In December 2022, the Dutch government announced the start of a trajectory for the ‘fundamental reorientation of the current asylum policy and design of the asylum system.’ Its aim is to further structure the asylum migration process, to prevent and/or limit irregular arrivals, and to strengthen societal support for migration. In light of these aims, political and public discussions about the possibilities for the ‘externalisation’ of the asylum procedure are ongoing, based on the assumption that these will be reached through effective procedural cooperation with a country outside the EU that ‘passes the legal test’.
The purpose of this comparative research project is to collect existing knowledge about selected countries (The Netherlands within the EU, Denmark within the EU with an opt-out, the United States, Canada, and Australia) and to complement this with an analysis of national legislation, policy, and implementation practices, focusing on (extra-)territorial asylum. The results of the country studies will be assembled in a synthesis report with options for Dutch courses of action based on a comparative analysis of applied legal frameworks and the asylum systems of the five countries.
The legal framework applicable to the Netherlands, as well as its national policy and practice with respect to access to (extra)territorial asylum will be the starting point or ‘base line’ for the comparative analysis. Although the Dutch context is of course well known to the primary interested parties, we still included it for the purpose of comparison and because this research project, with its findings and conclusions, may be of interest to other (EU Member) States. For this reason, we will follow the same outline as applied to the other researched countries, aiming to provide insight into how the Netherlands manages access to its asylum system to third country national asylum seekers.
About the project
This report is part of the project 'In Search of Control: International comparative research on (extra-)territorial access to asylum and humanitarian protection'. The purpose of this comparative research project, led by the Clingendael Institute, was to collect existing knowledge about the asylum systems of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States, and to complement this with an analysis of national legislation, policy, and implementation practices, focussing on access to (extra-)territorial asylum. While there are overlaps, each of the asylum and refugee protection systems in the research project operates in very different geographical situations and political contexts. Find the other country reports here.