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EU harmonisation of asylum legislation : to what extent is the implementation of binding forms of legislation effective in terms of burden-sharing?

Hofstätter, I. (2011) EU harmonisation of asylum legislation : to what extent is the implementation of binding forms of legislation effective in terms of burden-sharing?

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Abstract:The EU Member States' interest in effective burden-sharing mechanisms to equally distribute asylum applications across the European Union is high. Alongside direct burden-sharing mechanisms such as financial transfers and physical dispersal, the indirect burden-sharing mechanism that is applied within the EU is the harmonisation of its asylum legislation. During the 1980s, this harmonisation was brought about by soft law, which consists of non-binding forms of legal action. The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 changed the situation considerably, as the EU is now able to implement, in addition to soft law, binding forms of legislation with respect to asylum, which are considered hard law. Having in mind this legal development and the expectations attached to it, this research will answer the question: To what extent has the application of EU hard law for the harmonisation of national asylum policies been effective in terms of burden-sharing by diminishing national asylum policies' influence on their national asylum burden? Two assumptions underlie this research: first, that asylum seekers go to those countries where they see a higher chance of being recognised as refugees, and second, that the implementation of hard law measures since 2001 has eliminated the possibility for countries to be rather lenient or harsh in recognizing asylum seekers as refugees, as any disparities in their national policies have given way to equal standards across the Member States' asylum procedures. It is hypothesised that after 2001, firstly, the 'asylum burden' converges among EU Member States, and secondly, that this is due to a convergence of asylum policies. The quantitative analysis presented in this paper provides support for the second expectation, while the first one must be refuted. It appears that after 2001 hard law measures have been effective in diminishing the Member States influence on their burden, but not in increasing burden-sharing among them.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration BSc (56627)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62911
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