Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 — Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003 — Determination of the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection — Criteria and mechanisms for determination — Request to take charge of or take back an asylum seeker — Negative reply from the requested Member State — Re‑examination request — Article 5(2) of Regulation No 1560/2003 — Time limit for replying — Expiry — Effects
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 5(2) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003 of 2 September 2003 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 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, as amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 118/2014 of 30 January 2014, must be interpreted as meaning that, in the course of the procedure for determining the Member State that is responsible for processing an application for international protection, the Member State which receives a take charge or take back request under Articles 21 and 23 of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person, which, after making the necessary checks, has replied in the negative to that request within the time limits laid down in Articles 22 and 25 of Regulation No 604/2013 and which, thereafter, receives a re-examination request under Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003, must endeavour, in the spirit of sincere cooperation, to reply to the re-examination request within a period of two weeks.
Where the requested Member State does not reply within that period of two weeks to the re-examination request, the additional re-examination procedure shall be definitively terminated, with the result that the requesting Member State must, as from the expiry of that period, be considered to be responsible for the examination of the application for international protection, unless it still has available to it the time needed to lodge, within the mandatory time limits laid down for that purpose in Article 21(1) and Article 23(2) of Regulation No 604/2013, a further take charge or take back request.
7) Article 3(2) of the Dublin III Regulation provides: ‘Where no Member State responsible can be designated on the basis of the criteria listed in this Regulation, the first Member State in which the application for international protection was lodged shall be responsible for examining it.
Where it is impossible to transfer an applicant to the Member State primarily designated as responsible because there are substantial grounds for believing that there are systemic flaws in the asylum procedure and in the reception conditions for applicants in that Member State, resulting in a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the determining Member State shall continue to examine the criteria set out in Chapter III in order to establish whether another Member State can be designated as responsible.
Where the transfer cannot be made pursuant to this paragraph to any Member State designated on the basis of the criteria set out in Chapter III or to the first Member State with which the application was lodged, the determining Member State shall become the Member State responsible.’