The Malta Independent 4 October 2022, Tuesday
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Malta and 17 other EU countries facing possible court action on asylum

Wednesday, 26 August 2015, 18:59 Last update: about 8 years ago

Malta is one 18 EU member states that is currently facing the possibility of European Court of Justice action over their failure to properly implement the EU's asylum policy.

In all, the European Commission has opened a total of 32 infringement proceedings against 18 member states on how they apply EU-level asylum rules. In Malta's case, there are six outstanding alleged violations of the EU asylum rules, while three other case have been closed.

The countries under Commission scrutiny for various violations are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Under EU law, if the Commission considers that there may be an infringement of EU law that warrants the opening of an infringement procedure, it addresses a 'Letter of Formal Notice' (first written warning) to the member state concerned, requesting it to submit its observations by a specified date, usually two months.

In the light of the reply or absence of a reply from the Member State concerned, the Commission may decide to address a 'Reasoned Opinion' (final written warning) to the member state. This clearly and definitively sets out the reasons why it considers there to have been an infringement of EU law, and calls upon the Member State to comply within a specified period, usually two months.

If the Member State fails to comply with the Reasoned Opinion, the Commission may decide to bring the case before the Court of Justice. Where the Court of Justice finds that the Treaty has been infringed, the offending Member State is required to take the measures necessary to conform.

According to the EU Home Affairs infringements website, Malta is currently referred to the ECJ for one violation of asylum policy, while it is also under three formal notices and two reasoned opinions.

Malta stands referred to the ECJ for an alleged violation of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on the minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted.

Malta is under formal notice for a violation of Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status; Directive 2011/51/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011 amending Council Directive 2003/109/EC to extend its scope to beneficiaries of international protection; and Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted.

Malta is also under reasoned opinion for a violation of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted; and Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers.


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