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Fleeing to Europe


  • Maas, W.M.


This paper deals with a sensitive topic that one may call the borderline syndrome of Europe: the efforts to harmonize the national policies of the enlarged European Union with respect to the right to enter Europe as a refugee or as an asylum seeker. The right to seek refugee status, a convention that has its roots in Europe has now become a burden to the very people who created it. Consequently, the countries in Europe have developed various strategies of dealing with the syndrome. While some have adopted more or less sophisticated procedures to let people in, others have developed equally sophisticated but pitiless procedures to keep people out. Third countries and countries that share borders with European Union have been absorbed into what is now called externalisation of the refugee problem. The fear of taking disproportionate burden has also resulted in callous treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by these third countries. In this award winning paper, the author provides the reader with an in-depth analyses of the nexus of Europeanization and the right to refugee status and comes to a rather painful conclusion that harmonisation has become a failure; least respected in the Union and at best has become "beggar thy neighbour policy". Looking from the perspective of the refugees -- the harmonisation policy has become obnoxious; in clear violation of international treaties. But who cares? Such treaties are held in contempt by the first border officials that an asylum seeker meets.

Suggested Citation

  • Maas, W.M., 2008. "Fleeing to Europe," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18740, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:18740

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew Moravcsik & Kalypso Nicolaïdis, 1999. "Explaining the Treaty of Amsterdam: Interests, Influence, Institutions," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 59-85, March.
    2. Andrew Moravcsik, 1993. "Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 473-524, December.
    3. Sandra Lavenex, 2001. "The Europeanization of Refugee Policies: Normative Challenges and Institutional Legacies," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 851-874, December.
    4. Johan P. Olsen, 2002. "The Many Faces of Europeanization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 921-952, December.
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    fleeing; refugees;


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