Key facts of the case:
This case involved a reference to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national. It was made in the course of proceedings between Mr and Mrs Petrosian and their three children who are Armenian nationals (except for Nelli Petrosian, who is a Ukrainian national), and the Migrationsverket (Swedish Immigration Board), which is responsible for matters relating to immigration and for examining their asylum applications. The Swedish Board had ordered their transfer to France, where their initial asylum application had been refused. France did not respond to this request under the time limits of the Regulation and therefore was deemed by the Swedish authorities to have consented to the family’s return. The Petrosians appealed, wishing for their claim for asylum to be heard in Sweden. The reference to the ECJ was purely on interpretation of when a time limit began to run for implementing a decision to return asylum seekers to another Member State.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
The ECJ held that the relevant provisions of “Regulation No 343/2003 are to be interpreted as meaning that, where the legislation of the requesting Member State provides for suspensive effect of an appeal, the period for implementation of the transfer begins to run, not as from the time of the provisional judicial decision suspending the implementation of the transfer procedure, but only as from the time of the judicial decision which rules on the merits of the procedure and which is no longer such as to prevent its implementation.” (para 53).
Interpretation of article(s) and implications for the resolution of the case:
FRC - Article 18:
The case confirmed interpretations of the Council Regulation dealing with the position of asylum seekers who had travelled to one Member State after having been refused asylum by another Member State.