Collective Refugee Status Determination in the European Union

Worldwide, circa 84 million people are forcibly displaced. The UNHCR predicts rising numbers and a rising number of displacement factors. These include events of mass displacement like sudden weather changes due to climate change or wars. The 1951 Refugee Convention does not specifically include events of mass displacement. However, renowned scholars (e.g. Hathaway, 2021) have argued that its grounds are sufficiently broad to account for the specific vulnerabilities arising from such situations. Irrespectively of a predicted increase of mass displacement, states of the Global North generally rely on individual refugee status determination (RSD). Contrarily, RSD systems in the Global South and of the UNCHR often operate group based. Despite far reaching harmonization efforts for RSD within the EU, recognition statistics show wide disparities.

This paper will explore the potential of group-based RSD for the EU by referring to group-based RSD systems as a counterpoint.