France: Allowance insufficient for asylum seekers without accommodation

Credit: 20 Minutes

In a judgment of 23 December 2016, the French Council of State examined the appropriateness of the level of the ADA, the allowance for asylum seekers (Allocation pour demandeur d’asile), for asylum seekers who are not placed in a reception centre throughout their asylum procedure. The ADA was introduced by the 2015 asylum reform and replaced the previously applicable monthly subsistence allowance (AMS) and temporary waiting allowance (ATA) available to applicants.

According to the Decree of 21 October 2015 relating to the ADA, the amount of the allowance depends on the family composition of the applicant. For example, a single adult asylum seeker is entitled to 6.80€ per day. An additional 4.20€ per day is provided to persons who have accepted to be accommodated but cannot be placed in a reception centre. The Council of State found the latter amount “manifestly insufficient” to ensure an adequate standard of living in accordance with the recast Reception Conditions Directive. The court specified that the standard set out in the Directive requires the state, where accommodation cannot be provided to an asylum seeker, to provide an allowance sufficiently high to allow the individual to obtain housing in the private rental market. This has also been affirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Saciri ruling.

The Council of State has ordered the Prime Minister to set a higher amount for the ADA for this category of asylum seekers within two months.

 

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