Redefining the Limits of Refugee Protection? -- The Securitised Asylum Policies of the 'Common European Asylum System'
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis employs discourse analysis to examine the human rights contradictions contained in the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). It follows the development of the CEAS since its inception in 1999. However, the principal emphasis of the thesis falls on the scope for realising a rights-based asylum regime in the post-Lisbon context. The research takes the form of policy analysis, and is grounded in a human rights framework of inquiry. This human rights perspective is used to examine the normative and legal inconsistencies inherent to the EU’s securitised approach to asylum, and to put forward suggestions for an approach to asylum in the EU, which engenders a rights-based approach to protection. The analysis of contemporary EU asylum policy and practice demonstrates the extent to which securitisation is present in EU asylum policymaking. It shows that, until the security paradigm in this policy area is supplanted, the realisation of a rights-based asylum system in the EU will not be possible. It also addresses the further challenges to the realisation of the EU as a ‘single asylum space,’ which stem from the limitations in the current instruments of the acquis, most notably the absence of burden-sharing mechanisms to ensure that the EU’s humanitarian obligations are shared equally amongst Member States. The recent ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon holds significant potential for the development of a rights-based asylum regime in the EU. However, it remains in question whether Member States have the political will necessary to accomplish this.