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Italy No Longer Taking Refugees Back from Switzerland


Italy will not take back any more refugees from Switzerland under the Dublin Agreement until at least May 2, after it suspended applying the accord over lack of capacity.

Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has already informed Swiss cantons of the Italian decision, asking them not to plan any further deportations to Italy until at least May 2, according to the NZZ newspaper. A spokesperson for the justice and police ministry said on Tuesday that the date was an internal order, as Italy has not said when it plans to resume applying the Dublin Agreement.

This agreement, which is binding on EU countries and associated states including Switzerland, aims to give one state unequivocal authority to process an asylum application. Hence it is the first country through which an asylum applicant passes that is responsible for processing the application.

Italy announced in December that it was temporarily suspending application of the Dublin Agreement, saying it was struggling to cope with a large number of new migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea by boat.

Switzerland last month signed a joint declaration with other countries in the Schengen zone to reform the Dublin rules that govern asylum. Swiss Justice Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider told a ministerial meeting in Brussels that only a third of migrants were being transferred to the relevant Dublin state and that this poor rate of transfers is weakening the credibility of the system.

Source: Swiss Info

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