Relocation: Expression of Solidarity or State-Centric Cherry-Picking Process?
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This article deals with the relocation of international protection-seekers between EU Member States, an instrument originally intended as an expression of solidarity and protection of the most vulnerable claimants. It evaluates three relocation exercises (2009-2013, 2015, 2020), the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on asylum and migration management (RAMM), which amends the nature and functions of relocation, and the Declaration of a Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism signed by a group of Member States in June 2022. The paper concludes that, so far, relocation has been implemented in a way which is hardly compliant with the principle of non-discrimination or fair to international protection-seekers, in contrast with the principle of solidarity. This inevitably affects the efficacy of relocation as a tool of interstate solidarity for managing (potential) migration flows from conflict- torn countries, such as those concerning Afghanistan, Syria or Ukraine