In the wake of the high influx of mainly Syrian asylum seekers in 2015, several (Member) States were confronted with a considerable number of asylum applications from persons coming from countries that have been designated by certain Member States as ‘safe countries of origin’ on the basis that they consider these countries as generally safe and where consequently the chance of a positive decision is relatively low. Examples of such countries are the Balkan countries, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. As large numbers of applications by nationals of safe countries of origin bear the risk of clogging the asylum system of (Member) States, many (Member) States have adopted measures to address the influx of asylum seekers from safe countries of origin. One of the measures adopted by a number of (Member) States was the introduction of a list of safe countries of origin. Connected to the introduction of a list of safe countries of origin, some (Member) States have also introduced an accelerated asylum procedure for the nationals of those countries. Others have also adapted their return policy for nationals of the concerned countries or introduced more sober reception conditions.
This Inform presents an overview of (Member) States policies and practices concerning safe countries of origin. It describes which countries have introduced a list of safe countries of origin and whether nationals from these countries are treated differently than nationals from other countries in the asylum procedure. Moreover, differences relating to reception conditions and return provisions are examined.