Refugee Crisis, EU Asylum Policy, Institutional legal design
Events during 2015 and early 2016 revealed structural deficiencies at the heart of the EU’s asylum policy, which allow us to reconstruct the “refugee crisis” as a problem of integration through law. The analysis of systemic shortcomings highlights regulatory and political pitfalls which any attempt to overcome the crisis will have to confront. It will be shown that the EU institutions have to reform both legal rules and governance structures – a challenge the recent Commission proposals have started addressing. Yet the “refugee crisis” is about more than legal design and compliance: asylum policy shows that the EU must be careful not to get trapped in a vicious circle of output deficits and political contestation, which complicates the resolution of existing governance deficits.