Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Roma Asylum Seekers Through the Prism of the European Politics

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Europe in the 21st century is facing a serious problem so called "asylum seekers." Visa liberalizations provide benefits to the Macedonian citizens, but not to the Roma minority living in Macedonia. In this content analysis, you can read more about how European policies are affecting third world countries that include and the Republic of Macedonia. Also, you will perceive what are the main challenges faced by the countries of the third world, but also the European Union and other institutions within the EU.

With the Single European Act of 1986 was made a major milestone. With the Act is envisaged (Article 8, later Article 14 of the Treaty of Amsterdam)[1] creating a single internal market based on the four freedoms:

  • Goods;
  • Persons;
  • Services;
  • Capital 

The free movement of persons throughout the European Union without internal borders is raised to the level of fundamental aim in accordance with implicit determination for creating an appropriate legal and institutional structure that would guarantee the new principle, by accepting the so-called "Compensatory measures", such as strengthening the control of external borders and building a common policy on asylum and immigration.

Starting from the 1998, the plans of European Commission and Council of Europe everything are to separate the asylum policies of immigration policies. Is widely about two different problems whose solution require to be applied various measures. With this, the EU admits the problem for which even today cannot find a single concept that will allow better regulation of asylum applications, and also would reduce the number of people who would immigrated to the member states of EU. This phenomenon is often seen as a political or economic problem, that asylum seekers often appear as victims of political violence in their countries. The problem is economic and predominantly refers to taking appropriate measures for improving the living conditions in the countries from where those people require asylum.

Right itself of asylum is regulated by the Directive of April 2004 is relying on the Geneva Convention on refugees creates minimal normative framework for the recognition of the status of persons as refugees or as persons who need protection. This directive is not yet fully compliant in the part of the substantive law of asylum but represents important first step in that direction.


Intergovernmental Theory

Intergovernmental cooperation is institutional theoretical approach and method for decision-making in the international organizations where competence found in the Member States and the decisions are made unanimously. According to Moravcsik and Shimelfening; "Liberal intergovernmental cooperation has gained the status of a" basic theory "in the study of regional integration, it is essential first to decrease explanation against the others theories with which is often compared."[2]

Part of the Member States are using the liberal international cooperation in order to dissociate themselves from current processes taking place in the rest of the EU Member States. This contributes to abstention of the EU policies without having common law that would regulate asylum seekers in a uniform manner. The EU membership itself is based on the transfer part of the sovereignty. That is not gives the opportunity to EU to have a full impact on the member states and i.e. just gives the right to propose ways in which they could cope or leaves the country to find a way. What extent is this good can see from the Macedonian example that uses the ethnicity as the foundation for repatriation of the persons. The Roma, who wants to go beyond the Republic of Macedonia despite the full documentation that they possess to travel in the Schengen zone, is not allowed by the border police. The pressure that EU makes to Macedonia contribute to inappropriate behavior by Macedonia towards its citizens. Led by its goal to remain part of the Schengen zone Macedonia continues with ethnic profiling towards the Roma community.

Andrew Moravcsik has long been a promoter of the idea that the rational the choices made by states in order to advance their national interests is what leads to European integration[3]. I would agree with Andrew Moravcsik only if the Macedonia real aims be part of the European Union, and therefore towards European integration. Whether it is rationally choosing the Republic of Macedonia to be part of the Schengen area we should seek the answer in the EU, but also the Republic of Macedonia. I believe that the Republic of Macedonia came unprepared with specific policies as to prevent a wave of asylum seekers in Western European countries, although it was expected. The percentage from 28.8%[4] according to the Statistical Office of Republic of Macedonia is an indication that the citizens leaving the country because of dissatisfaction governed by the current economic situation in which Republic of Macedonia is situated, but also from the policies does not lead Republic of Macedonia towards a big family called the EU. Given this fact many Roma decides to seek asylum because in the European countries lacking cheap labor where a German would not work for 500 euros, and already invested 30,000 euros in his/her education. My question is whether for Germany is too difficult to set aside 2 million Euros the for asylum seekers, and has a budget of 302 billion euros[5]?

With the return of the Roma from border is denied the right to freedom of movement which is prohibited by the law, but we should not forget that this is done through ethnic profiling, which is also prohibited by law. European Union several times warned that Macedonia should take measures to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the EU Member States. Macedonia unsuccessfully deals even today and continues illegally to act against the Roma community and further violates the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms[6]. This is an indication that the Republic of Macedonia aims to join the big family called the EU without appropriate systematic solution for the poverty of its people who are looking towards enhancing the socio-economic living conditions.


The Democratic Deficit of European Union

The concept of democratic deficit in the European Union arises from the fact that institutions of the Union have lack of democratic accountability and legitimacy, compared with the national governments of the member states. The deficit of democracy in European Union as a concept often becomes the subject of many authors who discuss the role and the way the EU deals with asylum seekers in EU member states.

The doctrine that the legitimacy of the Union comes from the intergovernmental cooperation, sets national governments as a source of legitimacy. According to this theory, the European Union is not a federal state but is a kind of international intergovernmental organization and as in every organization of this type is applied the rule that holders of the legitimacy of the organization are the Member States. This presumption results in strengthening the role of national parliaments.

Asylum policies of European Union come from the national governments for whom they vote in the European Parliament. Here question is whether all members agree and behave democratic when it comes to being voted for third world countries or all that is just for the sake to have a policy and laws for them as an exclusive group of states. The decisions made by the majority in my opinion, leave no space for consensus where all the members have to agree together without remaining gaps in the decision-making. The interpretation of the asylum policy also leaves space for Member States to manipulate them. Current policies that Member States have towards third world countries suggest that they are not sufficiently interested and exhibit irresponsible behavior. The problem is much more maximized by pointing a finger from the Member States towards third world countries saying that they are not enough prepared to solve the problem of asylum seekers in their countries.

The political system of the EU Parliament cannot pass an act that the Council of Ministers would not approve. Their role in this procedure is equalized. Even the Council of Ministers has the right of legislative initiative in some areas even in some regions have right independently to decide. This system degrades the national legislative houses. Ministers play a double role they are both legislative and executive power, which makes marginalizing the national parliaments and the European Parliament. The countries and the EU citizens are hostages of the will of the Commission, which could comfortably to delay the adoption of new legal acts. The right to submit legislative initiative should be expanded to other institutions such the Parliament, Council of Ministers and the citizens group. Currently, the monopoly over this right gives too large role of the bureaucratic structure. The percentage of turnout in the elections for the European Parliament composition is for 20% less than the percentage of turnout for elections for the composition of the national parliaments[7]. The voters use them vote not to vote for or against policies that lead on a European level, but with its voice they reward or punish the local policies. The parties in power in the Member States lose voters in elections for the European Parliament while the opposition parties receive. I believe that unless improving the position of the European Parliament it will be changed the attitude of the public towards the institution that will get much more power and will turn into a real representative body of the citizens. Although the Lisbon Treaty[8] significantly changed the role in the adoption of legislation with right for veto. I think it is not sufficiently, it should be taken into account and the role of the citizens.



The pressure put on the countries in terms of the asylum request by the Roma community primarily should be understood as an existential issue that is in essence of human nature. It means satisfying the basic human necessities of a dignified life and relationships with the other communities. Whether social assistance of a four-member family of 2000 MKD per month is enough for survival remains to answer yourself.

The institutions within the European Union has gradually lost confidence of citizens and resentment is increasing. Current policies on asylum are not appropriate i.e. is made dual to pressure towards the Roma community by Macedonian institutions and EU member states that collect political points on this subject before an election to blackmail that will return visa regime to Western Balkan countries. Doing so has no understanding and solidarity to come up with a concrete solution and give opportunity to the candidate countries to develop effective socio-economic policies through which the citizens would be satisfied with the living conditions in their native countries and thus would not be seeking asylum in European countries. Leaving the space European countries where the most asylum claims themselves are not rational solution and does not lead towards solving the problem. It is necessary and other EU countries that are not entirely concerned with the problem of asylum to raise the issue and inserted in the EU agenda. With that, you can regulate the relations of states towards asylum seekers. You should also clearly define the requirements for a country to be part of the Schengen zone. Biometric passports and laws on paper should not guarantee that a country can be part of the Schengen zone. Should be taken into account the implementation of the laws and the Regulative, but also the socio-economic situation in which the country is. Should be taken into consideration the application of the laws and the Regulative, but also the social and economic situation in which the country. If we consider that the EU is striving towards integration of the Roma community, the act of making pressure on the institutions and policies of the Republic of Macedonia by returning Roma from the borders does not entail any integration.

[1] For more information: , last accessed 9/23/2014

[2] For more information: Moravcsik, A., Schimmelfennig, F. (2009) Liberal Intergovernmentalism. In: Diez, T., Wiener, A., (2009) European Integration Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press pp. 67 – 87

[3] For more information: Moravscik, Andrew and Nicolaïdis, Kalypso. “Explaining the Treaty of Amsterdam: Interests, Influence, Institutions.” Journal of Common Market Studies 37, no. 1. (March 1999): 59-85.

[4] For more information:

[5] For more information:

[6] For more information:

[7] For more information : Hix, Simon “The EU as a new political system”, 2007

[8] For more information :

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