EU law forbids member States to seize asylum-seekers’ assets.

In recent days, several EU and non-EU countries have been in the news for taking asylum-seekers’ assets upon arrival. Is this compatible with EU law? Kees Groenendijk (Professor Emeritus, Radboud University Nijmegen) and Steve Peers (Professor at University of Essex) examine first of all national practice, then the legislative history of the relevant EU rules.

They conclude that a national rule allowing authorities to confiscate all means of an asylum seeker above a fixed amount, irrespective of the individual circumstance on the grounds is not compatible with European Union law (Directive 2013/33).

Of course, Denmark and Switzerland are not bound by the Directive, Denmark because of its opt-out and Switzerland because it is not a Member State. Ireland opted out as well. But all other Members State are bound by Directive 2013/33 and the UK is opted in and is bound by the original Reception Conditions Directive 2003/9.

Source : EU Law Analysis Blog

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