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 from Member State to Member State, contributing to secondary movements of asylum seekers to just a few countries within Europe. Recognition rates differ vastly as well.
Even as the number of asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean decreased significantly in 2017, the shortcomings of the CEAS remain.
The report “Cracked Foundation, Uncertain Future: Structural weaknesses in the Common European Asylum System” systematically examines the shortcomings and interlinkages present in the current EU regulations and directives that constitute the CEAS. The report, developed by the Migration Policy Institute Europe and supported by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, marks the launch of the initiative “Making Asylum Systems Work in Europe”. The initiative is led by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Migration Policy Institute Europe, in cooperation with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Migration Studies Delegation (Delmi), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP/IPA).
The initiative’s goal is 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, 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 will also analyse 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, the initiative aims to promote exchange and cooperation between Member States to facilitate the harmonisation of asylum policies and practices across Europe.