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EU’s Asylum Policy Towards non-EU Nationals Between Theory and Practice: 2011 Refugee “Crisis” and its Effects on the European Internal Policies Ioana.

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Presentation on theme: "EU’s Asylum Policy Towards non-EU Nationals Between Theory and Practice: 2011 Refugee “Crisis” and its Effects on the European Internal Policies Ioana."— Presentation transcript:

1 EU’s Asylum Policy Towards non-EU Nationals Between Theory and Practice: 2011 Refugee “Crisis” and its Effects on the European Internal Policies Ioana Raluca Balas Master in International Affairs Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

2 Structure of the paper  The problem: Arab Spring and Lampedusa crisis  Humanitarianism versus the Space of Security and Justice: Theory and Practice  EU’s legislation regarding asylum towards non-EU nationals: the hot chestnut of responsibility  The viability of an effectively common immigration and asylum policy of EU: 2011 asylum seeking crisis and the effects on the EU’s internal policies  Conclusions

3 The problem: Arab Spring and Lampedusa crisis On March 16, Italy banned a ship believed to carry over refugees from Libya to refuel in Sicily. Italian media: on board were 1,715 Moroccan nationals, 39 Libyans and 82 others from Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania, Syria, Sudan and Tunisia (Pop, EuObserver, 2011a).  From the interaction between the arrived ones and the UNHCR personnel, it was inferred that most of them were seeking employment and better life opportunities rather than international protections and were considered economic migrants

4 The problem: Arab Spring and Lampedusa crisis  By April 4, the refugees on Lampedusa reached , mostly Tunisians.  The political debate about the problem was fuelled in the EP by the Dutch Right wing representatives: the economic migrants should be send back without any further ado (BBC, April, 2011).  June 30-Medicins sans frontiers releases a report about humanitarian consequences of the war in Libya and denouncing the EU’s practices regarding the asylum seekers arrived on the Italian shores.  Summons the states involved in the war in Libya, such as EU countries, to act in accordance with international commitments and humanitarian principles.

5 Assumption  EU’s reaction regarding to the MENA refugees and asylum seekers problem lays in a tradition of EU closed borders and protectionism, lack of solidarity and EU’s combined intergovernmental and supranational structure.  Therefore, a qualitative leap between theory- the laws and regulations adopted by the EU with regard to non-EU nationals, as well as the humanitarian discourse - and practices exist.

6 How?  I will try to seek the answer in the EU’s legislation with regard of the competences and responsibilities shared between EU supranational bodies and the member states.  Considering Lampedusa case, I will try to see what are the challenges that EU faces concerning the non-EU refugees and asylum seekers and how, if the case, affect the EU internal policies.

7 How?  Deductive analysis that it will follow the scholarly opinions and newspapers articles related to the subject, following the treaties and legal documents- primary sources.  The data will be collected trough the qualitative study of the documents emitted by EU-member states, EU, NGOs, press releases and media articles.

8 Humanitarianism versus the Space of Security and Justice: Theory and Practice  Tampere Council,1999 policy regarding migration and asylum shifts considerably from internal aspects to external dimension.  After Tampere, a comprehensive approach to migration, addressing political, human rights and development issues in countries and regions of origin and transit and cooperation with the third countries was developed.

9 Humanitarianism versus the Space of Security and Justice: Theory and Practice  Theory balanced approach towards the immigration and asylum, focused on the benefits of the receiving member states.

10 Humanitarianism versus the Space of Security and Justice: Theory and Practice  Practice: priority is given to readmission, return and the fight against illegal immigration, supported by concrete measures, such as readmission agreements, insertion of readmission clause in agreements, forced and voluntary repatriation, visa restrictions, border controls, training the border patrols and deployment of liaison officers in the third countries

11 Humanitarianism versus the Space of Security and Justice: Theory and Practice  EU seeks a strategy of externalization, non territorial answer to migration, exporting responsibilities and policies, by implementing its own policies to the borders of the transit and origin states and tries to incorporate EU polices in the respective states’ legislation (Kneebone, 2008, ).  EU’s comprehensive approach towards immigration and asylum is considered to be empty rhetoric

12 EU’s legislation regarding asylum towards non-EU nationals: the hot chestnut of responsibility  legislation adopted by the European Union: Geneva Convention of 1951 and endorsed by the Tampere Council when agreed to work towards a Common European Asylum System in 1999 (Sidorenko, 2007, 9).  The European Council Regulation no. 343/2003, or Dublin Regulation  The Treaty of Lisbon, Chapter 2, referring to policies on border checks, asylum and immigration

13 Treaty of Lisbon “The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection and ensuring compliance with the principle of non- refoulement. This policy must be in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees, and other relevant treaties” (Treaty of Lisbon, Ch.2, Art.63, 2009).

14 The viability of common immigration and asylum policy of EU: 2011 asylum seeking crisis and the effects on the EU’s internal policies  In the context of the economic crisis, raised unemployment and social pressures, it is difficult for the states to focus on problems that were traditionally considered as external, such as asylum seekers and refugees.  Italy and France considered the unilateral suspension of Schengen-taken only under exceptional conditions and when a threat to the national security is detected (Mahoney, EuObserver, 2011)

15 Conclusions The measures taken by the EU, such as strong border control, the extraterritoriality principle, the tendency to avoid its humanitarian responsibilities, the practices and the actions taken with regard to the arrived asylum seekers and refugees it is in contradiction with its humanitarian commitments.

16 Conclusions  The decision to offer asylum and protection is the responsibility of the member states, which exert full sovereignity in the process.  However, the he measures taken by the states are supporting the declarations of UNHCR and MSF that the EU member states use the securitization measures and avoidance of the international commitments in the case of the North African asylum seekers and refugees.

17 Conclusions The viability of a Common European Asylum System The effects generated by the influx of asylum seekers and refugees in Europe proves the fact that the EU’s internal balance is too fragile in order that EU to actually implement a policy that will not bring any visible benefits for short term and it will have economic, social, political and maybe cultural implications that will bring more challenges to the EU and the states.

18 Selected Bibliography  Commission of the European Communities, “Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament integrating migration issues in the European Union’s Relations with Third Countries”, Brussels,  EU Commission, General Directorate for Communication, An opportunity and a challenge- Migration in the European Union, May, 2009, ec.europa.eu/publications/book lets/move/81/en.doc

19 Selected Bibliography  Khaliq, Urfan, Ethical Dimensions of the Foreign Policy of the European Union, a Legal Appraisal, Cambridge University Press, New York,  Kneebone, Susan, “The Legal and Ethical Implications of Extra-Territorial Processing of Asylum Seekers: The Safe Third Country Concept”, in McAdam, Jane, (ed.), Forced Migration, Human Rights and Security, Hart Publishing, Oregon,  Sterkx, Steven, “The External Dimension of EU Asylum and Migration Policy: Expanding Fortress Europe?”, in Europe’s Global Role, ed. by Jan Orbie, Ashgate,  van Krieken, Peter J., The Consolidated Asylum and Migration Acquis, Asser Press, Hague, 2004.

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