Conference: Asylum at the Frontiers of Europe – Realities and Legal Challenges

On May 11-12, Lund is hosting a conference convened by L/UMIN researchers Gregor Noll, Vladislava Stoyanova and Eleni Karageorgiou. The aim of the conference is to explore the dynamics of asylum in countries located in the south-eastern part of Europe as actors who influence the formation of European policies on asylum as well as refugee law and its content. Participating researchers include L/UMIN members Rebecca Thorburn Stern (UU) and Anna Bruce (LU), as well as asylum law researchers active across Europe.

Europe is currently faced with significant movements of persons fleeing war and violence. Despite the existence of a harmonized European asylum framework, which imposes common standards as to the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, European countries have been responding on the basis of their national interests, signalling that asylum is first and foremost a national matter. This has raised questions as to the viability of the Common European Asylum System, while exposing European policies’ inherent tension between protection duties and security concerns. This conference sheds light on the role of national governments and neighbouring third countries in shaping asylum in Europe.

The conference is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, www.rj.se/en).

Karageorgiou’s and Stoyanova’s third party intervention in Chowdury et al v Greece

The Faculty of Law at Lund University, through researchers Eleni Karageorgiou and Vladislava Stoyanova, intervened in a recent European Court of Human Rights judgment against Greece.

Chowdury et al v Greece covers severe forms of labor exploitation of migrants at strawberry farms in Greece. The Court found a violation of Article 4(2) of the ECHR, the right not to be subjected to forced labor, following the line of argument proposed by Karageorgiou and Stoyanova in their third party intervention.

So far the judgment has received extensive media coverage, including in the Guardian and in the New York Times.

The judgment is considered to be an important development of the Court’s jurisprudence.

Downgrading asylum standards as a means for coercing solidarity: the Swedish example

In July 2016 the Swedish parliament is expected to pass a law i.a. limiting the possibility to be granted permanent residence permit and restricting the right to family reunification.

“[W]hat such practices reveal is the dimension of EU solidarity, forged on the basis of narrowly economistic and nationalist grounds which unpacks CEAS inherent tension: security and control versus human rights protection, solidarity amongst Member States versus asylum” LUMIN researcher Eleni Karageorgiou writes in a recent blog post on the EU Migration Law Blog.

Read the full blog post here.

Syrian refugees, solidarity and sharing practices within the EU

An article by LUMIN researcher Eleni Karageorgiou has been published in European Politics and Society. In her article, ‘Solidarity and sharing in the Common European Asylum System: the case of Syrian refugees’, Karageorgiou discusses the way in which the Syrian refugee crisis triggers questions of solidarity and sharing practices within the EU.

The article is published in European Politics and Society 2016, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 196-214, DOI:10.1080/23745118.2016.1121007.

Read the abstract here.

Symposium on the Refugee Convention in the context of disasters and climate change

From 3-4 May 2016 Lund University will host an invitation-only symposium on the subject of Disasters and Displacement in a Warming World: Current Realities, Legal Perspectives. Opening with a keynote speech by Professor Jane McAdam (UNSW), the symposium will consider the role of the 1951 Refugee Convention in relation to cross-border displacement in the context of disasters and climate change.

The symposium is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

More information about the symposium.