‘Wrong Number?’: The Use and Misuse of Asylum Data in the European Union

Centre for European Policy Studies No. 69

17 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2014

See all articles by Minos Mouzourakis

Minos Mouzourakis

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre

Date Written: December 4, 2014

Abstract

The Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is an EU policy area that is particularly evocative of the ‘politics of numbers’. The European Union has at its disposal a wide array of sources providing detailed information about the capacities and pressures of its member states’ asylum systems. This paper discusses the content of asylum data and the evolving interaction between its different sources, ranging from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the European Commission’s EUROSTAT and DG HOME, the European Asylum Support Office, FRONTEX, the European Migration Network (EMN) and national databases. However, the way in which such data are often misused, or even omitted, in political debate affects the soundness of policy decisions in the CEAS. Drawing on debates over the contested phenomenon of ‘asylum shopping’ and the exemption of victims of torture and unaccompanied minors from accelerated and border procedures in the recast asylum procedures Directive, this briefing paper argues that solid data-based evidence is often absent from political negotiations on CEAS measures affecting refugees and asylum-seekers.

Keywords: Common European Asylum System, CEAS, EU policy, EU, asylum

Suggested Citation

Mouzourakis, Minos, ‘Wrong Number?’: The Use and Misuse of Asylum Data in the European Union (December 4, 2014). Centre for European Policy Studies No. 69, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534279 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2534279

Minos Mouzourakis (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre ( email )

Oxford Department of International Development
32 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX13TB
United Kingdom

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