Convergence against the Odds: The Development of Safe Country of Origin Policies in EU Member States (1990-2013)

C. Engelmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Safe country of origin (SCO) policies have become very popular in many of the European countries. Scholars however disagree whether this leads to policy convergence or divergence. Based on the absence of a comprehensive dataset from which to make such a convergence/divergence observation, this paper consequently describes the development of SCO policies in depth, and their variation over time and across Member States. It is observed that SCO policies adopted at the domestic level are becoming increasingly similar across EU Member States, especially with regard to certain regions (the Western Balkans and West Africa). Following from these observations, several mechanisms behind the established trends are discussed. The paper is based on an original dataset of the SCO designations for all EU Member States over the time period 1990-2013, as well as on interviews with ministry officials in several EU Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-302
JournalEuropean Journal of Migration and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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