The Principle of Mutual Trust in European Asylum, Migration and Criminal Law: Reconciling Trust and Fundamental Rights 

Hemme Battjes, Evelien Brouwer, Paulien de Morree and Jannemieke Ouwerkerk

On 6 March 2012 the Meijers Committee presented the first copy of The Principle of Mutual Trust in European, Asylum, Migration and Criminal Law: Reconciling Trust and Fundamental Rights to Maria Asenius, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.

The central theme of this publication is the tension between mutual trust of Member States of the European Union in the recognition and execution of each others judicial decisions on the one hand and the protection of fundamental rights on the other hand. The authors analyse the scope of mutual trust and the way this principle functions in four European legal areas: the allocation of responsibility for asylum claims (the Dublin system), the exchange of information on persons registered with the purpose of refusing entry or stay (the SIS-alerts), decisions related to the return of illegal third-country nationals (return decisions and entry bans) and judicial cooperation in criminal affairs.

According to the Meijers Committee there is a considerable gap between the protection of fundamental rights of individuals and legal remedies, especially with regard to the possibility of individuals and courts to rebut the presumption of trust. Therefore, extra safeguards and procedural guarantees must be adopted and implemented so that national competent authorities are provided with further tools for solving questions relating to the burden of proof and the rebuttal of the presumption of mutual trust. In the concluding chapter, criteria for these safeguards and procedural guarantees are formulated. 


mutual trust