The migration policy, securitization and governance of the asylum landscape has greatly changed in Italy over the past five years. The implementation of the hotspot approach and the European Union relocation programme has characterized two of these significant changes. This article examines how recent (2016–17) Eritrean arrivals in Italy experienced and responded to the asylum system. The analysis reflects, first, on the multi-level governance of the interplay between the institutional level of the European Union, national policy and local municipal policies within Italy. Second, this article shows how Eritrean asylum seekers have been refused access to the relocation programme by local authorities in Italy and how Eritreans react to this bureaucracy by engaging in secondary movements within Italy. The results provide an analytical critique regarding the governance shortcomings of the relocation programme in Italy that is important for consideration in future solidarity and responsibility-sharing initiatives within the European Union.
- multi-level governance
- secondary movements