Published April 25, 2022 | Version v1
Working paper Open

Mapping the external dimension on EU migration and asylum policies: what impact on the governance of asylum?

  • 1. University of Catania


In the last decade, the many migration crises at the European Union’s (EU) Southern borders have inevitably put the spotlight on the external dimension (ED) of EU Migration and Asylum Policies (MAP). The process of externalization is not new and already from the early 2000s the EU has moved towards international cooperation as a way to compensate for the deficiencies of traditional domestic migration control and for the failure to develop a common policy (Boswell 2003; Vega 2019). Yet, due to the scale and salience of recent migratory movements across the Mediterranean, the involvement of non-EU countries in the management of migration at the EU borders has gained a new prominence. The relevance of the ED comes under the spotlight not only because extraterritorial actions and cooperation with countries of origin and transit work as migration policy tool to stem, prevent and contain migratory flows. But also because externalisation inevitably affects asylum-seekers and more broadly their right to international protection. Whereas the EU and the Member States (MS) have developed standards and procedures to assess asylum claims and protect vulnerable people, externalisation practices affect asylum-seekers’ mobility and prevent them from entering the EU territory and make protection claims able to receive due consideration.

While externalisation has received an impressive scholarly attention, comprehensive efforts towards the mapping of the ED of EU migration policies across countries and regions, as well as towards the analysis of the impact of ED on asylum and international protection, remain rare. This research seeks to provide some updated insights that -while building on previous studies- make the effort to map and take stock of the ED of EU migration policies in the last twenty years and the ensuing implications for asylum. More specifically, the goal of the article is twofold. It aims to engage into a mapping exercise that permits to understand how ‘geographically spread’ is the ED of EU migration policies and through which tools; it explores the consequences and implications for asylum governance of the ED’s tools and their distribution across borders.


D3.6-Draft-analysis-of-the-impact-of-the-external-dimension-on-EU-model-of-Asylum-governance (2) kopi.pdf

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European Commission