The Distribution of Asylum Responsibilities in the EU: Dublin, Partnerships with Third Countries and the Question of Solidarity

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Eleni Karageorgiou Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Sweden

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Because of the scale of global displacement, in particular from Syria, the European Union (EU) has stressed the need to work on an effective asylum and immigration policy through more robust forms of cooperation internally, between Member States, and externally, with third countries. This contribution investigates the extent to which the EU rules for distributing asylum responsibilities genuinely address the requirement of solidarity set out in EU law. It focuses on the Dublin system, which forms the main intra-EU responsibility allocation mechanism, and on the EU–Turkey partnership as an external mechanism. It suggests that instead of relieving countries that have disproportionate protection responsibilities and guaranteeing protection for every individual in need, such practices achieve the opposite. They ensure that overburdened countries remain the main protection providers and that the movement of refugees is strictly managed. This leads to the debasement of the right to asylum contrary to international and European law.

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