The Collective Action Problem and the European Integration: The Development of Asylum Policy and the Uneven Burden Sharing
Academic Paper 2013 58 Pages
Collective Action Problem
Group Cost distribution
Impediments to achieving collective goods
Potential solutions to overcome collective action problems
Critiques on Collective Action Problem Approach
Collective Action Applied on Regional Integration
Burden Sharing between European member states
Development of Common EU policies
Root Cause Approach - Peace Keeping Missions
An approach of externalisation: Safe Third Country mechanism
A reactive approach: European Quota System
Critique on Current Asylum Seeker Approach
European Environmental Regime
Particularities of the European Environmental Regime
The European Court of Justice Ruling
Harmonisation of Policies at the Community Level
Laws of Specific Targets
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Emission Trading System
Monitoring and Compliance System
Entrenchment into the EC Treaty
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
”There is a need for responsibility- and burden-sharing within the EU [...]I fear that high protection standards will be difficult to maintain in a system which shifts
responsibility to states located on the external border of the EU, many of which have limited asylum capacity.”
-Mr. Ruud Lubbers, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The revolutions in telecommunication, transportation and transnational activities have triggered an increased level of globalisation. These changes have to be taken in consideration by modern policy makers. Migration and transnational mobility is one of the new megatrends that each policy maker or business leader has to consider while developing a long-term strategy. Consequently, western nation states improve their attractiveness for international talent in order to maintain a highly qualified workforce and in general there is an ease of movement between countries. These are some of the upsides of increased mobility. However, there are also challenges associated with this trend. The increased mobility has not only been experienced by the highly educated members of the international workforce but also has been used by the people in distress. This type of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, are attempting to improve their quality of life by escaping their unfavourable circumstances in their home countries and instead building a new livelihood in another country. With the tragedy of Lampedusa 1, Italy, the awareness of international refugee flows has been pushed back in the centre of the international media attention. In early October 2013 more than 350 persons died in the Mediterranean Sea, close to the Italian island of Lampedusa, while attempting to enter the European Union to achieve a better standard of life. (BBC, 2013) The majority of these migrants are forced to leave their homes due to civil war (e.g. Arab Spring), ethnic cleansing and violence (e.g. Iraq War), political persecutions, hunger (due to global warming and growing populations) and general misery in their countries of origin. These reasons are triggering a mass movement of people between various regions of the world, which is eased by the soft-border politics of various regional integration projects.
Those megatrends have an international impact and thus cannot be handled by a single nation-state but must be approached jointly. This paper aims to underscore how various nation states can address a common problem efficiently and in a collective effort, which finally satisfies of all participating members. Even though such a cooperation is connected to financial and structural burdens of organising the common approach, the effective handling of these megatrends has the potential to turn an obstacle into the solution for another challenge already faced. For example, the increased number of migration could, if governed wisely, present a remedy for the demographic problems of the increased population ageing within Europe.
The case of asylum seekers provides the basis for a more detailed analysis of how nation-states can collaborate to effectively achieve a common solution to collective problems. The European Union as an organization of nation states and its supranational institutions like the Parliament, Council and Commission will be used to explain how a collective solution can be achieved. In any given cooperative venture especially among nation states, there is always competing interest. The individual interest of member states and the general interest necessitating cooperation. The EU as one of the best practice of regional integration demonstrates the opportunities of collective action solutions. Within the EU affairs there is a wide array of methods applicable to smooth the application process. The paper, however, cannot include the entire scope of EU vehicles in the decision making process and thus will not mention negotiation methods like intergovernmental bargaining or side-payments. This is only due to space limitations and should not devaluate the importance of those approaches. However, naturally there are competing opinions between negotiation parties. The varying national interests of EU member states concerning the methods of how to approach the asylum seekers as a collective action problem can be seen in the current discussion within the EU.
In regard to the Lampedusa tragedy for instance, José M. Barroso, the president of the European Commission, demanded that the asylum seeker issue must be understood as a joint European area of responsibility. He continues to state that it is unacceptable that the EU, as one of the wealthiest regions in the world, cannot stop the unnecessary dying of refugees at its borders. (Público, 2013) He is supported in his views by the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, who stipulated that there has to be an increased burden sharing between the EU member states. (Zeit Online (I), 2013) On a nation level there are various supporters and opponents to this recommendation. While the Italian interests are supporting this line of thought, e.g. the Minister of Internal Affairs, Angelino Alfano, who stated that the EU has to realise that this tragedy is not purely an Italian issue but a concern to the whole European Union. (La stampa, 2013) On the other hand there are states like Germany who expounded via the government spokes person S. Seibert, that Germany already carries its part of the European refugee burden and thus rejected the call for further assistance to other EU member states. (Zeit Online (II), 2013)
Despite the agreements among the EU member states that the asylum seekers problem is a collective action problem, there are varying approaches within the group of EU member states. These differences often results in the desire of refugees to reach the wealthier countries in the North of Europe like e.g. Sweden or Germany, as they expect better treatment in these regions. The dissatisfaction with the treatment in other EU nations can be seen in the statement of an Afghan refugee, who points out the inadequate handling of asylum seekers by reporting that
“it is better to die in an outrage in Afghanistan than being detained in a Hungarian refugee camp.” (Atlatszo.hu, 2013)
These highly diverging statements demonstrate perfectly the problem of larger groups coming together and jointly solving a common problem. Within the European Union, the asylum seekers approach has only been recognised as a joint effort in the mid 1980s and thus serves well as an example of new and therefore still rather inefficient European policy.
As the main focus of the paper is the general analysis of intergovernmental action towards collective problem solving, this paper will use the theory of Mancur Olson “The logic of collective action” as guiding theoretical framework. Olson’s theory researched why group members (e.g. the EU member states) face problems in reaching a joint solution, even though each member has the same basic interest and would likewise benefit from the implemented approach. While this approach targets the system’s internal shortcomings, it has to be stated that there could be also other reasons for the currently weak performance of the EU in this sector. Other factors impacting the performance could be the low willingness of certain states to fulfil their obligations due to the lack of domestic support or the refusal of migrants to integrate in their new environment. This paper sets the focus on the EU asylum seeker policies, but does not demand to be seen as an complete and all- embracing documentation of the asylum seeker issue, as other crucial factors are deliberately ignored - due to space limitations.
The research focus of this paper is on the question how states can solve a common problem in a collective approach. The case of asylum seekers entering the EU territory will serve as an applied case study. In order to point out current shortages in the implementation of the asylum seeker system, the well-managed European environmental standards collaboration will be used as a general critique. Thus it will show the contrast between a well managed collective action solution and one which requires further improvements in the future.
“I think you can have a ridiculously enormous and complex data set, but if you have the right tools and methodology then it's not a problem.”
- Aaron Koblin, Digital Media Artist & Creative Director (Google)
This chapter contains details about how this research was conducted, the type of approach and methods used in order to obtain results to answer the question.
A. Research Question
The research question provided and improved the development of the methodology. It investigates on how states can find common solutions to the problem of uneven burden-sharing and lack of solidarity for the benefit of the international community. This question arose because in today's world there is the trend for regionalisation (Mercosur, ASEAN, EU etc). Therefore it is of crucial importance to the involved nation states to find collaborative approaches and joint solutions, which have a beneficial effect on the whole region.
The case of asylum seekers is a relevant example because it represents a common problem that requires a common solution. It affects states not only on the domestic level but also at the regional and global ones. Recent events , such as the Arab Spring, the Afghanistan War or the Syria Civil War results in the belief that, in the future, migration flows will increase - “as megatrend of 21st century” - with even a deeper impact on integrated regions, like the EU, which will need to find a regional approach to face and solve this issue.
The methodology approach used to answer the research question was the quantitative strategy and it has been chosen and developed through a collective effort of the group members. This research strategy helped to develop the study according to a selected number of theories, which provided important limitations and reinforced the focus on the collective action problem. The choice of this strategy led to a deductive approach, according to which the investigation starts from a general view, develops into a specific topic and ends being tested throughout the support of the selected theory. This approach entailed a positivism epistemology and an objectivism ontology by reflecting the notions that there are existing facts - as refugees, collective problems, law or institutions - which are not refuted or reinterpreted in this study. Thus, the obtained results can be empirically tested and verified when compared with other cases.
The research was based on the secondary analysis methodology. This type of methodology refers to data that have already been collected by other investigators. The project team could therefore search and select specific data to address the topic and construct an analysis according to the data collected. The type of data collected were based on archival research which was gathered by all team members according to their interests and views on the project problem. The material was mainly collected in AAU library and through its database, which has also access to other databases like Jstor. The archival material sources used for this research were books, articles, official documents and virtual documents. The material gathered was critically selected, reflecting the concepts, ideas and theories discussed and accepted by the research team to be included in the project. The subsequent analysis of the material was accomplished according to the theoretical framework and perspectives already discussed. The project team decided to neglect a primary research approach like expert interviews or focus group discussions as the produced data most likely would not differ significantly from already existing data. This perception is based on the fact, that the historical development of the European Union is not interpretable but a historical statement. Furthermore the project team did not have any options to directly interview high ranking politicians who are connected to this topic. However, this should not be seen as a disadvantage, as the media coverage of the refugee and asylum seeker situation is currently high, due to the incidences within the Mediterranean Sea. In conclusion, the choice of methods was carefully selected according to the type of investigation agreed and to the research question. The selected theory and the methodology provides the means to achieve a solution.
The final approach to answer the research question has been an internal group discussion based on the previously accomplished findings. After completing the research part, the project team designed a potential version of the EU in which the collaborative action could be applied more effectively then in the current setting. This version of the EU is hypothetical and should be seen as a suggestion to policy makers. It does not claim the totality of a completed proposal, but rather presents the general direction of required actions.
C. Study Limitations
This study aims to analyse the burden-sharing and solidarity on asylum policy among EU member states, applied at a regional level and according to particular theories and methods choices. This means that the focus of the project is very clear and that some constrains had to be created in order not to lose the main purpose. Therefore the research was limited to a number of aspects that have been considered as the most relevant for the project purposes. Some other variables related to the topic have been neglected deliberately because they would not have fit in the problem formulation and in the adopted methodology. Accordingly, this study does not take into consideration variables such as the national politics or the attitudes of the domestic populations, which in this study are regarded as homogeneous. The research also does not analysis the figures of refugees as individuals, but it handles them as an homogeneous group, without considering nor discussing their specific motivations and backgrounds. Although there is a range of theories about collective problems, burden-sharing and regionalism, the analysis of this study focuses on the approaches of M. Olson and P. Schmitter. The archival material gathered and the secondary analysis methods have also some disadvantages and limitations to the study. These choices guided the study into a particular course and limited the potential of the results obtained. The project analysis and conclusions about the research question reflect the methodologies and literature choices selected by the project team. Therefore, if any of this variables were to be changed or the research views about the topic were different, the results presented by this study could have also have come to a different conclusion.
D. Literature Review
The literature provides information and a contextual background about the collective action problem concept, EU asylum seekers policy, EU environmental policy, EU treaties, Conventions, EU institutions development and influence, notion of burden - sharing and regionalism. The collective action problem concept was based in Olson's theory. Shortly, he defines the concept and also introduces the basis to understand the burden- sharing issue. Schmitter work focuses on the application of Olson's theory on the regional integration level. The combination of both approaches and theories is the baseline of this project. Different theories were not taken into consideration because they are too focused on individual aspects and thus could have limited our research. The selected theories on the other hand have been considered to be more efficient for the purpose of the project.
E. Project Stages
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“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
― Karl Popper, Austrian-British Philosopher
This chapter provides the theoretical background for solving problems within a group. This presented theory will be applied in the following chapter to analyse the research question and thus provide an potential solution.
A. Collective Action Problem
The theory of the collection action problem, published by Mancur Olson, is an universal theory applicable to all kind of joint efforts. This paper will first give a general overview about the theory, followed by an application of the theory to the European context described in the introduction.
The collective action problem is in general a group development theory focused on the collaboration between various group members with their individual interests. It can be applied when several individuals aim to improve their positions by jointly working towards a common objective. Specifically it implies that in order to achieve the common aim, each individual group member has to overcome the tendency to act in a self-focused manner and instead to give the first priority to the common purpose of the group. While this concept provides theoretically a valid framework, a major real-life problem is that some members attempt to avoid burden sharing, but nevertheless benefit from the common good.
Olson is regarded as the founding father in the field of collective action problems. In his book of 1965 “The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups”, he analyses the issues that derive from a group collaboration. By criticising the traditional “group theory”, according to which people are able to form groups in order to achieve common interests, he states that even if individuals are aiming for the same common good, the newly founded groups is unlikely to further its interests unless there is a form of external coercion. This failure is rooted in the dominating individual interests, which interfere with the collective progress towards the common good. (Olson 1965, 1-2)
1. Group Size
According to the traditional group theory, the formation of either small or large groups follows the same creation principals. Olson rejects this traditional idea and constructs his theory around the concept that the size of the group plays an important role, which even impacts the behaviour of the individual group member.
According to the example that he provides, rational group members will seek their individual advantage by hiding from the group’s burden while profiting from the common benefits. The group size therefore gives the member either the option to hide in the crowd (large group) or denies it due to the limited number of members and thus the higher chance to be spotted as free-rider. (Olson 1965, 7-8) In the long-term and on a larger scale this behaviour can threaten the overall provision of the common good, as an increased number of members would try to hide from the burdens. Olson therefore concludes that smaller groups are more effective and durable than larger groups. (Olson 1965, 43-57)
The size of the group in combination with the size of the individual members has a significant impact on the groups productiveness as well. Especially in small to medium sized groups, it is beneficial to have large members who act as boosters and burden relatively high amounts of the expenses. Smaller players normally profit above-average from the advancement of the larger members. (Olson 1965, 29)
2. Group Structure
The group size, Olson concludes, has a fundamental influence on the whole structure. The organisation can either be formal or informal. Depending on the internal requirements, a structure can be anything from a two party contract to a highly sophisticated framework of regulations. With the increased size of the group membership the necessity of a kind of structure becomes higher. (Olson 1965, 45-46)
As the size of the group is the principal criteria, Olson establishes three categories. For this paper the intermediate group is of importance, thus the privileged and latent group will not be covered in detail.
A privileged group is composed by very few individuals, of which one is often the paymaster and thus has a significantly high influence of the group’s activities. (Olson 1965, 49-50) An intermediate group has a medium sized membership crowd. In this case normally none of the members has a sufficient individual benefit from the groups activities to act as paymaster and thus cover the entire costs single-handedly. At the same time the group size is still manageable in a way that no member can cut down its contributions to the common good without being noticed. This is based on the fact that the reduced contribution of a member would result in significantly increased costs and reduced benefits for the other members. (Olson 1965, 49-50)
A latent group has a high amount of members, which harbours the risk of the aforementioned free- rider activities. This kind of group is called “latent” because of the lack of ability of the members to act jointly for a common purpose and the consequent need of organizations which apply external enforcement in order to establish the continuity and promote the productivity of the group. (Olson 1965, 49-51)
3. Group Cost distribution
The costs faced by each member is a determining factor both in the moment of the establishment of the group, as well as during the operation in a later stage. Olson states two questions which guide the decision-making process for potential members in the question of whether to join or not:
1. Is the total benefit that a member receives from the collective good worth more than the costs this same player has to spend to achieve this good?
2. If the member decides to participate in the collective effort to gain the common good, how much of the total output should be created by this individual member? (Olson 1965, 27-35)
The following section will present Olson's analysis of the impediments during the process of collective action and his suggestions on how to overcome these problems.
B. Impediments to achieving collective goods
The most elementary impediment in a collective action lies in the basic conflict between the overall group interest versus the personal interest of each group member. Each individual player wants to obtain the common good jointly with the other members. However, due to the rational approach of safeguarding the personal resources, the player tends to hope that the endeavours of the other members will be sufficient to settle the costs. This type of problem becomes even more problematic when the amount of members increases. (Olson 1965, 1-16) When applied on interstate activities, such behaviour can be perfectly explained by realist theories.
The distribution of costs - financial expenses, environmental burdens, social conflicts, etc - are other areas of conflicts in the collective approach for what concerns the process of overcoming of common problems. As stated above, the part of the costs covered should represent the received part of the benefits for each member. The major hindrance is that the exact share of the benefit cannot be calculated and thus the burden sharing is rather arbitrary. However, in general it is assumed that larger members are willing to take higher burdens in order to satisfy their individual needs and that smaller members exploit this by receiving above the ordinary return rates of benefits compared to their contributed costs. (Olson 1965, 27-35)
Another handicap of groups is that with the increased size the level of efficiency declines and thus the likeliness of an optimal outcome is reduced. Olson mentions three factors hampering the achievement of a optimal collective good in large groups:
In large groups the common good has to be split between numerous members. The consequence is that the received parts of the common good are relatively small and rather negligible to the individual members’ progress. As the received benefits are smaller in bigger groups, the likeliness of one member covering the total expenses is less likely, which increases the per member averagecosts. The larger size of an organisation adds to the operation costs, which could hamper the initial founding of the group, as potential members rather chose an individual solution.
Olson concludes that a large organisation normally falls short from the optimal outcome and a very large organisation can even fail to provide any positive outcome at all. (Olson 1965, 35-48)
The final issue for ineffective group approaches to collective problems is that the lack of progress can result in a declining interest of the participating members. The problem is that, while each member is interested in the successful solution of the common problem, each member would as well prefer if this solution is in line with its own individual interests. Thus the process of negotiating the exact solution is an interminable bargaining, with slow process. Especially in a large group this can result in reduced interest and a lack of participation of the majority of the members.
C. Potential solutions to overcome collective action problems
Concerning the above mentioned impediments, Olson gives recommendation about how to approach these issues in an effective manner so that the common objective can be accomplished. His most basic but also principal idea is that each medium seized or large group needs an external enforcement in order to maintain a high level of productivity. Such an enforcement can be established in from of e.g. a board of management or a central government. (Olson 1965, 16) A key point here is that the institution responsible for enforcing the internal rules must have authority over the individual group members within the entire affairs of the group. This is idea is in line with S.P. Huntington’s theory about the modernization process, published in the book “Political Order in Changing Societies”. If applied on the collective action problem the reader can conclude that external enforcement only provides an effective solution, if the source of enforcement has the authority to exercise coercion. This authority must be given to the central institution by the individual group members, who therefore voluntarily give up parts of their sovereignty. Such an external enforcement should prevent the cease of engagement of individual members in the creation of the common good. The only option in which an external enforcement becomes redundant is the one of a common good being cheaper than the perceived value of collective good to each member. In this case each member voluntarily contributes to the costs. (Olson 1965, page 29-30)
Another remedy is applicable for small groups or groups dominated by an oligopoly. Olson expects that there will be an individual member or a small group of members to whom the collective good is of such high priority that those members are willing to ensure the creation of the collective good at any cost. In an extreme case this can result in one member covering the total expenses while the benefits are shared by the entire group (Olson 1965, 34)
On the other hand, Olson introduces the concept of selective and separate incentives for large groups. The main impediment of large groups is that some individual members are not contributing to the common good, i.e. free-rider problem. Thus he concludes that the counter measures must be applied on individual members of the group, but without harming the remaining group. Thus, in order to stimulate a group-orientated behaviour, positive or negative stimuli can be applied on a individual member. Positive stimuli would include any type of price, bonus or award, while negative ones would include punishments like fees or exclusion from desired benefits. In Olson’s theory such an approach results in a “mobilised group” 2. (Olson 1965, 51)
Furthermore, he recommends that each large group should be broken down in several small groups. For a latent group to become more effective it is advocated to form smaller committees, focus groups or leadership circles, as successes can be achieved faster and with less resources. (Olson 1965, 52-57)
Olson develops this concept further towards social incentives. This idea is based on the premises that social factors have the same importance for a group member as the economic or monetary factors. This logic suggests that in certain situations a group member refuses the economic advancement due to the fear that the social loss would outweigh the economic gains. This fear of social exclusion can be utilised by the governing entity to discipline strong-willed members. However, Olson remarks that this option is only applicable in small groups or, if the structure in large groups is broken down to smaller circles within the total membership e.g. a federal system. In these sub-groups the individual members would know each other personally and thus social incentives can be effectively applied. (Olson 1965, 60-63)
D. Critiques on Collective Action Problem Approach
Since Olson published his book in 1965 there hardly has been any critique on his findings. Only recently, in 2012, G. Trumbull - a professor at Harvard University - published a book under the title “Strength in Numbers: The Political Power of Weak Interests”, which challenges the findings of Olson. His central thesis is that diffuse groups had, in the past, very sophisticated ways to protect themselves and advocate their interests. Trumbull major critiques on the theories of Olson are:
1. There is an underestimation of the fact that diffuse groups can nevertheless create an appealing narrative story which can catch the interest of the public. Connected with the fact that diffuse groups seem to rather without self-interest, it is easier to consider those groups as trust worthy from a public point of view.
2. A diffuse group does not necessarily have to lead the attempt of arguing for its interest. There have been cases in which a political party picked up the interest of the diffuse group in order to gain votes. In cases like these the support for members of the group becomes streamlined without the need to found a new organisation which facilitates the efforts of the members.
3. Lastly, a diffuse group can collaborate with an already existing organisation with similar interest. By this the diffuse group gains influence without the additional set-up costs and the already well-functioning organisation obtains a major number of supporters. An example would be the collaboration between consumers (diffuse group) and exporters (strong, set-up group) to avoid the implementation of trade protections.
Thus Trumbull states that Olson overrates the importance of the lack of coordination, as this problem can be outsourced easily. (Rauch 2013)
Another critique on Olson’s theory is the application of the term “common” or “public good”. Olson’s theory states that all members of a group will profit from the the public good in a similar way. While this is true in the first instance e.g. the establishment of a secure area, he ignores that individual members gain additionally on a private level. Some players will receive a higher status enhancement or gain more from the established good, as they would be more effected by the negative consequences in case of a failure. (Thielemann 2009, 6-7)
Furthermore, a critical reader has to consider that the theory was established in 1965. Thus, there are certain social and technological advancements which shaped the daily life of our modern society significantly, but which are not recognised in this theory.
The most prominent example would be the Internet and the rise of the social media. Via tools like computer, tablets and smartphones it became very simple to coordinate huge masses of people, spread over a wide territory. These coordinations can be seen from entertaining actions like flash mobs to the very serious impact of social media in the Arab Spring uprisings.
E. Collective Action Applied on Regional Integration
While Olson can be seen as the pioneer of collective action problems, his approach must be regarded as fundamental though basic. In later years other scholars like P. Schmitter refined the theory and applied it on various specific areas. Schmitter optimised the collective action problem for its application within regional integration projects like the EU.
External enforcement plays a key role within Olson’s theory. In the context of regional integration projects - which result in there most advanced form in supranational institutions -this concept cannot be applied directly. As long as the sovereignty of a state is not shifted to a higher authority, there is no legal foundation for the exercise of coercion by the supranational institution. In order to avoid this obstacle, Schmitter differentiates between government and governance. While a government extracts its legal right to regulate the life of the citizens from the democratic process of elections, the pure act of governance can also be based on rather informal networks. Schmitter argues that in a well-functioning supranational organisation the decisions are self-enforcing due to the pure acknowledgement of interdependence and the participants’ certainty of being unable to achieve the desired good in a self-contained manner. He accepts that conflicts remain, but similar to the prisoner’s dilemma, he argues that the rationality of the players must result in collaboration. In the case of the EU, which has continuously moved towards a political integration of previously independent nations, a multi-layered political system is required in which various local, regional and international bodies collaborate to share the responsibility and the authority over a cross- national-border territory. The leadership in such an organisation should be centralised and independent from the strongest individual country within the organisation.
“ European migration policy has always been fraught with internal contradictions, which have yet to be resolved.”
- Satvinder S. Juss, Professor of Law at King ’ s College London
IV. Burden Sharing between European member states
This chapter provides an analysis of common EU policies regarding asylum seekers. The aforementioned theory is applied on the development progress and furthermore used to analyse the current situation.
A. Development of Common EU policies
The development of EU common policies regarding refugees and asylum seekers 3 has been one of the constant concerns of EU member states during the last few decades. Due to their different interests, views and interpretations, the goal to develop and agree on a common EU approach has been difficult to achieve.
The concern and awareness of the need to settle international regulations to protect refugees/asylum seekers emerged during the WWI 4.(Goodwin-Gill 2007, 203). In that occasion it was agreed that nation-states should guarantee legal rights - social, economical, civic and political- to refugees and asylum seekers. (El- Enany 2013, 172) After the WWII the amount of asylum seekers increased dramatically and by 1946 the United Nations
“[…]expressly accepted that 'refugees or displaced persons' who had expressed ' valid objections' to returning to their country of origin should not compelled to do so”. (Goodwin-Gill 2007,203)
In the same year the International Refugee Organization (IRO) was established in order to deal with this issue. However, the United Nations General Assembly replaced IRO by creating the office UNCHR in 1949. From this change, the first results emerged by the adoption of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status of the refugees and its 1967 protocol 5 in New York. Both of these instruments became references to the development of refugee policies by promoting and providing standards of treatment and certain rights as the principle of non-refoulement 6. (Goodwill 2007, 509) Although EU member states accepted and signed these texts their interpretations were not the same. EU members' views of defining the term 'refugee' created different levels of protection and an increasing gap within the burden sharing responsibility. (Kaunert 2009, 150) During the 70's and the 80's the policy regarding immigration within the EU was still seen as a national problem. At that time, the domestic law has been superior to EU laws - “Member states, however, have been reluctant to substitute national policies with EU ones.” (Trauner 2013, 5) With the economic crises of the 70's members states started to build a new perception towards refugees and their impact on society, which led them to begin a common approach on issues such as terrorism, crime and immigration. Although during the Cold War refugees had more opportunities to be granted asylum, with the beginning of the oil crisis in 1973, the collapse of Soviet Union, and the deficiency of European states welfare rose a new and more negative discourse regarding immigration (Schuster 2000, 120 & Trauner 2013, 8 ).
The increase of refugee flows and asylum applications among EU during the 80's led to the need of a better coordinated and more effective approach to this issue among EU member states. The early stages of the EU common approach were slow and controversial. Member states still resisted to transfer the refugees/asylum problem from the national level to the EU level. However, EU institutions such as the Commission and the European parliament, began to grow and to slowly gain influence on the domestic level, demonstrating and insisting that migration policy should be conducted at the regional level (Kaunert 2009, 159).
The first attempt to build, an EU common migration policy started in 1985 with the Schengen agreement - later reinforced on the Schengen Convention in 1990 - which aimed to gradually reduce the focus on the internal borders shifting it to the external ones (Trauner 2013, 3). In 1990, the Dublin Convention (following the Schengen Convention basis) set new regulations. The Dublin system allowed each member state to examine the asylum applications, stated that the first country of access should have the responsibility towards the applicant and introduced the 'third safe country' 7 measure. ( Trauner 2013, 3 & Zhyznomirska 2006,34).
Shortly afterwards, in 1993, the Maastricht Treaty created two intergovernmental departments 8 and identified a number of issues that should be understood as a common burden of EU member states. These issues include the asylum policy, immigration policy and external frontiers (Zhyznomirska 2006,34 & Kaunert & Léonard 2012, 1404).
Despite these steps and efforts to initiate a EU common approach, in the 90's member states still resisted to shift asylum policy to a regional level. Instead, governments continued to act individually, in order to protect their national interests by establishing national laws that restricted more and more the access of asylum seekers to the countries 9. (Hatton 2005, 6-7).
However, by the end of the decade two important steps were taken in order to change the diversification of EU members laws towards asylum seekers. The 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam declared that the EU should perform as an unit - “single protection area” - for asylum seekers/ refugees, according to 1951 Geneva Convention and the common values shared by the member states (Persson 2011, 22). The process for a harmonisation of EU policies started when the Amsterdam Treaty came into force in 1999 requiring more involvement of the supranational institutions (Trauner 2013,9). Starting from this moment, the importance of these institutions increased more and more 10, restricting the intentions of the national policy makers, who's concern was to develop more restrictive regulations for asylum seekers (Kaunert & Léonard, 2012 1405-1406). In 1999 the European Council Meeting of Ministers at Tampere was held in Finland.
This meeting reinforced the commitments of a common EU approach and proposed the creation of Common European Asylum System (CEAS) according to the “full and inclusive” implementation of 1951 Geneva Convention - basically the principle of non-refoulement.
The first phase of CEAS took place between 1999 and 2004 during the period each member state was required to implement the new regulations of the Amsterdam Treaty. During these five years of transition period the scope of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice still remained limited. The implementation process in each member states required a grace period. (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 8-9) The main legislative instruments which were supposed to be implemented during this period were successfully adopted in most of the countries. By 2004 the new system was able to provide certain minimum standards of refugee protection. The protection of human rights and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers achieved a more developed level. (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 10-13) However, the implementation of the Dublin II regulations opened new international debates regarding the burden sharing among member states. It seems like next to all the positive harmonisation of regulations, the Dublin Convention established a highly controversial practice of responsibility sharing among the European Union. (Thielemann 2010, 213-214)
The pre-Lisbon period of the European asylum policy started with the introduction of the Hague program in 2004. The program aimed in motivating the member states to go beyond the minimum standards of refugee protection. After 2004 a slow-down in the action was observed in the practice of refugee protection. In order to increase the corporation and solidarity between EU members the European Commission announced in 2008 a development plan. The new plan is based on the pillars of legislative harmonisation, practical cooperation and solidarity. The Commission recognised that the adoption of minimum standards has not established an equal playfield. (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 14) A year before the Lisbon Treaty several proposals have been announced such as the “recast Directives on Reception Conditions (2008), Asylum Procedures (2009), Asylum Qualification (2009), as well as proposals for a Recast Dublin Regulation (2008) and a Recast EURODAC Regulation (2009).“ (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 14)
The primal objective of the Stockholm (2009) program was a fair responsibility sharing between the member states. The proposals aimed to emphasise the link between national security and asylum protection. However, the Dublin II regulation still kept the doors open for the externalisation practice. (Thielemann 2010, 214)
The Treaty of Lisbon (2009) opened a new phase in asylum policy evolution. The new Treaty had significantly bigger influence on controlling member states. Mainly it increased the controlling competences on national level for the EU and harmonised practice in providing and withdrawing asylum. Furthermore, the Treaty provided uniform status of asylum which is recognised in the whole EU. The strengthened role of EU institutions, especially the European Court of Justice and the European Parliament, ensured expanded control for the EU bodies. The joint decision making process between the Parliament and the Council or the extended power of the Court of Justice both strengthened the supranational decision making. Finally, the binding character of the Fundamental Human Rights the Treaty ensured the fundamental right of granted asylum under the EU law. (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 15-17)
In conclusion, many changes have come into power during the European Union’s asylum policy evolution, both on supranational, national and institutional level. During the last two decades the influence of the supranational control clearly increased. The Lisbon Treaty even introduced the promise of a Common European Asylum policy. However, the dominating decision-making power within issues of asylum policy still belongs to national competences. There is still a big step in EU policy harmonisation required before the member states can take equal responsibility. (Christian Kaunert and Sarah Léonard 2012, 20)
The analyse of EU policy evolution in respect of the previously described theories it can be seen that an effective common European Asylum policy would also have some common good characteristics. On supranational level every actor has different interest in case of different policy fields. While some of the states are more interested in the establishment of a Common Asylum Policy, others have less interest in this field even if the common good would be beneficial for every actor. (E. R. Thielemann 2009, 7) Additionally to the country specific benefits the refugee protection also provides common goods like more security for European community. (E. R. Thielemann 2009, 7) According to Olson’s theory the effort for achieving a common good is not harmonised. (Olson 1965, 1-16) However, his theory does not distinguish between the level of benefit in case the several actors. According to Thielmann’s critique certain members will benefit more from the common good than others. (E. R. Thielemann 2009, 6-7) Thus the cost and benefit balance among European member states cannot be explained by the collective action theory entirely. The current status of Asylum Policy provides different benefits and different burdens among member states. Therefore on regional level the benefit and the cost of common good are different for every member state. (E. R. Thielemann 2009, 7) The free-riding effect in asylum policy can be applied to all the northern and western European states which are carrying less burden of contribution. According to another conclusion of Thielemann the free riding effect can be understood as a difficulty of achieving the common good. The EU practice of shifting the refugee responsibly to third countries or the southern and eastern member states is lack of contribution in collective action. (Thielemann and El-Enany 2010, 212-213)
B. EU Institutions
The establishment of the European Union and the development of its institutions created a regional system in which all the members states need to interact on different levels dealing with various subjects (Kaunert 2009, 156 & Thielemann 2005, 3). In order to overcome collective action problems the role of EU institutions is fundamental. The EU supranational system has been developing towards a deeper integration, which enforces the member states to adapt their national laws according to regional interest. (El- Enany 2013, 178).
Before the Tampere summit in 1999, EU institutions had relatively weak influence regarding the policy making processes 11. This reflected their weakness to develop a common approach to issues generally understood as collective problems. However, new directives emerged in 1999 with the beginning of the Tampere program which changed the policy making process within the EU by increasing the influence of the supranational institutions. (Kaunert 2009, 157). These new instruments and implementations forced the member states to share the decision-making power and responsibility with the supranational institutions (Article, 2009: 3).
Between 1999 and 200412, the implementation of new policies were based on 'consultation procedures'. This meant that EU supranational institutions had to be consulted on certain political matters - such as the asylum seekers case - and could either have a 'constitutive or constraining effect' (Thielemann 2005, 4 & Kaunert 2009, 157). Although these new procedures resulted in a deeper involvement of the EU institutions, their total legislative power remained rather weak.
“[…] during a transitional period of five years following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Council shall act unanimously on a proposal from the Commission or on the initiative of a Member State and after consulting the European Parliament”13 (Kaunert 2009, 157).
Already under the Amsterdam treaty the European Court of Justice had a broader power, which has been later reinforced by Lisbon Treaty. The increase of its importance has lead to the development of the “judicialization" of EU asylum policy (Kaunert & Léonard 2012,1398).
By strengthening the their power, EU institutions have been able to start the negotiations towards the development of a Common European Asylum System. The creation of CEAS was due to the large differences between EU member’s policies concerning asylum seekers. Therefore it became fundamental with the establishment of CEAS to improve asylum seekers policies, also by creating a common asylum system and reducing the differences of facing this matter among the EU members (Trauner 2013, 4).
The first phase of CEAS - under the Tampere programme - focused on the harmonisation of the national policies by developing 'common minimum standards on issues such as the reception and qualification of asylum seekers' 14. In this phase there were other developments in the EU legislation. The new Dublin regulation improved the 'mechanism of determining the responsible state' for the asylum seekers applications by the introduction in 2003 of the EURODAC system 15. In everyday practice of European members, the use of a database is the practical basis to send refugees back to the first entered safe country. The database of fingerprints is also used for preventing organised crime and terrorism. According to the Dublin II regulations they can be sent back by the authorities after their fingerprints have been checked in the system 16. In 2000 the EU Refugee Fund was created, and represented another step towards harmonisation and fair burden-sharing. Within this period these regulations were implement into the national law. However the harmonisation goal was not completely achieved because these directives did not cover all the stages of the asylum application process. (Hatton 2005, 8 )
The second phase 17 - under the Hague programme - aimed for more harmonisation of policies regarding the refugee status and EU cooperation on matters such as the border control. Thus, in 2005 another step towards burden-sharing was taken, with the establishment of FRONTEX, which aimed “to integrate and standardise border control and surveillance operations”. (Hatton 2005,8-9)
However, even after the establishment of FRONTEX, the responsibility of border control still belongs to the member states. The core idea behind this agency was to implement an effective risk management process in the matter of EU border control. The close cooperation between the Europol, the international organizations the United Nations and the third country authorities aimed to reduce the risk of illegal immigration, terrorism, human trafficking and organised crime. FRONTEX as an agency plays crucial role in identifying refugees (document control) and transferring them back to first entered countries or to their countries of origin. (Ekelund 2013)
The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) is responsible for monitoring human rights and protecting refugees from national authorities. This institution was established in 1974 and contains more than 70 organizations and NGO’s. The council’s monitoring process aims to highlight the violations on international declarations and European law. ECRE is in charge of controlling the implementation of the Common European Asylum Policy on national level. The capacity building in third countries is also an important role, which is very much in line with the common goals of the EU policies. Thus building stronger links between EU countries and third countries helps to harmonise the work between national authorities. (Diedring 2013) With the Stockholm programme the second period of CEAS was revised and it was scheduled to be completed in 2012. Recently another institution has been established: the EASO18, which aims to develop cooperation among EU members on the asylum seekers field by helping to implement the common European asylum system. (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany 2011) Despite these initiatives and the establishments of new institutions, the burden-sharing and the harmonisation of EU policies regarding asylum seekers is still uncompleted. There remains a high degree of resistance originating from the national governments regarding the implementation of these regulations on their national systems. The discussion and implementation process still leaves space for different interpretations among the EU members. (Trauner 2013, 4) The EU and its institutions, agencies and bodies on refugee issues are still weak compere to the national authorities. They do not have legal power to enforce cooperation among the EU members. This factor increases the difficulties in the process of harmonisation and burden-sharing of the region. According to Olson’s theory the establishment of a central institution is able in order to ensure the achievement of the collective good. The actors of a certain group can be enforced by this institution and therefore the collective action is guaranteed. This authority has to be given to the central institution by the group members voluntarily. (Olson 1965, 1-16) The establishment of supranational power on regional level requires certain common institutions which have the power to enforce common rules and regulations. Due to the European Union’s distinguished policy fields, the central institutions have to be effective within different policy departments. As it is explained in Olson’s theory, in a large group the outcome of collaboration is less effective and the actors are less interested. (Olson 1965, 1-16) For the achievement of the common good the EU has to establish different institutions on different policy fields. The EU also had to create smaller groups for different policy fields. Since the enforcement has to be specific on a certain issue the establishment of European Committees and other sub-agencies such as FRONTEX or ECRE is crucial.
According to Olson’s theory the main disadvantage of large groups is the lack of contribution by some of the actors. In order to stimulate group orientated behaviour the system has to introduce certain negative and positive motivators. (Olson 1965, 51) At EU level the most efficient tool for punishment is starting an infringement procedure or applying cuts on EU budgetary sources which are directly imposed by the European Court of Justice. Olson claims that the system has to apply selective and separate incentives in order to motivate the individual actors instead of punishing the whole group. (Olson 1965, 51) The enforcement of contribution at European level has to be able to punish each of the member states individually. Providing protection and human rights for refugees and asylum seekers are still member state competences. Therefore the violations against international agreements or European regulations belong under the responsibility of the certain member state. As an indirect incentive the consequence of violation against the common agreements is that each member state can be punished by other states as well. According to Olson’s categorisation (Olson 1965, 49-51) the European Union is a relatively small group most similar to the category of the intermediate group. As a specific characteristic of an intermediate group the actors know each other like the individual members within the EU. Therefore the responsibility of each actor can be identified. Every member can be judged by other members and this judgment may have negative impact on its international economic and social relationships. In Olson’s theory the rewards are possible motivators (Olson 1965, 51), however, in European term there is no centralised reward system. The individual economic and social successes of each member state can be considered as a reward for their collective behaviour.
According to Thielemann at the European level there are norm-based and interested-based motivations for achieving the common good. The norm-based model states that the incentives for contributions could be the solidarity with other member states or the solidarity with the refugees or asylum seekers. The category of interested based motivators highlight’s the need to fulfil the international obligations as a motivator. He also claims the interest of immigration protection on national levels as one of the possible motivators. (E. R. Thielemann 2009, 10-15)
C. EU Approaches
This chapter describes the ongoing EU practices. By the three different approaches the analysis highlights deficiencies of the common European asylum system.
1. Root Cause Approach - Peace Keeping Missions
As mentioned in the previous chapters, common policies on immigration have been part of EU agenda since the start of the integration process and they have become, in the past 15 years, one of the major concerns of the EU members and its supranational institutions. However, these 15 years have also illustrated how difficult it is to achieve common regulations among EU members on this matter. States' views on this matter diverge and despite the agreement that this is a collective problem and therefore should be dealt with jointly, the differences among the members states and the weakness of the supranational institutions in enforcing the implementation of European laws and cooperation has been delaying the completion of this process 19.
One of the EU's approaches on asylum and migration policy is named the root cause 20 and aims to prevent people from migrating. This should be achieved by supporting the individual asylum seeker in his home country. (Persson, 2011: 12) Even though the preventive approach has been discussed since the 80's ,21 this policy started to be recognised as an option only with the Tampere programme and with the support 22 of the European Council. (Boswell 2005,14).
After some difficulties to legally implement the preventive approach, the European Commission started to develop and promote a number of initiatives. One example of these initiatives occurred between 2002 and 2004 in Morocco. In this case, several measures were adopted focusing on the northern provinces of Morocco, which are the “source of an estimated 40% of Moroccan migration to the EU”. (Boswell 2005, 14)
By improving and developing the conditions in these strategic areas, the EU aims to reduce the problem of the illegal immigration flows.
Nonetheless, the preventive approach procedure combines a certain amount of attempts which need time to present results. Therefore, although preventive initiatives towards asylum seekers and refugees have been proposed and promoted, European governments have preferred more repressive measures instead. (Boswell 2005,15) The reasons that lay behind these choices are complex and not easy to be analysed. However, certain events had a significant impact on the development. After 9/11 security became a key element to European governments and its institutions which lead to a debate of 'securitisation' 23 of the EU asylum and immigration policy. Although repressive measures have been more acceptable for the EU members to implement, the work of supranational institutions, as CEAS, has been devoted to contradict these. Even with the 'securitisation' debate the guidelines of Geneva Convention should remain respected by EU member states (Kaunert 2009, 148 & Boswell 2005,15).
In spite of these developments in the matter of EU asylum and migration policy, the interest on the root cause approach is increasing. A number of proposals, by different member states, have emerged, but no of them has yet been adopted on EU level. These proposals are very similar to each other and aim to establish particular zones for addressing the refugee and asylum seekers's applications. In 2003 the UK proposed two programmes: to establish “transit camps” in the Balkans and Ukraine and later, “zones of protection” at the Horn of Africa. In 2004 Germany and Italy presented a similar proposal to establish “reception camps” in North Africa. However, these proposals have not been accepted by the majority of the member states and therefore they have not been implemented. It is becoming even more clear - to EU institutions and national governments - the fact that those people who reach the EU territory are not always the same who need international protection. Thus, the awareness of the different reasons behind the choice to migrate needs to be explored in order to improve the EU system and to achieve an effective solution. Many of those who are in need of international protection still remain in their home countries and the EU is increasingly aware of this fact. (Boswell 2005, 18)
In conclusion, the root cause approach is not new on the EU agenda and some global events have been delaying a serious attempt to establish preventive measures on the EU asylum and migration policy. However, in the past few years, its value on the EU policies is increasing. Exploring the root of cause and providing help to the asylum seeker in the country of origin might be a slow process, but in the future these procedures might become beneficial to both the EU and the asylum seeker's home country.
2. An approach of externalisation: Safe Third Country mechanism
The concept of a safe country creates a buffer zone between the country of origin of asylum seekers and their desired destination. This mechanism is recognised as one of the practices on how developed countries can prevent refugees from entering their territory. According to this concept there are refugees who have fled from their countries of origin but already have found protection somewhere on their way towards the desired destination. Nevertheless these people have already found protection in a safe country where they first entered, their aim is to move towards the originally aimed destinations. According to the current regulations and primarily to the European practices the asylum seeker can be denied since he has already found protection during the travel period. The first entered safe country has the responsibility of checking the validity of the asylum application. (Goodwin-Gill 2007, 390-391)
According to the United Nations agreements, the safe third country mechanism can only be applied if the state fulfils the requirements of ensuring protection. The first entered safe country has to protect the refugee against refoulement as one of the fundamental principles after the readmission. Moreover it has to treat the refugee according to the international standards by providing effective protection and fundamental human rights in line with any other citizens and foreign nationals. If the third country is willing to readmit the asylum seeker and able to fulfil all the requirements the return process can be legally recognised. (Goodwin-Gill 2007, 394) But what happens if the country of first arrival treats the asylum seeker inhumanely? Should the refugee still be sent back? There is a huge difference between member states regarding respecting human rights when it comes to asylum seekers. Since the vulnerable status of asylum seekers and their special religious, ethnic, political and economic situation some countries are unable to provide protection even if they have fulfilled the international requirements. (Lavenex 1998)
According to the European practices, the transferring state is responsible for judging the safety of the third country. Because of this privilege, certain countries are facing a huge amount of readmission, while others are using the mechanism as a national border protection. (Goodwin-Gill 2007, 396). This raises the question on the effectiveness of international institutions. Are the European institutions such as the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights playing a leading role in controlling member states’ decisions? (Lambert 2012, 3) According to the Dublin II regulations optionally only one member state should be responsible in providing asylum. In other words, shifting the burden between states exempts the state from all its liabilities. The individual EU member states fear the big amount of immigration and therefore take advantage of their geographic positions by creating a buffer zone among EU borders. Since most of the refugees have already entered to a safe country before reaching their aim destination, the possibility of retransforming is given. However, the third countries tend to provide insecure refugee protection and lack of human rights. In this case the individual interests of each member state overrides the collective responsibility and the humanitarian values. The lack of harmonised action leads to unequal burden sharing. (Lavenex 1998) Furthermore, the tactic of transferring refugees back to safe third countries may give rise to the violation of the Geneva Convention (1951) regardless whether they are EU member states or non-EU countries. The policy practice of EU members has harmful effect on member state cooperation since it deepens the already existing geographic and economic inequalities. (Byrne 2003)
The core dilemma of such mechanism is the shift of responsibilities from state to state at the expenses of human rights. The application of the Dublin II regulations is questioning the transferring states’ abilities of responsible decision-making. In the EU practice the authority of transferring states is oversized. The international regulations on human rights protection might be ignored under the transferring process. The current environment of international regulations are serving western European and North American interests by maintaining the possibility of shifting asylum service responsibilities to safe third countries. (Lambert 2012) The northern countries of Europe are hiding behind the Dublin II regulation, while southern states are abandoning the implementation of certain regulation regarding refugee integration. (Hasselbach 2013) Are the collective interests of preventing a huge amount of immigration stronger than the collective interest of promoting human rights?
3. A reactive approach: European Quota System
“Rebecca Harms, a German Green Member of the European Parliament, said […] a common, high standard needed to be set across the 28-member bloc when it comes to refugee and asylum issues. The Dublin process needs to be replaced with a national quota system that spreads refugees across the EU.” (Hasselbach 2013)
As it has been explained earlier the equal burden sharing among EU member states has crucial importance. By the externalisation practice the problem is only postponed rather than resolved. A real step forward could be the implementation of a quota system on member state bases. The EU members have to overcome their self-interests in order to establish a sustainable common asylum policy which protects human rights and controls the European immigration at the same time. (Thielemann 2006, 2-4) Since the demand for collective action first raised in the early 80’s the establishment of the European Refugee Fund in 2005 is one of the best ongoing common practices. Regarding quota systems the (1) sharing of expenses is one of the burden sharing approaches which is already implemented. However the biggest step towards a common European asylum policy would be the (2) sharing of asylum seeker reception on a quota bases. (Thielemann 2006, 15-18)
(1) The allocation of current funds bases on the number of asylum seekers in each member state. However financial burden sharing as an instrument on its own is not enough to provide equality among member states. The non-financial costs are often significantly higher load for European countries. As on example the specific geographic conditions cannot be offset only by financial burden sharing. (Thielemann 2006, 15-18)
“Fund's redistributive element currently compensates Member States according to the absolute numbers of protection seekers received rather than according to the relative responsibilities or burdens that Member States are faced with. From a solidarity or burden-sharing perspective this appears sub-optimal.” (Thielemann 2006, 17)
(2) The implementation of sharing asylum seekers physically would provide effective solution for the several deficiencies of the European Refugee Fund. This quota system bases on a so called fixed distribution key which categorises the states by their economic situation, assimilation capacity or their general popularity among asylum seekers. However such an approach promises to be effective it is also widely controversial. As one of the most worrying critiques highlight: (Thielemann 2006, 15-18)
“[…] the risks to both the individual (related to a secondary uprooting) and to the new host territories, which might lack the social support networks of the protection seekers’ initial destination and which could even lead to higher total costs for the countries operating such a scheme.” (Thielemann 2006, 18)
The lack of implementation of such system is likely have a spill-over effect on wider European integration processes and also weakens the trust among member states. (Dimiter Toshkov & Laura de Haan 2012). However a possible system of refugee quotas (next to its positive effect on harmonised cooperation) is also objectionable. According to the general objections the scheme allows states to sell and by quotas which obviously raises an ethical issue. The first critique says the system is not able to consider refugee desires for their primary destinations. According to the second critique the scheme is degrading and violates dignity of asylum seekers by selling and buying their quotas. The third objection emphasizes the possibility of exploiting weaker countries. In other words the possibility of by taking advantage of their economic situation, the system wouldn’t be able to protect them. (Kuosmanen 2012, 103)
Jaakko Kuosmanen says that the above mentioned critiques fail to support an irresolvable ethical problem in case of implementing a tradable quota system. He recognises that the implementation of such a scheme needs much further examinations on possible consequences. The dilemma of implementation: Would the dominance of market economy undermine the general humanitarian and moral issues of refugee protection? As an institutional proposal the refugee quota system which would rely on market economy rules would be harsh regarding the vulnerable situation of asylum seekers. (Kuosmanen 2012, 118)
“What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
- Henry David Thoreau, U.S. American Author and Historian
“While every refugee's story is different and their anguish personal, they all share a common thread of uncommon courage - the courage not only to survive, but to persevere and rebuild their shattered lives.”
- Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
V. Critique on Current Asylum Seeker Approach
This chapter provides a critical comparison between a well-functioning collective approach - the EU environmental standards - and the less efficient approach within the political field of asylum seekers.
A. European Environmental Regime
As opposed to the Asylum policies shown above, the EU environmental policies has been one of the best in the recent years. David J. Vogel, a University of California professor studying business and environmental regulation in the EU and U.S., has said,
“(i)f you compare EU [environmental] policy now, it looks a lot like America in the 1970s. In this new generation of environmental issues the EU is moving quite aggressively, while U.S. policy is stalemated.” (Loewenberg 2003)
This means that the EU environmental leadership is on an upward trend and as a matter of fact is the current best environmental regime on the global scale.
It is imperative therefore, to look at the evolution of the EU environmental policy in order to understand the current situation. Despite the absence of environmental (or for that matter sustainable development) policy from the Treaty of Rome nor the suggestion that there were any limits to the “continuous and balanced expansion” expected to result from the establishment of a common market, EU policy has evolved to a point where at least in principle protection of the environment is on equal footing with economic development. (Haigh 1998) This balanced development began after the 1972, since the period 1957 to 1972 had not witnessed any collective action among the EU members.
In the 1972, the heads of states and governments declared that the community would incorporate an environmental policy. This has been observed by Peterson et. al (1999) not as “rising green awareness or the salience of global environmental issues…” but rather that “widely differing national rules on industrial pollution could distort pollution…”. (Smith 2005) From the foregoing, the community heads of states and governments had seen the importance of the harmonisation of the national laws to properly and effectively manage environmental issues. This observation and move is completely in contrast with the Asylum Procedures where most members chose to maintain their domestic laws.
In the treaty establishing the European Union in 1992, the concept of a “harmonious and balanced development of economic activities, sustainable and non-inflationary growth” became part of the EC Treaty. (Smith 2005) This harmonisation and incorporation of the environmental policy was finalised in Treaty of Amsterdam which incorporated the concept of sustainable development. Wilkinson (2000), observes that, The Treaty of Nice, signed in December 2000, made no major changes to the environmental or sustainable development provisions of the EC Treaty. (Smith 2005)
It is clear therefore, that the development of a consistent environmental policy within the EU framework has been steady hence the European Union enjoys globally a leadership position in the area of Environmental Regime. EC Treaty Art. 6 states:
“Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Community policies and activities…in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.” (Treaty 2003)
To this point the community had developed a common environmental policy that all members had to adhere to.
B. Particularities of the European Environmental Regime
This chapter provides an overview about the environmental policy approach of the European Union and highlights the beneficial circumstances for the individual member states.
1. Political Goodwill
The support for the development of the Community Environmental Regime got the endorsement of the Heads of States and Governments in the 1972. Despite the lack of such a policy among the members. Peterson et al (1999), observed that, “widely differing national rules on industrial pollution could distort pollution”. (Smith 2005) This in essence began calling for the harmonisation of the community policy on environment. This observation came to be realised fully in the Treaty of 1992. This was a great move since it became binding to all state parties to the Treaty. This move was closely associated to the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 and its concept of sustainable development which would only be achieved by the proper steward of the environment.
In stark contrast, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950 does not mention anything about Asylum. However, the first attempt to include Asylum was made in a statement given by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe to the Council of Ministers in 1961 which proposed the insertion of the substantive right to Asylum in the Second protocol of this European Convention but it failed. (Lavenex 2001) In the Territorial Asylum adopted by the member states of the Council of Europe in 1977, asylum was confirmed as a prerogative of the state. These attempts show the lack of political goodwill by the community to take concerted efforts in the area. The legacy that can be used to understand the prolonged reluctance by the community members to harmonise the Asylum procedures.
2. The European Court of Justice Ruling
The two matters of the Environment and Asylum have found themselves before this court which has ruled on them accordingly. These rulings are important in understanding the direction the community is yet to take or has taken. For example, in 2006, the ECJ Case C-368/04 affirmed that the permission of the European Commission is required when the EU Member States want to grant national firms rebates on energy taxes. The Court considered unlawful the state aid scheme introduced by the Austrian government in 1996 to provide firms with tax reductions on electricity and natural gas consumption. (Massai 2007) This example shows the role of the Commission upheld in environmental matters meaning the control of the environmental policy had fallen fully within the purview of the Union.
The case of Asylum has also found itself before the same court and in Case-71/11 of a Pakistani who is a member of a religious minority - the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which is an Islamic reformist movement. In its 5 September ruling, the ECJ recalls that the law in Pakistan on blasphemy provides that members of the Ahmadiyya religious community may face imprisonment of up to three years or a fine if they claim to be Muslim, describe their faith as Islam, preach or propagate or invite others to accept their faith. (Vandystadt 2012) He applied for Asylum in Germany and was denied.
The Court on its ruling held that the person having been physically assaulted and his community would not go back to Pakistan and was to be regarded as a religious refugee. In its conclusion the Court noted that, “the national authorities cannot reasonably expect the applicant to abstain from the manifestation or practice of certain religious acts”. (Vandystadt 2012) However, the German legislation was to be used in resolving the matter. From this case therefore it is very clear that individual member’s legislation still remained highly regarded in this area. Compared with the environment it shows many weaknesses that prevent collective action and burden sharing by the community.
3. Harmonisation of Policies at the Community Level
In 1957, France proposed a Draft Declaration on the Right of Asylum to the Economic and Social Council. This failed and only led to the Declaration on Territorial Asylum after a decade of negotiation. The main constrain of developing the common Asylum policies is the legacy of the trans governmental cooperation structures which concentrate authority within the national executives to the detrimental of supranational institutions. (Lavenex 2001) Though, common asylum procedures have been agreed upon, its implementation has not been effected. This has left the wide gap of disparities still existing among the community member’s national law and the community principles hence weak regime.
On the contrary, environmental issue having been introduced to the community agenda later then the asylum issues. Members have cooperated well and have been able to develop a strongest regime. In 1992, the Environmental policy found itself within the EC treaty in the fore run of the Rio Earth Summit. Even before this, the members had begun the negotiations on how to burden share meaning the question of harmonisation had been concluded. As Bode observes, in 1991 the Commission proposed a burden sharing with the following three levels: - 5 % for Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, + 15 % for the cohesion countries and stabilisation for the rest. However, this proposal was rejected, but later restarted in the re-run to the Kyoto protocol and later succeeded for the period running from 2008-2012. (Bode 2004) From this it is clear that environmental policy was easily harmonised by member’s states despite its late emergence on the community agenda.
4. Laws of Specific Targets
The European Union has developed sectorial laws and specific laws addressing different challenges in the Environmental Arena to help in achieving the community targets and secure the populace from dangers that threaten their lives from man’s activities. The European Parliament and European Council have issued several directives regarding various environmental aspects as follows. In 1994, the directive on packaging and packaging waste was given and was to enter into force in 2004 and be domesticated by members by 2005. The directive on the end of life of vehicles was issued in 2000, targeting automakers to ensure that their products do not pollute the environment by reusing the parts of their products.
The directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment was issued in 2003 and was to be transposed by members in 2004. It required the manufacturers of these products to be part of the management of the waste resulting from their products. In the same year there was also the directive on Restriction of use of certain hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment requiring that certain chemicals and metals like mercury, lead and other heavy metals not be used as components of these equipment. These Laws are binding on all members without exception hence each is sharing in the burden. (Smith 2005)
5. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Since the linkage of the global warming and climate change to the human activities that emitted the greenhouse gases, the EU has been very active in negotiations and in reduction of its own emissions to help reduce the risk posed by such changes to the environment. On the 31st of May 2002, the EU and its members ratified the Kyoto protocol as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The EU agreed to reduce her emission by eight percent according to the Kyoto protocol. This was to be based on the 1990 and for the period 2008-2012. The greatest sign of commitment by the community.
On the contrary, the Asylum policy has never found such support and cooperation by the members. As a matter of fact the members have opted for a Safe Third Country option as one mechanism of managing the asylum issue. There has not been any commitments on the part of the members to grant specific quota to the Asylum problem confronting the Union. Rather, a low level of commitment has been shown. The reflection being the case like the Lampedusa crisis exposing the lack of commitment at the community level and overburdening of one country in this case Italy.
6. Emission Trading System
Member states having committed to the reduction of its emissions as per the Kyoto protocol then came the sharing of the burden among the members. Like the problem of the collective good, it cannot be provided by voluntary means but there has to be rules and regulations on how to attain the collective good. The rules are imposed to avoid joy riding since these goods have a characteristic feature of non-excludability and you cannot prevent other members from enjoying the good. After few unsuccessful attempts the members finally agreed on a system in 2003 and the criteria outlined. The criteria have been provided by the Annex III (2 & 3) as follows, ‘the total quantity of allowances to be allocated shall be consistent with assessments of actual and projected progress towards fulfilling the Member States' contributions to the Community's commitments made pursuant to Decision 93/389/EEC. Quantities of allowances to be allocated shall be consistent with the potential, including the technological potential, of activities covered by this scheme to reduce emissions….’ (Directive/2003/87/EC 2003). This point to the cooperation secured by members in the area of climate change. (Sijm, 2007)
7. Monitoring and Compliance System
After the agreement by the members on the trading system and allocation procedure, they agreed on monitoring and compliance to ensure adherents. According to Article 16, ‘Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that such rules are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States shall notify these provisions to the Commission by 31 December 2003 at the latest, and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendment affecting them’ (Directive/2003/87/EC 2003). From this directive the a system has been established that ensured enforcement and the penalty.
In dealing with Asylum matter there has not been such an effective system of compliance put in place to dissuade members from going against the set procedures by the community. This has promoted the reluctance among members in effecting the community procedures and also it included the decisions of the European Court of Justice, which have only been recorded as opinion on the matter by the member states.
8. Entrenchment into the EC Treaty
The matters of environmental protection found their way into the EC Treaty,
“(t)he Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing common policies or activities referred to in Article 3 and 4, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities,… sustainable and non-inflationary growth, …, a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, the raising of standards of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States”. (Smith 2005)
This provision put together common market, monetary union and environmental protection at the same footing making the environmental protection so distinct to the community.
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”
- Albert Szent-Gy ö rgyi, Hungarian Nobel Price Winner (Physiology)
The following section of the paper is the discussion in which the team members argue logically how the defined research question could be solved. The proposed recommendations are based on the acquired knowledge during the project work and must not be seen as valid data, but as a scenario case of an EU in the medium term future. The main objective of this scenario is to point out areas of impact for the collective action problem and to propose potential activities which could result in an improved European ability to handle jointly collective action problems.
The data found by the project team suggests that the main reasons for the shortcomings in collective action between sovereign states is based in a lack of trust and the unwillingness to give up sovereignty on state level in favour of supranational institutions. Even in the EU, which is the most advanced example of regional integration, there is a shortage of collaboration and collective action in several areas of politics (compare introduction). The project team used the collective action problem theories of Olson and Schmitter to explain the historical development and the corresponding issues the EU faces today. Using these findings as a baseline the next section will develop a future version of the EU. This further developed version of the EU should be more likely to respond adequately to issues with a higher degree of complexity and in a manner which is beneficial for all collaborating member states.
The proposed vision of the EU is based on 3 criteria: political, economic, socio-cultural.
In order to enhance the EU’s abilities to act as a united bloc on political level further integration is necessary. In line with the theory of Olson, who demands an institutional form of external enforcement, the project team concluded that a type of federation of the European states would be a beneficial political order to overcome collective action problems.
Taking into consideration the current increase of political qualms in the various member states, the project team suggests to emphasise the economic integration as impetus triggering spill-over effects in the long term. This tendency could be already seen in the past and thus is simply a continuance of the current previously used approach. The necessity to achieve a successful regional integration within Europe must not be assessed base on internal economic needs, but in the understanding of globalisation and the future exigency to compete with economic powers like India or China. The plain superiority in population and thus market power of those new powers make it impossible for one individual European country to remain competitive. Thus the economic integration of Europe is not a discussable option, but the only rational alternative to ensure the continuance of the current quality of life for millions of Europeans. This opinion is shared by leading scholars dealing with European affairs, e.g. Andrew Moravcsik. His research corroborated the project team’s understanding of the potential of a united European Union.
Finally, there has to be a connection between both aforementioned spheres of activities. The creation of a European identity which forms an environment of solidarity between EU citizens is the crucial stabilizing factor to keep the regional integration project together. This idea is in line with Thielemanns theory of norm-based motivators. However, in the case of the EU there has to be special attention to safeguard the individual cultural identities. Following the current motto of the EU „United in diversity” the future versions of the EU should create a bi-polar cultural identity in which the common European values are highlighted but which simultaneously preserved the individual cultural heritage of each region as well.
Progress in those three political fields will be crucial. If the EU wants to improve the current imperfections those areas in which collective action is applied suboptimal, e.g. asylum seeker approach.
In order to achieve such a version of the European Union in the future, policy makers have to take several factors in consideration. The following contributions do not claim totality but must be approached as parameters of high impact. The total development of the EU, however, will be affected by a multitude of other influences as well.
The most crucial acknowledgement must be that policies concerning collective action problems must not be adjusted but newly established. There has been a paradigm shift from a political situation in which the average nation state could effectively resolve pending problems to one in which the increased complexity of impediments cannot be overcome single-handedly anymore. The adjustment of regulations, designed for the traditional approach of independent state action, is therefore inferior to the set up of new regulations designed for joint action, i.e. based on collective action principals.
Therefore, a new regulation has to focus not only on the internal situation of the EU member states like the traditional approaches did, but as well on the connection of the European bloc with other regions of the world. In order to maintain its global impact the EU must speak with a united voice in interregional negotiations. Following the previously stated idea of federalism this would result in the creation of European ministries which have de facto a political say when approaching other regions outside of Europe. The current situation in which member states hold on to their sovereignty, is understandable from the traditional point of view, however, it is obstructive for the modern cross-border issues the EU faces today. Such issues include international crime and terrorism, social imbalance due to poverty on a global level, the increased influence of the global south, climate change and the aforementioned refugee and asylum seeker influx. In order to manage a smooth transition from the traditional approaches to new methods it is important that the EU does not demand too much power in all political areas, but only in those which are not effectively manageable on national level. For internal issues which still can be handled on domestic level, this European authority is unnecessary.
As mentioned the socio-cultural factor is crucial in establishing a politically united Europe. The setting up of a federation within Europe can only be achieved if simultaneously the understanding of a “European citizen” is promoted. Measures could include a more profound education for European students about the basic functions and values of the EU or the promotion of media coverage focusing on EU issues and opportunities, rather than emphasising the individual country obstacles and benefits. While the official policies are already implemented, e.g. Schengen Area with the “4 Fundamental Freedoms”24, the EU citizenship is not yet establish as a mental concept. Many Europeans regard themselves still rather as members of their nationality, than as citizens of a united Europe. In order to be successful in the long-term, the idea of Europe must be understood completely by its citizens on an intellectual level as well.
While it is undeniable that the current financial and economic crisis has pushed national interest in foreground of domestic politics and in extreme cases even triggered increased levels of anti- european attitudes in several EU member states, the current situation can also be seen as an opportunity for the collective action approach. Following a liberal argumentation, some problems like the asylum seeker policy, the environmental protection policies or issues of defence and security must be approached on supranational level. During a crisis the willingness to apply changes to the traditional political system is higher, as the aversion to change is in general lower while there are obvious and undeniable shortcomings. If Europe wants to set up a structure in which a central institution in Bruxelles can take over certain responsibilities to deal with highly complex, cross- border issues on an European level, the current time period must be seized as opportunity to initiate collective long-term planning. The current lack of trust, as well as the unwillingness of national politicians to cede more political sovereignty - in favour of stronger collaboration - will only result in a less optimal outcome for the entire European population.
During this process there are many obstacles to consider. While it is impossible to anticipate all hindrances there are some basic though highly impacting factors which should be considered in the planning stage already.
Firstly, as it is a collective action approach, policy makers have to consider a wider range of areas influenced directly or indirectly be the proposed actions. With the increased number of stakeholders the amount of side-interests and spill-overs increases exponentially. In the example of a common asylum policy for the EU, the policy makers have to take in consideration that next to the main departments of “Foreign Affairs”, “Development” and “Justice and Home Affairs” also other areas will be affected in each member country. These areas could include among others social support for immigrants, the introduction of new religious practices in the cultural environment of a country, the labour market situation, the demand for cheap housing, the welfare system or the educational framework for migrating children.
Furthermore a European Federation must not apply general solutions on all member states in a similar method. The difference between the economic, cultural and social situations of various member states are unquestionable and therefore a universal approach cannot be applied efficiently. Policy makers have to establish a system which gives sufficient tolerance for the cultural approaches of each region, while it on the other hand allows the central institution to enforce the basic idea of each policy.
The project team chose to have an optimistic approach towards the potential of the European Union and towards the chances such a regional integration project harbours. However, it has to be stated that while ambitious strategic planning is desirable, the realistic achievability must always be used as a benchmarking criteria.
The project team did not lose sight of the option that the current trend towards anti-European tendencies in some parts of Europe could harm the EU development, however, it was perceived that this tendencies can be neglected in the long-term. Even from a realist point of view, in which the safeguarding of national interests is the highest objective, the project team concludes that advancement in integration is the only rational solution. This perception is based on the application of Hobbes’ security dilemma to a regional level. In a globalised world with major economic players like China, India only an integrated Europe can maintain the current level of security and the economic wealth. Thus even from a realist point of view the European integration has to be expatiated in order to secure the national interests.
“But let no one be under any doubt that the scale of the challenge that Europe faces in this emerging global economy is immense and the practical pace of our collective action to meet these challenge to date has just been too slow.”
- John Hutton, British Politician
This research paper has been investigating on how the European Union is dealing with collective action problems. The focus has been set on the matter of refugees and asylum seekers as well as burden-sharing. Throughout the collection of data regarding European policies and the application of Olson's theory on collective action, it is possible to draw some conclusions in these specific matters.
The problem of burden-sharing, e.g. the covered topic of asylum seekers, has been an issue for the member states since the very foundation of the EU, which has always moved towards the development of institutions in order to manage the collaboration among the states in various fields. By applying Olson's theory on the matter of migration, and in order to achieve a shared common good out of the issue, the EU should improve the supranational institutions that regulate the shared responsibilities of EU players involved. It should also draw a better common legal framework as a basis for the enforcement of a deeper integration of EU members on the matter of refugees and asylum seekers. The comparison between two different issues - the environmental and the common asylum policy -shows that there are different variables involved for the members, which also result in more difficulties in reaching agreements on the matter of migration than there have been in the one dealing with environment standards. However, the approach that should be followed is the same one.
According to the historical background that has been illustrated, the main problems and weaknesses that the EU needs to overcome concern mainly the unbalanced level of involvement of members in the matter and also their lack of willingness to decrease their individual sovereignty in the management of common problems. Since players tend to act in a self interested manner, when it comes to dealing with problems that affect all members, the application of different domestic policies and laws lead to different outcomes, which is an aspect that needs to be improved if the EU wants to achieve a better regional integration. The environmental issue has been taken as an example to show how the EU has managed a problem that involved all the members as a collective problem. It has therefore been proved how the improvement of institutions and the development of a common legal framework would lead to the improvement of collaboration and to the decrease of inequalities among the members. However, even if the purposes are the same in both issues, it is by now still difficult to predict that there will be similar results in the near future. The whole region is, in fact, still struggling in finding common agreements in the burden-sharing problem of the distribution of asylum seekers and refugees, because the involvement in the issue is not always considered the same from all the member states. The sense of acting as a single entity in common issue area still finds some crucial weaknesses. The national interests continue to have a strong impact on the agreements for policies and laws that would determine a better collaboration among the states. According to recent historical facts concerning the development of policies on migration, EU is moving towards a more reactive approach in the matter of migration. This implies more protectionism of the members in accepting the incomers, which are expected to even increase within the next years due to the displacement of people because of wars and conflicts in nearby regions. This aspect, however, does not go against the purpose of the paper. In fact, as long as there is an effective collaboration of the members, the achievement of the application of Olson's theory of collective action would still be reached.
The EU can effectively develop an equitable and just burden sharing mechanism on this matter. This can be based on the strengthening of the EU institutions, development of common laws and established quota system. When all these will be done in line with the members economic situations as well as population and geographical size, then the problem could be solve. Further, the sharing of data on Asylum should be enhanced both even to the public and the Common Refugee fund be shared equitably and be made more flexible to cover for emergencies like the Lampedusa.
According to recent discussions on the matter, especially after events like the tragedy of Lampedusa have brought once again into light the problem of migration and burden-sharing management, member states are still arguing on how to develop a better collaboration and improve the already existing policies. The decisions that have been made mainly concern the borden surveillance, the development of new initiatives related to the policy of resettlement and the proposal of the possibility of “protected entries”. (BBC, 2013)
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1 Lampedusa, an island near Sicily and the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries. In October 2013 more than 360 feared to death while traveling towards Europe by boat.
2 If a latent group (insufficient provision of public good) receives stimulies which motivate the membership to act, Olson describes this as a mobilised latent group. This group can provide the public good, nevertheless its large size
3 The Refugee term is based on the 1951 Convention and defines who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. “ An asylum seeker is a person that applies for protection in other state on the basis of Geneva Convention. (See: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/glossary)
4 The first legal reference regarding the protection of refugees on the international level appears in 1933. Here begins to take form the principle that refugees/asylum seekers should not be send back to their home country if they are in need of international protection. (Goodwill 2007, 202-203)
5 The Geneva Convention was related to persons who became refugees before 1951 as a result of the events in Europe. 1967 protocol broke the time and geographical limit making 1951 Convention applied to all.
6 The principle settles '' that no refugee should be returned to any country where he or she is likely to face persecution, other ill-treatment, or torture'' (Goodwin-Gill 2007, 201)
7 'Third safe country' notion was first adopted in the Danish legislation and in the Dublin convention was implemented by EU members. (Rosemary, Noll and Jens 2004, 11).
8 'Third safe country' notion was first adopted in the Danish legislation and in the Dublin convention was implemented by EU members. (Rosemary, Noll and Jens 2004, 11).
9 These process during the 1990's is commonly adress by schoolars as 'Race to the bottom' where countries were constantly implementing a number of domestic packages to protect and prevent themselves from asylum flows (Hatton 2005, 7)
10 From 1999 Amsterdam Treaty, institutions such as the European Comission and the European Court of Justice gain influcence on the policy making in EU. For instance the European Comission could start to formulate proposals regarding EU policy from 2002. The European Parliment and the European Court of Justice also were granted a more prominent role by being consulted before the decisions are implemented. (Kaunert & Léonard 2012, 1404-1405)
11 Before the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Tampere meeting of the Council, EU legal instruments were based on conventions or treaties that still had to be approved be each member state, separately.
12 Tampere Programme
13 From this moment, the European Parliament had to be consulted and the European Commission had the right to propose legislation from 2002. The legal power to legislate was left to the Council of Ministers, however they needed unanimity to act. Since the Lisbon Treaty unanimity has been replaced for the majority.
14 Common standards were introduce on issues such as employment, accommodation, training, health and education while the asylum applications are being analyse
15 EURODAC system is a database of fingerprints that identifies and compares asylum seekers and illegal immigrants within the EU and it was established by the European Council. See Regulation No. 2725/2000
16 See: EURODAC official Webpage: (https://secure.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/edps/Supervision/Eurodac)
17 Firstly this phase was schedule to be achieve between 2004 - 2010 but now as been extended to 2014
18 European Asylum Support Office located in Malta that started operating by the end of 2010
19 The 'limited scope' of the recent EU proposals and programmes have yet to prove efficient. The irregular immigration continues to be a problem that both, national governments and EU institutions are far to solve or to have a serious and effective legislation. (Boswell 2005, 4)
20 Also known as the Preventive or the Comprehensive approach
21 In 1994 the European Commission released a communication on Asylum and Immigration policies where this approach its first discuss. The importance of integration regarding this issue is emphasised and the root cause approach is seen as a possible response to the matter. (Van Selm 2002, 4)
22 See European Council Conclusions in Seville in 2002
23 Briefly, the 'securitisation' concept - developed in the Copenhagen school - argues that security matters are built upon a speech act. The aim is not to address the threat as real or not but to see how can an issue as migration be a social construction. After 9/11 the debate about migration increased but the effects on EU were not substantial. (Kaunert 2009,148 & Boswell 2005, 15)
24 Free movement of goods, services, capital and people within the EU common market Area. (vgl. http://esharp.eu/ jargon/four-freedoms/)