This study examines why the Dublin system of allocation of responsibility for asylum seekers does not work effectively – either from the viewpoint of member states or from that of asylum seekers themselves. The authors argue that as long as the system uses coercion against asylum seekers, it cannot serve as an effective tool to address existing imbalances in the allocation of responsibilities among member states. The EU is faced with two substantial challenges: first, how to prevent unsafe journeys and risks to the lives of people seeking international protection in the EU; and second, how to organise the distribution of related responsibilities and costs among EU member states. The study offers recommendations that aim to resolve these challenges from a practical, legal and policy perspective.
Elspeth Guild is Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels; Cathryn Costello is Andrew W. Mellon Associate Professor in International Human Rights and Refugee Law, at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford; Madeline Garlick is a Guest Researcher at the Centre for Migration Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen; and Violeta Moreno-Lax is a Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary University of London.