Negotiating Asylum. The EU acquis, Extraterritorial Protection and the Common Market of Deflection

University dissertation from Kluwer Law International, P.O. Box 85889, NL-2508 CN The Hague, The Netherlands

Abstract: How are access to asylum and other forms of extraterritorial protection regulated in the European Union? Is the EU acquis in these areas in conformity with international law? What tools does international law offer to solve conflicts between them? And, finally, is law capable of bridging the foundational oppositions embedded in migration and asylum issues? This work combines the potential of legal formalism with an analytical framework drawing on political theory. It analyses the argumentative strategies used by international lawyers, exploiting the interpretative methodology of international law as well as elaborate discrimination arguments. Taking the axiomatic tension between universalism and particularism as a point of departure, the author conceptualises the efforts to harmonise migration and asylum law in the European Union as the result of two interdependent negotiation loops: one taking place among Member States, and another between protection seekers and their host state. An extensive survey of the EU acquis and its institutional framework leads to the conclusion that both are heavily fragmented. The EU acquis contains not a single binding instruments securing the interests of protection seekers, while instruments enhancing migration control are fraught with legal and practical idiosyncrasies. Burden-sharing remains the pivotal element in the normative dynamics behind the EU acquis, and the various efforts of Member States to launch solidarity schemes are exposed to a critical analysis. After confronting the acquis with protective norms of international law, the author concludes that the deflection of protection seekers by means of visa requirements may constitute a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, and that the prescriptions of international law oblige Member States to apply the Dublin Convention and the Spanish Protocol in a manner which ultimately empties the law of its main control functions. He also develops an explicatory model reconstructing the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in the field of extraterritorial protection. In the final part, the argumentative interdependencies between universalism and particularism are explored, and the author explains why the European Court of Human Rights must be regarded as the most legitimized forum for the negotiation of asylum in Europe.

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