The European Union (EU) formally commenced its project to create a Common European Asylum Policy (CEAS) in 1999 when changes to the EU treaties gave the EU institutions the power and objective to do so, mindful that the CEAS must be consistent with the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 together with its 1967 Protocol (the ‘1951 Refugee Convention’)1 and the EU Member States’ other international obligations to those in need of international protection.2 The fi rst phase of the CEAS was completed in 2005 with the adoption of all the mandated measures to provide for the common system. In 2008 the EU institutions began the second phase of the CEAS which involved the revision of all of the instruments adopted in the fi rst phase in light of the objective of making the system truly common rather than one of minimum standards. The operation of the fi rst phase instruments revealed numerous structural weaknesses, the most problematic of which has been that outcomes for people from the same country of origin seeking international protection in different EU states vary dramatically. For instance, according to the UNHCR Yearbook 2011 protection rates for Syrian nationals in the EU vary from 83.1 per cent in Austria to 2.7 per cent in Greece and 3.4 per cent in Cyprus.3 In this chapter, I ask why the CEAS does not appear to be resulting in protection to people from the same countries of origin across the EU and whether the structural defects have been addressed in the second phase.