Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Vrhovno sodišče Republike Slovenije.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Asylum policy — Directive 2013/32/EU — Article 46(2) — Appeal against a decision refusing to grant refugee status but granting subsidiary protection status — Admissibility — Lack of a sufficient interest where the subsidiary protection status granted by a Member State offers the same rights and benefits as those offered by the refugee status under Union and national law — Relevance of the applicant’s particular circumstances for the purposes of examining whether the rights and benefits are identical.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Seventh Chamber) hereby rules:
The second subparagraph of Article 46(2) of Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection must be interpreted as meaning that subsidiary protection status, granted under legislation of a Member State such as that at issue in the main proceedings, does not offer the ‘same rights and benefits as those offered by the refugee status under Union and national law’, within the meaning of that provision, so that a court of that Member State may not dismiss an appeal brought against a decision considering an application unfounded in relation to refugee status but granting subsidiary protection status as inadmissible on the grounds of insufficient interest on the part of the applicant in maintaining the proceedings where it is found that, under the applicable national legislation, those rights and benefits afforded by each international protection status are not genuinely identical.
Such an appeal may not be dismissed as inadmissible, even if it is found that, having regard to the applicant’s particular circumstances, granting refugee status could not confer on him more rights and benefits than granting subsidiary protection status, in so far as the applicant does not, or has not yet, relied on rights which are granted by virtue of refugee status, but which are not granted, or are granted only to a limited extent, by virtue of subsidiary protection status.