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States as gatekeepers in EU asylum politics: Explaining the non-adoption of a refugee quota system

Zaun, Natascha ORCID: 0000-0002-0436-6275 (2018) States as gatekeepers in EU asylum politics: Explaining the non-adoption of a refugee quota system. Journal of Common Market Studies, 56 (1). pp. 44-62. ISSN 0021-9886

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jcms.12663


Building on Moravcsik’s Liberal Intergovernmentalism, I offer an explanation of the non-decision on permanent EU refugee quotas. Some traditionally influential Member States in EU asylum politics, e.g. Germany, Austria and Sweden, received large numbers of refugees and faced strong domestic pressures to engage other Member States in responsibility-sharing. Yet, governments of Member States with small application numbers (among whom several Eastern European governments were particularly vocal) had incentives to undercut responsibility-sharing to avoid similar pressures. Having a better alternative to the potentially negotiated agreement, these governments successfully blocked the introduction of permanent refugee quotas. Besides explaining the absence of an effective response to one of the root causes of the asylum crisis (i.e. unequal strains) through asymmetrical interdependence, the article further develops Liberal Intergovernmentalist arguments and shows how national electorates influence positions taken by governments at the EU level when they are mobilised by right-wing populist parties.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Wiley Blackwell
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 09:16
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 23:11

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