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Deficiencies of Dublin, By Lauren Moses

A boat carrying refugees crosses the Mediterranean in June 2014.
A boat carrying refugees crosses the Mediterranean in June 2014.

April 9, 2017

On November 24th, 2014 at the European Parliament, Pope Francis cautioned “We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery” – referring to the perilous journey from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe taken by desperate migrants fleeing bloodshed, poverty, and political chaos. Yet the dangers do not cease once the asylum seekers reach their imagined safe haven at the southern European borders. Instead, these migrants encounter rampant xenophobia, faltering economies, and overwhelmed social systems – an overall precarious situation for human rights. Despite the intent of most migrants to seek asylum elsewhere in the European Union, the Dublin System – the EU’s guiding asylum policy – confines them to these struggling countries by defining a hierarchical set of criteria for determining the Member State responsible for evaluating an asylum application. The primary criterion is the border which is first illegally crossed, rendering the outer-border countries vulnerable to a myriad of asylum applications. The member states of the EU are either unable or unwilling to address the needs of migrants causing human rights to be either consistently violated or simply ignored. In this paper, I conduct a thorough analysis of the Dublin System. Lauren Moses analyzes its impacts and implications, arguing that the first-entry criterion confines asylum seekers to southern outer-border countries that are ill-equipped or unwilling to adequately assist and support them. The result threatens human rights and proliferates xenophobic sentiment that is taken advantage o by anti-immigration political parties.

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Article featured in:

Jackson School Journal – Spring 2016

Volume 6, Number 2. Spring 2016