Dublin Convention

Dublin (Photo: EUobserver.com)

An intergovernmental agreement between the EU Member States on asylum.
The Convention obliges the country through which asylum seekers first enter the EU to handle applications for asylum on behalf of all other Member States -unless there are good reasons why the case should be handled by another state. This procedure is designed to prevent refugees from making multiple asylum applications or targeting more friendly/lenient countries. The agreement was reached in 1990, but only became binding in 1997.

In December 2002, the ministers for Justice and Home Affairs decided to communitarise rules with the same purpose and make them binding supra-nationally through EU law. A new regulation adopted in February 2003 has now replaced the Dublin Convention.

Disputes over asylum can now be dealt with by the EU Court in Luxembourg.

Denmark was signatory to the Dublin Convention but has an opt-out (derogation) from the supra-national decision-making.

The future

The Treaty of Nice opens up the possibility of qualified majority decision-making in this area.


See also Denmark.