A new proposal for a centralised ‘matching system’ for refugees put forward by Will Jones of the Refugee Studies Centre and Alex Teytelboym of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford has been highlighted in an article in the New York Times. The article’s author, Dalibor Rohac, suggests this approach could offer a solution to the “intractable gridlock” in the European Union's asylum system.
According to Rohac, the current EU system, which permits refugees to apply for asylum in only one EU country, “encourages countries to pass refugees on like hot potatoes, and places the burden of registering and processing asylum seekers on a small number of countries on the Union’s border."
Jones and Teytelboym outline their matching approach in Forced Migration Review: “states and refugees would submit their preferences – about which refugees they most wish to host or which state they most wish to be protected in – to a centralised clearing house which would then match them according to those preferences.”
As Rohac writes, “Unlike the quota system proposed by the European Commission, the matching system would neither coerce countries to take in refugees against their will, nor would it require a European Union-wide agreement over the total number of asylum slots offered by the Union.”
The system would also remove the incentive for refugees to risk the perilous journey to Europe and extortion by people smugglers, as in principle they could submit their preferences from anywhere.
“Asylum seekers ought to be able to choose the states where they want to spend their lives,” Jones and Teytelboym write. “The Refugee Match would be a good start.”
Read the full New York Times article >>
Read the article in Forced Migration Review >>