The Baltic States as countries of asylum

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Egle Macijauskaite
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The Baltic States have been Member States of the European Union for 10 years now, meaning that their asylum systems are harmonized and in accordance with the regional and international requirements. However, even being the frontier states the countries does not experience refugee flows as other, especially Southern European Union countries. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to reveal the factors, contributing to this phenomenon.
This has been done through an examination of the historical aspects common for the Baltic States as well as through the examination of several factors such as strict border control, high level of corruption, low immigration prospects and rates of recognition – all contributing to the states’ unattractiveness for asylum seekers. It has been analysed through the lens of four theories, namely the theory of analytical liberalism, regional theory of intergovernmentalism, the concept of security and the concept of social navigation and based on empirical data such as books and articles.
The results have shown that there are many factors influencing the low number of asylum applications in the Baltic States. It is mainly associated with the unattractiveness of the Baltic States, consisting of complex issues, such as the strict border control, low recognition rates, differences between the policy level and the practice in many areas related with asylum as well as the degrading reception conditions in the reception centres and finally, the lack of integration policies. It is stated, that the immigrants have been securitized in the countries due to the Soviet occupation, in this way contributing to the emergence and development of strict immigration policies and a securitized attitude of the society towards the immigrants. The mentioned factors make the countries unattractive for asylum seekers, thus less desirable as asylum destination countries in this way putting them in an exceptional situation among the EU Member States.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages68
ID: 198392006