The Missing Piece in the European Agenda on Migration: the Temporary Protection Directive

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Series Details 08.07.15
Publication Date 08/07/2015
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The EU’s Temporary Protection Directive entered in force in 2001 and was the first EU directive on international protection adopted after the Treaty of Amsterdam entered into force in 1999. The Temporary Protection Directive has introduced a practical and efficient framework to deal with mass influx situations by formalising and harmonising the protection standards to be introduced in mass influx situations. Yet, the Directive has so far never been implemented; the Council considered activating it when the number of asylum-seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan rose in the beginning of 2000s but no decision finally ensued (see Klug, in Further Reading). Similarly, the Directive was not implemented following the substantial influx of asylum-seekers fleeing the Arab Spring conflicts which overwhelmed the asylum capacities of the Member States at the external borders of EU (see Nascimbene and Di Pascale, in Rurther Reading). As for the recent migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, there is no mention of the Temporary protection directive in the European Agenda on Migration.

This post argues that the Temporary protection directive could have been, and still can be, implemented as part of a more effective response to cope with the irregular arrival of mixed flows through Mediterranean and it should be incorporated to the EU Agenda on Migration

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European Commission: DG Migration and Home Affairs: Asylum: Temporary protection
ESO: Background information: Finding solutions to migratory pressures
ESO: Background information: Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration

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