Migration and asylum systems

The pressures currently placed on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by the ongoing crises in Syria, Iraq, Central and East Africa, and elsewhere are unlikely to fade away in the near future. The large scale and partially uncontrolled arrival of migrants, notably asylum seekers, in 2015 has put a strain on both European and Member States' asylum systems. It has exposed significant structural weaknesses and shortcomings in both the design and implementation of European asylum and migration policy. The current system places disproportionate responsibility on certain Member States which in fact encourages uncontrolled and irregular migration. In the future a system is needed which provides orderly and safe pathways for third country nationals in need of international protection. The specific challenge of this research action is to reassess the CEAS with a view to making any necessary recommendations. The overriding key question is to explore to what extent harmonisation of the CEAS is necessary, desirable, achievable and sustainable.


Research is needed to comprehensively assess the weaknesses and shortcomings of the CEAS in general and of the Dublin arrangements in particular. Research will clearly differentiate between deficiencies in the legal design of the system and in its implementation. Comparative research will also investigate differences the asylum laws and policies of Member States, including their implementation under stress. In particular, research will investigate, including empirically, how much and what kind of harmonisation is required, sustainable and acceptable, and possibly outline scenarios. The relation between asylum systems and Schengen must be duly taken into consideration. Research should also study the different national political contexts as well as discourses on migration, asylum and borders. Projects will explore the causes and nature of Member States' positions on burden sharing and responsibility, especially in relation to relocation schemes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

Findings from this research action will provide insights into the implementation and effectiveness of CEAS. The research will present alternative scenarios for policy reform (e.g. differing in the extent of harmonisation and convergence) and will pronounce on what the appropriate level of harmonisation of the CEAS should be. This will equip policymakers with a range of options to respond to constantly changing circumstances.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Socio-economic science and humanities
  • International cooperation
Date de candidature
Sciences sociales
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie