Refugee Protection: the least is the best we can do
When it comes to the protection of refugees, for many countries offering the minimum standards demanded by the European Union (EU) is the best they can do. This is the result of a study conducted by researchers at the Institute’s Department of Social Law. Published in response to the EU’s revised directive for the admittance of refugees, it focusses on legal regulations in 14 different countries. The EU's directive, which attempts to determine the norms for regulating the admittance of asylum seekers, points out that member states are obligated to guarantee the basic right of human dignity. Standards for admitting asylum seekers, which meet this requirement, are only just emerging.
Currently the joint European asylum legislation is laid out badly and organized only fragmentarily. It consists of a legislative framework, that theoretically applies to all EU countries, but is practically realized differently within the individual states. In fact, there remains little to no sign of the solidarity between member states, as it is explicitly mentioned in article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). A European asylum policy, which regulates the responsibilities for the protection of refugees in a binding and solidary way, is therefore urgently needed.
The study was published in the journal "Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits- und Sozialrecht" (ZIAS, Volumes 1/2015 and 2/2015). The southern EU Member States included in the comparison were Spain, Italy and Greece. The scientists also selected Bulgaria and Hungary in Eastern Europe as important border and transit countries and also surveyed Germany’s neighbouring states, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland. Great Britain was examined as the country with the lowest refugee acceptance rate based on population size and Sweden as that with the highest rate. Finally, Turkey, Russia and the USA were also incorporated due to their special problem situations.
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