What do asylum seekers prioritise—safety or welfare benefits? The influence of policies on asylum flows to the EU15 countries

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

From the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2010, Europe has experienced an increasing inflow of asylum seekers, which later peaked in 2015. While some governments sought national solutions and responded by tightening controls and rights for asylum seekers and refugees, others advocated for European burden sharing and a more humanistic response. This study investigates the extent to which asylum seekers respond to policy changes and prioritise between different policies. Further, than existing studies, we develop a theoretical framework for improving the understanding of what asylum seekers prioritise. Additionally, we also contribute empirically by using recent asylum application data for the EU15 countries (UNHCR data from 2008 to 2015) to disentangle the influence of single policy elements rather than focussing on asylum regimes or composite indexes as has been the case in previous research. Our results indicate that asylum seekers prioritise their short- to medium-term security by choosing destination countries with the most liberal refugee recognition and family reunification policies. In contrast, the level of social assistance accessible to refugees and the easiness of obtaining permanent resident status are unimportant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
ISSN0951-6328
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • asylum applications
  • asylum policies
  • international migration
  • Europe

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What do asylum seekers prioritise—safety or welfare benefits? The influence of policies on asylum flows to the EU15 countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this