ETD system

Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-03082017-170203

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale
The EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016: a legal evaluation under Human Rights and European Migration Law
Corso di studi
relatore Prof. Di Filippo, Marcello
Parole chiave
  • non-refoulement
  • collective expulsions
  • readmission agreement
  • Greece
  • CEAS
  • Asylum Procedures Directive
  • safe third country
  • first country of asylum
Data inizio appello
Riassunto analitico
While dealing with the current migration challenges, the European Union is revealing the overall weakness of its institutional and political architecture, consequently failing to give practical implementation to all those fundamental rights, contained in several widely shared international and regional legal instruments, on which its own legitimacy and credibility as human rights protector are based.
Instead of putting its common values and policies in practice through the elaboration of a coherent supranational strategy, the Union is diverting its action to a deal-making approach grounded on the collaboration with third countries or origin or transit, apparently directed to the externalization of its responsibilities in migration and asylum field. This approach risks however to undermine the protection of asylum seekers’ rights and interests.
The most indicative example of this tendency is given by the Statement that on 18 March 2016 the EU Heads of State or Government negotiated with the Turkish counterpart in order to manage the increasing influx of asylum seekers and irregular migrants coming mainly from the Middle East’s States and reaching the Greek islands via Turkey, that masks, with the pretext of preventing the smuggling routes, a greater desire to halt the entries in the EU territory through a stronger control of borders and a semi-automatic return mechanism.
This research is aimed in the first place at clarifying the legal nature of the Statement and more specifically whether it has to be considered or not as a binding deal and if yes who is/are the subject/s responsible for its enactment on the EU side. In the second place, the objective is that of putting in evidence the possible violations of human rights and European Migration Law that the execution of the commitments agreed would entail, the inherent deficiencies of the Greek asylum system and the necessity for the EU to develop a common strategy for migration management which is effectively compliant with its own rules and values.
Moreover, the Statement is analysed in the light of the new proposed reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and in particular of the Asylum Procedures Directive (APD), that risks further jeopardise asylum seekers’ guarantees through a massive application of the ‘safe third country’ and ‘first country of asylum’ concepts.
This unavoidably leads to question whether Turkey, beyond the efforts made in the alignment of its domestic legislation to the EU acquis, can be considered in practice as a ‘safe country’ in accordance with the EU standards, to where Syrians and migrants of other nationalities can be returned without incurring in the violation of their fundamental rights, such as the non-refoulement principle and the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
In view of this current challenge, the EU should reflect on its role as a key unitary player on the international stage and build an alternative model of solidarity among Member States, which is fairer, more efficient and does not weaken asylum seekers’ safeguard. Furthermore, also when acting on the external dimension the Union should endorse a strategy that is consistent with the principles and objectives affirmed by its primary Law, which should inspire not only Member States’ policies at the internal level, but also the cooperation with third parties, ensuring a full respect of migrants’ human rights.