In recent months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of applications from persons already enjoying international protection in another EU member state. For these applications, which are handled as priority cases, we list the most important principles.
No reason to apply for protection when protection is already enjoyed
The basic principle, deriving from European regulations and the case law of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and based on mutual trust between member states, is that a person who already enjoys protection in one member state has in principle no reason to seek or obtain protection in another member state. Each member state has to assume its responsibilities and provide protection in accordance with the European framework.
The fact that the socio-economic situation in a number of member states is significantly less favourable than in Belgium cannot be considered a valid reason to apply for additional protection in Belgium. The asylum system is not meant to compensate for a lack of harmonisation of EU rules in the social field.
Consequently, when there are concrete indications that a person already enjoys international protection in another EU member state, the CGRS presumes that this protection status is current and adequate, and that the application in Belgium is inadmissible. As this presumption is rebuttable, an individual examination and personal interview are required.
Invitation to the personal interview at the CGRS
For applicants who already enjoy protection in another EU member state and apply for international protection in Belgium, legal notice periods for the invitation to the interview are very short. The personal interview can take place as soon as 2 (calendar) days after the notification of the invitation. In principle, the personal interview will not be postponed.
If the applicant has chosen the CGRS as place of residence, (s)he has to enquire at the CGRS about the date of the personal interview. This can be done every weekday from 8.30 a.m. to 12 a.m. and from 1.15 to 4 p.m. at the Helpdesk Asylum Procedure of the CGRS or at the following phone number: 02 205 51 11.
If the applicant cannot be present at the personal interview, (s)he must inform the CGRS in writing. The CGRS has to receive proof of the reason for the absence within 2 (calendar) days of the date set for the personal interview.
If the applicant was not present at the interview and has not given a valid reason in time, his/her application will be declared inadmissible and the only possibility left is to lodge an appeal with the Council for Alien Law Litigation.
For persons with a protection status in another EU member state, there is a presumption that there is no reason to apply for asylum in Belgium. Usually their application for international protection will be declared inadmissible by the CGRS. The applicant can still lodge an appeal against this decision with the Council for Alien Law Litigation within 10 (calendar) days after the notification of the decision of inadmissibility.