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The structural asymmetry of the Common European Asylum System

Gabor Veto

The weakness of the Common European Asylum System was demonstrated throughout the European migrant crisis. Although the EU’s harmonising secondary legislation has theoretically created the genuine area of international protection in Europe, the member states are still able to form individual asylum policies, thanks to their practically intact executive powers within the policy area. As a result, the member states in times of crisis can pursue their own national interests even against the goals of the CEAS, because the system’s principles helping the cooperation of the member states are minimally enforceable.The paper assumes that this structural asymmetry of the European asylum policy is necessary. Implementation cannot be delegated to the supranational level in the current state of the European integration where nation states stick to their competencies in various domains, including the field of asylum. By examining the main elements of the CEAS with qualitative methods, the paper argues that despite its flaws, the European asylum policy is able to achieve their basic objectives.

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