Surveying the Foundations: Article 80 TFEU and the Common European Asylum System
The Treaty of Lisbon introduced Article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which states that the European Union’s asylum policy will be based on the principles of solidarity and the fair-sharing of responsibility. However, no guidance is given as to the nature and content of these principles. This contribution seeks to explore the relationship between these two concepts and to assess the extent and nature of their presence within the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). This contribution begins with an outline of the CEAS and presents its newly-codified foundation, Article 80 TFEU. This reveals that the CEAS may be considered a solidarity mechanism, but that the essential uncertainty as to the meaning of Article 80 is problematic when attempting to gauge the success of the CEAS as an expression of solidarity. The second part considers methods for allocating responsibilities for refugee status determination and protection between states, demonstrating that fair-sharing is both more widely accepted as the basis for solidarity and less problematic than the most common alternative—allocation according to states’ voluntary assumptions of responsibility. The final part explores expressions of fair-sharing within the CEAS and considers its limited success and numerous flaws.
KeywordsCommon European Asylum System (CEAS) Article 80 Solidarity Burden-sharing Dublin III
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