The Refugee Crisis and the Reinvigoration of the Nation State: Does the European Union Have a Common Refugee Policy?

29 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2019 Last revised: 30 Aug 2019

See all articles by Magnus Henrekson

Magnus Henrekson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Ozge Oner

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS)

Tino Sanandaji

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: February 25, 2019

Abstract

The European Union officially proclaims to have a common refugee policy. However, the common treaties leave a great deal of discretion to the individual member countries, which allows them to regulate refugee migration while still upholding international treaties. Member countries have authority over border controls, the processing of asylum applications as well as economic benefits provided to refugees. We show that the differences in refugee flows are so extensive and systematic that the existence of a common EU refugee policy is debatable. The commitments made by the member countries are largely voluntary, and refugee policy is mainly determined at the national level. The discrepancies between the member countries strongly signals that the European Union may not be an optimal region for a common refugee policy. A refugee policy should instead be determined at the national level concordant with the regional and local level, where integration measures are implemented in practice. Meanwhile, the European Union can play an important role through refugee aid to afflicted countries, treaties with third countries, rescue actions in the Mediterranean and control of the external EU borders.

Keywords: Asylum policy, Asylum seekers, European Union, Migration policy, Refugee Crisis, Schengen Agreement

JEL Classification: F22, F53, H37, J61, K37

Suggested Citation

Henrekson, Magnus and Oner, Ozge and Sanandaji, Tino, The Refugee Crisis and the Reinvigoration of the Nation State: Does the European Union Have a Common Refugee Policy? (February 25, 2019). IFN Working Paper No. 1265, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3342561 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3342561

Magnus Henrekson (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

P.O. Box 55665
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Ozge Oner

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

Tino Sanandaji

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
0723230694 (Phone)

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