Border Security, Camps, Quotas: The Future of European Refugee Policy?

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Series Details No.32, June 2016
Publication Date June 2016
ISSN 1861-1761
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On 18 March 2016, the EU member states and Turkey concluded an agreement on the return of persons having arrived in Greece irregularly – in the hope of reducing the number of irregular migrants coming into the EU. After months of member states being unable to find a common response to the rising numbers of new arrivals, the agreement is considered a breakthrough by many observers.

In fact, the agreement stands for a broader shift in EU refugee policy, which now focuses on the themes of border security, camps and quotas. This goes along with a reorientation from the previously prevalent individual asylum application towards a system where groups of refugees are accepted voluntarily (resettlement). This trend carries serious risks for refugee protection globally. At the same time, however, new forms of cooperation are taking shape that could strengthen the EU asylum system.

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