Gradations of externalisation: Is the EU sailing towards offshoring asylum protection? (Human Rights Law Centre - University of Nottingham)

This new policy brief offers a critical analysis of the reignited trend of externalised EU migration policies that appear to be moving towards a model of offshore processing, as used by Australia. By looking at the proposed CEAS reform, it lays out the fundamental concerns connected with the use of such a model and notes the flaws in the economic and “migration management” justifications for offshoring.

This brief, which has been produced for the Human Rights Law Centre of the University of Nottingham, examines how offshore processing has found new life in the context of renewed ‘externalisation engineering’ in the aftermath of the ‘migration summer’ of 2015.

The authors of the policy brief state that: "In looking for solutions to the failings of the current European asylum system and its inability to operate in times of ‘crisis’, many European politicians have reconsidered an old fantasy: offshore asylum processing. While Australia and the United States have adopted offshoring policies on and off for decades, the idea has been discussed at the European level since the 1980s but has never materialised, for many good reasons."

The authors conclude: "In sum, current policies in place within Europe, as well as cooperation with third countries, already bear a strong resemblance to the Australian offshore processing model. Ongoing reforms also include elements which appear to strengthen current externalisation trends. As such, the risk of a European version of offshore processing is less remote than might be expected. As the reform of the EU asylum system is supposed to be completed by the European Council during their session in June, a close monitoring of these developments is urgently warranted".

Author: Marie Walter-Franke
Co-authors: Daria Davitti and Marlene Fries

Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash

Publication Date:
Thu 17 May 2018
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