THE EUROPEAN UNION’S DUBLIN REGULATION AND THE MIGRANT CRISIS

Abstract

In 2015, over one million migrants1 arrived in the European Union (“EU”).2 Many of the migrants were fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and other countries in Africa and the Middle East.3 The majority of the migrants sought asylum in the EU, a haven where they believed they could find work and opportunities for a better life.4 The EU, however, was financially and administratively unprepared for the unprecedented influx of migrants because it was recovering from a financial crisis.5 The EU’s migration policy, embodied in its “Dublin Regulation III” (the “Dublin Regulation”), requires that migrants register and apply for asylum in the EU member state they enter first.6 Consequently, EU member states (“Member States”)7 closest in proximity

to Africa and the Middle East were placed under considerable economic strain during the influx.8 As a result, the Dublin Regulation and its efficiency has been called into serious question.9 Three years after the initial spike in migration, the migration numbers have fallen dramatically because the EU and other member states took a number of actions in attempts to quell the number of entering migrants, including the controversial building of border fences.10 Nevertheless, many of the issues underlying the Dublin Regulation, such as the disproportionate strain placed on certain countries and the violation of the human rights of asylum seekers, still exist. Leaders and scholars alike continue to call for its reformation or complete overhaul.

Keywords

Dublin Regulation, Migration

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Kimara Davis

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