Dissecting EU Asylum Policies

Dissecting EU Asylum Policies


The European Union (EU) has been working to formulate a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) since 1999. Effective provision of international protection requires a multifaceted system of policies that are designed to address specific issues, often in times of crisis. In my work for the Absorptive Capacity project, I'm breaking down these policies to understand the factors and mechanisms that create the structure of this regulating system aiming to distribute the responsibility across Member-States while offering protection to beneficiaries.


The diagram below shows the structure I have interpreted by analyzing source documents and analyses of existing CEAS law and policy documents and secondary literature. Here's how I've broken this down:

Policy Mechanism

Every policy developed within the policy-making procedure of the EU is considered a mechanism that includes sub-mechanisms. Sub-mechanisms are created to address specific issues and drive changes to certain factors.


The primary policy/mechanism that the EU introduced is the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) that aims to formulate "a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection across EU Member-states with a view to offering appropriate status to all third-country nationals who need international protection."


Policy Sub-Mechanisms

CEAS consists of five legislative instruments (Regulations and Directives), which are part of the sub-mechanism "Legal framework" and two actors that are part of the sub-mechanism "operational support." The same typology is used to map the Relocation, Returns, and Financial support sub-mechanisms that are part of the CEAS.


In the diagram, you can see these as sub-mechanisms of CEAS in light blue coloring.

Factors

Some of the factors, which the policies are designed to change, are explicitly mentioned in the legal and policy documents of EU bodies such as responsibility-sharing, fairness, and harmonization, while others derive from the desired outcomes of the implementation such as rejection and acceptance rate, accessibility, and border management. These purpose-driven factors are represented in the diagram in green.


The diagram aims to connect the policies/mechanisms with the factors that the policymakers planned to affect (positively or negatively). Observing whether these factors happened as a result of the policy will help us to evaluate the success of those policies.


We're continuing to work towards systematically characterizing the outcomes of these policies through news analysis, computational and simulation models, and qualitative interviews with stakeholders.


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