|Authors||Vincent CHETAIL, Céline BAULOZ|
The current economic crisis occurs at a turning point of the EU asylum policy. After a frenetic phase leading up to the adoption of numerous EU directives and regulations, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) has now entered a second phase of consolidation of the asylum acquis. This new impulse paves the way for a re-assessment of the whole CEAS with a view to ensuring a genuine common asylum policy. Against such a background, it is timely to consider whether the EU has developed the appropriate means to achieving harmonization. Indeed, all stakeholders are aware that the CEAS is losing edge, revealing its limits, not only in terms of refugee protection, but also as regards its capacity for properly fulfilling its main objective: the establishment of a truly common asylum system. However, the recurrent temptation to tighten migration controls in times of recession inevitably begs the question of its impact on the current consolidating phase of the EU asylum policy. In the midst of this reflective period, the present Report aims at reassessing the CEAS through a critical overview of its four main strategic pillars: preventing access to EU territory; combating ‘asylum-shopping’; criminalizing failed asylum-seekers and enforcing their return; promoting the integration of refugees duly recognized as such. This four-pronged strategy has proved instrumental in alleviating asylum pressure in the last decade and will probably be even more in the wake of the current recession. The most pressing challenge is that of preventing the economic crisis from transforming into a protection crisis at the expense of refugee rights.