France: Council of State upholds list of safe countries of origin

Conseil d'Etat

The French Council of State delivered a judgment on 30 December 2016 concerning the legality of the latest list of “safe countries of origin”, adopted by the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) on 9 October 2015.

The list had been challenged in relation to Georgia and Kosovo, which were deemed not to fulfil the safety criteria introduced into French law following the 2015 asylum reform transposing the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. Kosovo was reintroduced as a safe country of origin on 9 October 2015 following its removal by the Council of State on 10 October 2014.

In its ruling of 30 December 2016, the Council of State upheld the list of safe countries of origin as formulated by OFPRA. As regards Kosovo more specifically, it found that the country was in the process of an association agreement with the European Union and ensures a satisfactory level of protection against persecution and serious harm. The court also took into account the fact that Kosovo has been proposed as a safe country of origin in the European Commission proposal for a common EU list and has been designated as safe by at least six Member States.


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