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Who is the new European refugee?

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This paper highlights the unforeseen or unintended effects of the European Union’s refugee law on the world’s most vulnerable refugees, those forgotten by the law. The paper focuses on those refugees automatically denied protection in Europe by being impliedly defined out of the EU’s refugee definition. Not only must refugees seeking protection in Europe meet the legal definition, but they are also assumed to have the means to reach Europe. Due to the limitations on legal access routes, often only those who can afford to pay a smuggler have the chance to reach Europe. The great majority of the world’s refugees remain outside Europe. Therefore, an exploration of the external policies of the EU institutions which are designed to counter the limiting affects of its restrictive migration policy is required. The paper examines the move towards the establishment of Regional Protection Programmes, Protected Entry Procedures and Resettlement Schemes as providing possible hope for enduring protection for those refugees trapped outside Europe.

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