The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today ruled that the authorities in Switzerland could not return an asylum seeking family to Italy due to insufficient guarantees regarding the welfare of the family. Commenting on the ruling, Green migration and civil liberties spokesperson Jean Lambert, MEP for London said:
‘Today’s ruling by the ECHR is yet more proof that the EU’s malfunctioning asylum system needs an overhaul. The court clearly ruled that it does not consider Italy a suitable country for families with children to be sent back to under the EU’s Dublin Regulation – yet another ruling which undermines the Dublin asylum system. The Greens have long considered the system as unworkable and unfair, both to asylum seekers and certain EU member states.
‘In ruling that the Swiss authorities did not have sufficient assurances that the applicants would be treated in a manner adapted to the age of the children, and that the family would be kept together, the court has underlined that the best interests of the child must come first under EU law.’
Welcoming the ruling as further evidence of the need to revise the EU’s asylum system, Jean concluded:
‘There are countless others caught up in the Dublin system and today’s ruling once again casts a doubt on its future in its current form. We need a reformed system which is based on solidarity and cooperation between EU member states and the protection of human rights, as well as increased commitment from member states to at least implement existing common EU asylum standards.’