Paper: EU’s asylum seeking policy: a tool to prevent asylum seekers from successfully claiming asylum

Paper details

Paper authors Emma Chevalier Trager-Lewis
In panel on Migration Management and External Borders in the EU: Refugees and Forced Displacement
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This paper sheds light not only on the EU’s asylum seeking policy, but also on the hardships asylum seekers have to face upon arrival in the EU due to such policy. Using empirical research I conducted both in Mavrovouni refugee camp in Lesvos (Greece) and in a refugee centre in Reims (France), paired with quantitative data, this paper questions the extent to which the EU’s asylum seeking policy actually prevents asylum seekers from successfully claiming asylum on its territory.
This paper carries an emphasis on the following points:
- Undeniably, the EU has repeatedly violated asylum seekers’ fundamental human rights. Due to multiple policies adopted by the EU such as the Dublin III Regulation or the EU/Turkey Agreement favouring protracted displacement in countries such as, not only, Greece and Italy, but also Turkey, the EU forces asylum seekers to reside in inhumane refugee camps. By hindering multiple asylum seekers’ fundamental Human Rights, such as the right to health or even the right to life, the EU is committing Human Right violations at an unprecedented rate.
- By overlooking the non-refoulement principle when it ratified the EU/Turkey Agreement; by fostering discrimination through blatant double-standard with regards to the differential treatment refugees receive based on their country of origin, and by posing unrealistic expectations on the burden of proof in asylum seeking claims, the EU displays its blatant intolerance towards most asylum seekers.
- The ill treatment of asylum seekers by the EU and its member states has led to multiple non-governmental organisations and the United Nations to issue a number of recommendations in order to establish a decent common standard for the treatment of asylum seekers in and by the EU.

N.B.: I have conducted the above-mentioned empirical research as a volunteer in Mavrovouni Refugee Camp (Greece) and as a teaching volunteer in a refugee centre in Reims (France) during my undergraduate studies (BA in Political Sciences and International Relations, SciencesPo, 2023).