In light of international human rights and EU fundamental rights standards and jurisprudence, EU Member States are prohibited from transferring people to places where their fundamental rights will be at risk, especially their right to dignity and to freedom from inhuman and degrading conditions. It is particularly important that individual situations are strictly evaluated when the issue is raised, and when practitioners – such as judges – are required to determine detention conditions in the state to which a person is to be transferred. This is particularly true when there is objective evidence of systemic shortcomings in a given state’s detention facilities.
In this context, the EU – in cooperation with the Member States – should consider making much more easily available information on detention conditions (as well as on alternatives) in all EU Member States, drawing on existing international, European, and national monitoring reports. This would include a more objective, accessible and operational information system that could also be coupled with indicators on detention conditions and benchmarks for such conditions, allowing for greater clarity on when transfers could be made without fundamental rights concerns. This would be a useful tool for judges and others who need to make decisions about detention conditions in other Member States.
Moreover, the availability of EU funds could be linked to recommendations by monitoring mechanisms – such as the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT) – on detention conditions, so as to create incentives, and realistic opportunities, for addressing identified shortcomings as a priority.