Maurer, Andreas, and Parkes, Roderick. (2007) "The Prospects for Policy-Change in EU Asylum Policy: Venue and Image at the European Level". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
The upgrading of the European Commission and the European Parliament’s role in the EU policy-process from 1999 might have been expected to herald a shift away from the previous security- and control-orientation of asylum policy. No such shift occurred. This paper traces the continuity in EU asylum policy’s trajectory to the continuity in its ‘policy-image’: actors seeking to fashion institutional environments in which they can more effectively pursue their preferences can facilitate institutional change by shifting the ‘image’ of a policy – in other words, they can highlight new or neglected problems related to that policy, creating broader pressure for these to be dealt with by new actors in new venues. We disaggregate policy-images into two elements: an element justifying an actor’s presence and function in policy-making, and an element justifying the pursuit of its substantive preferences. We argue that institutional change laid down in the Treaty of Amsterdam was facilitated by a policy-image that lacked the latter element. The newly empowered actors have subsequently struggled to assert their substantive preferences despite their institutional upgrade.
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