This study examines the workings of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), in order to assess the need and potential for new approaches to ensure access to protection for people seeking it in the EU, including joint processing and distribution of asylum seekers. Rather than advocating the addition of further complexity and coercion to the CEAS, the study proposes a focus on front-line reception and streamlined refugee status determination, in order to mitigate the asylum challenges facing Member States, and vindicate the rights of asylum seekers and refugees according to the EU acquis and international legal standards. Joint processing could contribute to front-line reception and processing capacity, but is no substitute for proper investment in national systems. The Dublin system as currently configured leads inexorably to increasing coercion and detention, and must thus be reconfigured to remove coercion as a principle and ensure consistency with human rights and other fundamental values of the EU.
This document was requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). It is republished by the Centre for European Policy Studies with the kind permission of the European Parliament.
Elspeth Guild is Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels. She is Jean Monnet Professor ad personam of European immigration law at Radboud University Nijmegen as well as Queen Mary, University of London. Cathryn Costello is Andrew W. Mellon Associate Professor in International Human Rights and Refugee Law, at the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University, with a fellowship at St Antony's College. Madeline Garlick, is a Guest Researcher and PhD candidate at the Centre for Migration Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen. She is also an International Migration Initiative (IMI) Fellow with the Open Society Foundations, working in 2014 on an asylum project with Migration Policy Institute Europe. Violeta Moreno-Lax is a Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London and the EU Asylum Law Coordinator at the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London. Minos Mouzourakis is an MSc graduate in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University.