Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Political Science (POLS)

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Ramos


The European Union (EU) was formed with the belief that further integration among European states would bring sustainable peace. This began with economic integration but continued to include political and social integration as well. This ad hoc method of creating cohesion among sovereign Member States was generally accepted among Member State governments and citizens. However, in 2014, when a flood of refugees began arriving in Europe, fleeing from violence and instability in the Middle East and North Africa, the EU as an institution, and what exactly it means to be European, was challenged. Instead of pulling together and promoting the EU’s fundamental values of integration and a commitment to human rights, states took vastly different responses, prioritizing their own sovereignty over EU law. On the one hand, while countries on the border of the EU such as Italy, Hungary, and Greece faced a huge influx of refugees, more Northern states blocked them from entering their borders at all, oftentimes actually sending refugees back to the overburdened border states. On the other hand, some EU countries such as Germany went around EU regulations in order to welcome even more refugees into their borders. These different policies are a consequence of the weak monitoring, low solidarity, and lack of strong institutions within EU migration policy, resulting in an unsustainable system during the refugee crisis (Scipioni 2018: 1358). National governments are ultimately in control of EU policy implementation, and oftentimes they do not promote the same kind of policies as the EU, prominently seen in the implementation of the Dublin Regulation (Scipioni 2018: 1361).