Reforming the Reception and Inclusion of Refugees in the European Union: Utopian or Dystopian Changes?

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 21 June 2022

Reforming the Reception and Inclusion of Refugees in the European Union: Utopian or Dystopian Changes?


  • Encarnación La Spina Faculty of Law, University of Deusto, Spain


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Abstract:  The provision of high‐quality reception conditions and the effective inclusion of refugees are permanent challenges in the implementation of the European asylum agenda. The EU legal framework for the reception of refugees has evolved over time through various legislative reforms, notably including those launched in 2016 and the New Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed in 2020. The European Union has also tried to reinforce its non‐binding integration policy with the adoption of the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021–2027. While this plan is intended to promote an alternative “social resilient” integration model for refugees that emulates community sponsorship in Europe, it also generates great bottom‐up expectations to provide better integration. These legislative reform proposals and their programmatic framework are theoretically intended to consolidate the European reception and integration system, but in practice have increased the dichotomous tension between utopia and dystopia. Drawing on a political interpretation of both concepts, this article critically analyses the real nature of the changes proposed in the legislative CEAS reforms and in the action plans. Both visions are useful to evaluate the desirability, viability, and achievability of these transformative changes in the future asylum system.

Keywords:  change; dystopia; European Union; integration; reception; refugees; utopia

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   A Common European Asylum System: Utopian or Dystopian Expectations? (Forthcoming)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v10i3.5222


© Encarnación La Spina. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.