Marcus Ericsson/TT
Minister Morgan Johansson. Credit: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Germany's controversial rule means 700 refugees will stay in Sweden

"Germany usually sticks to the EU rules"
1:48 min

Germany is refusing to receive refugees who were sent back there according to the Dublin Regulation, and now the Minister for Migration Morgan Johansson is threatening to challenge the German decision in an EU court.

The Dublin Regulation stipulates that an application for asylum be tried in the country where the applicant first registered. But Germany's asylum process occurs in two stages, reports Swedish Radio News. In the first stage asylum seekers are registered and in the second they file an application for refuge. Germany has now decided that it will only receive those who have gone through both stages before they traveled on to another country.

Because of Germany's decision, there are 700 asylum seekers who will have their applications tried in Sweden instead of Germany.

"We have already contacted the German government on this, on the official level, and we are not alone. This concerns practically most other EU countries. If they stand by this decision, then it could end up in the European Court of Justice," said Johansson speaking with news agency TT.

Johansson told Swedish Radio that the decision could indicate the extreme pressure on Germany to handle a large amount of refugees.

He says, "It's surprising in the sense that Germany is a country that usually sticks to EU rules and that you usually trust in that respect," said Johansson.

The minister guessed the rule has come because Germany is under great pressure to handle so many asylum seekers in such a short time. Meanwhile The Germany Minister of Justice Heiko Maas argued that his country is in fact following the rules.

He says, "The German Government is of the opinion that the Dublin rules apply in all countries and I'm sure it's the same line that the Swedish government has." said Maas.

Morgan Johansson disagreed and said he's willing to let the EU Commission and the EU court review Germany's actions.

"it's a matter of interpretation. Our view is that if you're registered in the system with fingerprints and everything, then that's the country which will decide if you're granted asylum or not. And that's based on the first asylum country principle," said Johansson.

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