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Transitions: Refugees and Natives

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European Directive 2004/83 (the ‘Qualification Directive’) limits claims for asylum to those refugees coming from outside of the European Union. This provision institutionalises a long established practice in which member states of the European Union are presumed to be safe countries of origin and safe countries of asylum. This article argues that the European Union could not have come into being without producing refugees. With reference to the definition of refugee enshrined within Article 1.A (2) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1 and the jurisprudence surrounding one key qualifying element of the definition – persecution – the article seeks to explore how the international law governing the status of refugee has been deployed to deny that the European Union is a place of origin of refugees.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Law and Executive Dean, Birkbeck, University of London, UK


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