Contemporary politics of international protection in Europe

From protection to prevention

Authored by: Petra Bendel

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the asylum policies in the European Union (EU) and shows that these policies are characterised by a vast communal system of political decision-making, but with the implementation powers remaining in the authority of the individual member states. Recently, this has led to a gap between common policy standard setting and actual implementation, leading to a vast difference in reception, asylum procedures and recognition rates between member states. Policies have shifted from acknowledging and protecting individuals to preventing them from reaching the territory of the member state. The conflict in ‘burden sharing’ represents one of the main conflicts of EU policing and might endanger other fundamental achievements of the EU. The chapter calls for a more thorough understanding of how to unbundle refuge from migration and the nature of mixed migration flows in the EU. Interdisciplinary research into the root causes of refuge and migration and its effects on asylum standards should take up this issue in the near future.

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