States as Gatekeepers in EU Asylum Politics: Explaining the Non‐Adoption of a Refugee Quota System

19 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2017

See all articles by Natascha Zaun

Natascha Zaun

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

Building on Moravcsik's Liberal Intergovernmentalism, I offer an explanation of the non‐decision on permanent EU refugee quotas. Some traditionally influential Member States in EU asylum politics, such as Germany, Austria and Sweden, received large numbers of refugees and faced strong domestic pressures to engage other Member States in responsibility‐sharing. Yet, governments of Member States with small application numbers (among whom several Eastern European governments were particularly vocal) had incentives to undercut responsibility‐sharing to avoid similar pressures. Having a better alternative to the potentially negotiated agreement, these governments successfully blocked the introduction of permanent refugee quotas. Besides explaining the absence of an effective response to one of the root causes of the asylum crisis (unequal strains) through asymmetrical interdependence, the article further develops Liberal Intergovernmentalist arguments and shows how national electorates influence positions taken by governments at the EU level when they are mobilized by right‐wing populist parties.

Keywords: liberal Intergovernmentalism, populism, refugee crisis, responsibility‐sharing

Suggested Citation

Zaun, Natascha, States as Gatekeepers in EU Asylum Politics: Explaining the Non‐Adoption of a Refugee Quota System (January 2018). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 56, Issue 1, pp. 44-62, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12663

Natascha Zaun (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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