This commentary reviews the literature on European integration in the asylum policy area and offers a roadmap for future research. Whereas early studies explain integration through a state-centred approach, recent studies rely on the theory of institutionalism to address the circular causality in the European process. The Council has so far been at the heart of decision-making in this policy area. However, there are still important dimensions of the Council ́s dynamics unexploredin the literature. Therefore, this commentary proposes a research agenda to better understand not only the member states’ negotiation behaviour, policy preferences and positions in the Councilbut also the interplay between the EU institutions and its impact on the European integration.