfer to the MS responsible."

Support our work by making a one-off or regular donation to help us continue to monitor the state and civil liberties in Europe
Search our database for more articles and information or subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates from Statewatch News Online.

We welcome contributions to News Online and comments on this website. E-mail us or send post to Statewatch c/o MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH.

Home | News Online | Journal | Observatories | Analyses | Database | SEMDOC | About Statewatch

© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.