Research project "EU IDEA – Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability", European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Grant Agreement n° 822622, 2020–2021, July 2020.
Abstract: The European asylum system relies on the 1990 Dublin Convention and its revisions and developments in EU law. It is an instance of differentiated cooperation, as it initially only coordinated heterogeneous national asylum systems and offered flexible forms of participation with opt-outs for Denmark, Ireland and the UK. This paper investigates the triggers, nature and effects of this differentiated cooperation. By reviewing its evolution over the last thirty years, this paper concludes that differentiation has been decisive in starting European cooperation in a new policy area. It has created a dynamic of progressive convergence, and its impact on problem-solving has been positive. This paper recommends the use of differentiation to kick-start European cooperation and suggests further differentiated integration to lead to a solution for the persisting problems of the effectiveness of the European asylum system.
Keywords: European Union | EU Integration | Migration | Refugees | Asylum