Supported by SIR Programme

Crisis management in the Mediterranean Sea under the new Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 in the context of a substantiated risk of particular pressure being placed on a Member State's asylum system

The Project is supported by SIR Programme (Scientific Independence of young Researchers). The SIR Programme (Scientific Independence of young Researchers) is designed to support young researchers at the start of their independent research activity. The Programme is designed for the funding of research projects with high scientific quality developed by independent research teams, under the scientific coordination of a Principal Investigator (PI), either of Italian or non-Italian nationality, resident in or moving to Italy, who has been awarded their PHD (or medical specialty training) up to 6 years prior to the publication of the call for proposals.


Principal Investigator: Maura Marchegiani
Permanent employees: Chiara Biscarini, Roberto Giuffrida, Giovanna Scocozza


The new Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, p. 31-59) modifies the complex system for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (the “Dublin” system) and provides a new mechanism for early warning, preparedness and crisis management, in the case, inter alia, of “a substantiated risk of particular pressure being placed on a Member State's asylum system” (Art. 33).

This mechanism is intended to remove inconsistencies arising from the absence of an adequate level of harmonization and the permanence of wide disparities among EU Member States in the reception and treatment of applicants for international protection. This situation obviously compromises the functioning of the Dublin system as a whole, as the recent ECHR and EU Court of Justice cases law have shown.

The movement of refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe continues to illustrate the urgent need to strengthen existing international protection mechanisms in countries of arrival (see Overview of UNHCR's operations in Europe, 19 February 2014). In this field, the mechanism included in the Art. 33 of the new Regulation 604 (2013), entered into force on 19 July 2013 and applicable as from 1 January 2014, is widely innovative and deserves to be explored in depth, through a detailed analysis seeking to identify precisely characters, limits, conditions, contents and geographical, social, political and legal context (in this respect, see the recent Statement by the Director of the UNHCR Bureau for Europe, Vincent Cochetel, 59th session of the Standing Committee of the Executive Committee, UNHCR, 5 March 2014, especially pp. 2-3).

To achieve this objective, this project envisages three different levels of analysis: a legal analysis of the mechanism provided for by Art. 33 of Regulation No 604/2013, in the broader context of EU Asylum Package (A); a geographical and statistical survey, requiring a specific focus on the various Mediterranean areas involved in migration flows; a documentary and comparative review of the existing system and procedures of international protection and asylum at national and local level.

The study shall address, among the others, a comparative report on the framework that highlights common areas and differences in the EU Mediterranean Countries' asylum systems and outlines possible scenarios of development and change with the aim of identifying common strategies and possible synergies, in the light of the Art. 33 of Regulation 604 (2013) and beyond.