Citizens of an EU member state may apply for asylum in Belgium. The CGRS processes the asylum applications through an accelerated procedure. There also exists a specific appeal procedure with the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL).
The CGRS gives priority treatment to asylum applications by EU nationals and first examines whether it takes the asylum application into consideration. In the case of EU nationals, international protection is generally not necessary. The applicant for international protection must clearly demonstrate that in his personal situation he has a well-founded fear of persecution or faces a real risk of suffering serious harm. The burden of proof lies largely with the applicant.
The decision by the CGRS
The CGRS may decide not to consider the asylum application, if the statements of the applicant fail to show a well-founded fear of persecution or a real risk of serious harm.
The decision clearly indicates why the CGRS will not consider the asylum application of the EU national. The CGRS takes this decision within 5 working days after the Immigration Office (IO) has transferred the asylum application to the CGRS.
A decision to recognise refugee status or grant subsidiary protection status is still possible after an individual examination of all elements in the file.
The appeal with the CALL
If the CGRS decides not to consider the application, an EU national has 30 calendar days to submit an appeal against the decision to the CALL, unless he is staying in a closed centre or in a penitentiary. In that case, he has 15 calendar days to submit an appeal.
This is a non-suspensive appeal for annulment. The CALL only checks the legality of the decision: it examines whether the CGRS has applied the procedure correctly and whether the decision complies with the law. The CALL does not comment on the substance of the case, i.e., the content of the asylum application.
The appeal is not automatically suspensive: if the applicant has not submitted a request for suspension in his application for annulment, he can be returned or expelled.
The CALL can
- confirm the decision: the decision of the CGRS is correct
- annul the decision: the CALL sends the asylum file back to the CGRS, which has to take a new decision.