Tightening Asylum and Migration Law and Narrowing the Access to European Countries: A Comparative Discussion. A chapter of Sirius open access book!

Sirius book

Here the abstract of the third chapter by Paola Pannia, part of the book entitled “Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets. A Comparative Approach on Legal Barriers and Enablers” edited by Veronica Federico and Simone Baglioni.


This chapter aims to explore and analyse the tangled interplay of political discourses, policies and legislations in the field of asylum and migration that runs across the countries under scrutiny (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, hereinafter SIRIUS countries). Building on empirical evidence, we highlight some main trends registered across SIRIUS countries: the narrowing and slowing down of access to international protection that results from the recourse to push-back operations and the construction of fences, but also procedures provided by the EU asylum acquis, such as the accelerated procedure. This restraining tendency is even more acute in the field of economic-related migration, where in most of the SIRIUS countries legal entry channels are mostly reserved for those who are considered eligible due to their economic resources or talent, such as high-skilled workers, investors or rich entrepreneurs. These restrictive measures often rely on narratives that question the sincerity of the asylum claim, and criminalise migration and humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, legislative landscapes on migration and asylum are increasingly populated by symbolic laws, which downgrade foreigners’ rights and weaken standards. Their explicit aim is to dissuade migrants from coming to the country, while catering for natives’ fears and responding to domestic electoral consensus-building.

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