Germany: Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg held that asylum claims by applicants with international protection in Greece cannot be refused as inadmissible

On 27 January 2022, the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg delivered its decision regarding a Syrian national who applied for international protection in Germany. Following the applicant's arrival in Germany with his wife, their asylum claim was deemed inadmissible on the basis that they were already beneficiaries of international protection in Greece. The couple were subsequently given 30 days to leave Germany or they would be subject to deportation.  
The Court firstly noted that Article 33(2) of the Asylum Procedures Directive, which provides for inadmissibility, cannot be invoked if the applicant would be exposed to a serious risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (CFR) in the Member State where international protection was granted, due to the living conditions there. It continued that this assessment depends on all the circumstances of the case and a threshold for such treatment is only reached if the indifference of the authorities places a person, wholly dependent on public assistance and irrespective of their will and choices, in a situation of extreme material deprivation which would be incompatible with human dignity.

The Court secondly referred to previous national jurisprudence and NGO reports to assume that in the applicant's return to Greece, he would not be able to find decent accommodation and would be homeless for a long period of time. It listed Greek housing programs such as HELIOS and ESTIA which the applicant would not be eligible for and furthermore determined that he would not have access to social housing or private housing. Although it was aware of references to NGOs which provided accommodation, it reasoned that the mere naming of individual organisations does not mean there is sufficient housing capacity. The Court furthermore noted that the reports outlined difficulties faced by beneficiaries of international protection in finding affordable housing and experiencing systematic discrimination from landlords. It concluded that there is a real risk of homelessness even for healthy and able-bodied single men.
Lastly, the Court reasoned that in light of the homelessness awaiting on return to Greece for an unforeseen amount of time it was not relevant whether he could possibly access employment which allowed him to cover his living needs as he is already able to do in Germany. In view of all the foregoing considerations, the Court annulled the inadmissibility decision in respect of the applicant, cancelled the entry and residence ban and held the removal to Greece would be unlawful.
Based on an unofficial translation from within the EWLU team.

ELENA Weekly Legal Update - 20 May 2022

Decision in German


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.