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Making Asylum Systems Work in Europe
The Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is greatly in need of reform. Its deficiencies became fully evident amid drastic increases in the number of people seeking refuge in Europe during 2015 and 2016. Beyond huge pressures placed on southern EU Member States Italy, Greece, and Spain by the Dublin Regulation, flaws in the other CEAS pillars worsened as well. Reception conditions and asylum procedures, for example, have varied widely by Member State, contributing to secondary movements of asylum seekers to just a few countries within Europe.
Even as the number of asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean decreased significantly in 2017, the shortcomings of the CEAS remain.
The "Making Asylum Systems Work in Europe" initiative led by MPI Europe and the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to contribute to the capacity building of national asylum systems so they can function more effectively. Through a pair of overarching reports and several country case studies, which will be collected here, the initiative will identify common challenges and obstacles preventing EU Member States from effectively transposing EU asylum legislation into operational on-the-ground action. The series also will analyze national asylum policies, practices, and mechanisms that have been used successfully at the national level to address obstacles, with a view to their transferability. Finally, it aims to promote exchange and cooperation in Member States to facilitate the harmonization of asylum policies and practices across Europe.
The initiative's publications are:
Cracked Foundation, Uncertain Future: Structural Weaknesses in the Common European Asylum System
During the 2015–16 migration crisis, European asylum systems were stretched to a breaking point. Yet many of the structural issues that contributed to failures to register newcomers, insufficient reception capacity, and growing backlogs of asylum cases existed before—and many remain unresolved. This report critically evaluates Common European Asylum System shortcomings at a time when new proposals for reform are on the table.
Chasing Efficiency: Can Operational Changes Fix European Asylum Systems?
Brussels is searching for bright ideas on how to fix the Common European Asylum System. While recent EU-level legal reforms have stalled, this MPI Europe report examines the many innovative, operations-focused approaches Member States have used since the 2015-16 migration crisis to improve registration and reception systems, asylum case processing, and options for returning failed asylum seekers.