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Research project

ASILE - Global asylum governance and the European Union’s role

Global Asylum Governance and the European Union’s Role - ASILE, studies the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees (UN GCR), with a particular focus on the European Union’s role.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870787.

Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, ASILE examines the characteristics of international and country-specific asylum governance instruments and arrangements, and their compatibility with international and regional human rights and refugee laws.

It seeks to facilitate a ground-breaking understanding of the role and impacts of legal and policy responses – instruments and arrangements on refugee protection and sharing responsibility from the perspective of their effectiveness, fairness and consistency with international and regional legal and human rights and refugee law standards. It will do so through an interdisciplinary examination and mapping of UN GCR actors and key policy and legal instruments on mobility and containment, and the impacts of vulnerability and status recognition assessments over individuals in search of international protection. The basic research question is:

What are the characteristics and impacts of emerging international systems and EU asylum governance regimes, and what are their policy implications for EU’s role in the implementation of the UN GCR?

ASILE research objectives are:

  1. To advance the state-of-the-art by bringing about a new conceptual and ground-breaking understanding to refugee studies on the notions of containment2 and mobility, their intersections and their inclusionary and exclusionary effects from the perspective of international refugee protection.
  2. To contribute with a ground-breaking understanding of current and future asylum governance regimes, and the characteristics and impacts of policy and legal instruments and arrangements, including those on responsibility sharing.
  3. To implement a set of policy engagement activities securing effective linkages between the project research results and relevant policy processes, discourses and outputs in the scope of the UN GCR. In particular, the ASILE project operationalizes a set of think tank and policy engagement methods bridging the qualitative and quantitative findings to the development of future asylum policies. These will include regional Task Forces, Strategic Visioning and in loci Workshops aimed at identifying promising practices and exploring policy options with relevant stakeholders.
  4. The project will set the foundations for the future development of a Global Academic Association on Refugee Studies and the UN GCR. A key innovative output of the project will be the setting up of the ASILE Global Portal constituting a one-stop web-based toolkit offering country-specific information/profile on asylum governance regimes and instruments and key developments in light of the priorities and targets enshrined in the implementation of the UN GCR. Other innovative elements are ASILE Training Schools and ASILE Fellowship programme for refugee scholars, and the ambition to set up a new Global Academic Association on Refugee Studies.

The country-cases which ASILE examines are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, Turkey and South Africa.

The Migration Policy Centre (MPC) contributes to ASILE through the study of the state of the art of asylum and refugee governance in the six case countries. The MPC also leads research on the mapping and examination of UN GCR actors in the six country-cases, and contributes with outreach and training on asylum and refugee governance.

ASILE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 870787. It will run from December 2019 through January 2024. It encompasses a consortium of 13 universities, think tanks and international organizations located in 11 countries in three different continents. It is coordinated by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels. At the MPC it is led by Prof. Andrew Geddes, Director of the MPC and Chair of Migration Studies at the Robert Schuman Centre.

External Partners

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