This is Very Urgent Indeed’: How the 2015 ‘Refugee Crisis’ Justified Departing From Established Processes of Law-making

During the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’ Sweden adopted one of the strictest asylum policies in the EU through temporary legislation. A feeling of urgency marked the drafting process. Key elements of the law-making process were disregarded: e.g. rapidly drafted proposals with no analysis of the consequences and the proportionality of the measures suggested, extremely short deadlines for formal consultation, disregard of the comments by the Legal Council and the consultation bodies. The policy effectively reached its goal (reduction of numbers of asylum seekers). However, there is no indication that the policy is being reversed. Are such derogations from the procedure established for the legislative process justifiable? This paper argues that this legislation was pushed through with deliberate disregard for key qualitative elements of the legislative process, and discusses whether this development is particular to migration and asylum policy or if it can be seen as part of a more general trend.