Towards the Europeanization of Asylum Procedures? Negotiation and Implementation of the ‘Asylum Procedures Directive'

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Anatomy - Large LT (University of Glasgow)
Karin Schittenhelm , Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Siegen
Despite the goals proclaimed in the evolving ‘Common European Asylum System’, numerous infringement cases indicate failures in implementing asylum legislation in the EU. Focusing on the asylum systems of Germany and Sweden, this paper analyses the case of the ‘Asylum Procedures Directive’. How to translate this directive into practice was the subject of transnational negotiations including the member states’ asylum administrations. During infringement procedures, implementing EU directives is a matter of negotiation between the Commission and the concerned member states. Yet as the analysis will show, even in highly regulated asylum systems, the way in which decision-makers interpret and implement the directives on the work-floor is also a consequence of local conditions at the respective asylum institution. Safeguarding the protection-seekers’ rights as guaranteed in the directives is thus a highly negotiated objective for the Europeanisation of asylum procedures. However, the implementation of the Asylum Procedures Directive in everyday practice, which includes interaction with the applicants, depends on strategies and knowledge resources activated in decision-making procedures within local settings of the administrative field. The researched data include official documents, participant observations and semi-structured interviews with experts and asylum case officers in Germany and Sweden.