The development of the EU asylum policy: venue-shopping in perspective

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The development of the EU asylum and migration policy is often explained as the result of ‘venue-shopping’, that is, the move by policy-makers to an EU policy venue in order to avoid national constraints. This article demonstrates that, contrary to what would have been expected on the basis of this widespread view, EU co-operation on asylum matters has actually led to a rise in the legal standards applicable to asylum-seekers and refugees. This outcome can be mainly explained by broader changes that have gradually affected the EU ‘system of venues’ and have thereby decreased the likelihood of more restrictive measures being adopted in the EU asylum policy venue. This has important implications for the EU governance of asylum and migration in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1396-1413
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Communitarization
  • EU asylum policy
  • judicialization
  • Lisbon Treaty
  • system of venues
  • Venue-shopping


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