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.

Analysis of solidarity in recent EU asylum policy measures

In a recent analysis published by the Swedish Institute for Europan Policy Studies (Sieps) Eleni Karageorgiou explores the meaning and functions of the principle of solidarity enshrined in Article 80 TFEU based on the ways in which it has been operationalized through new measures and proposals such as an emergency relocation mechanism, a proposal to reform the Dublin Regulation, and the development of the EU-Turkey partnership.

Read the paper here.

Thorburn Stern appointed expert in inquiry into legal routes for asylum-seekers

Rebecca Thorburn Stern, associate professor of international law, has been appointed expert by the Swedish Government in an inquiry into legal routes to the EU for asylum-seekers.

The inquiry will analyze the possibilities for legal routes to the EU, for example through the possibility of visas or other types of admission permits for persons intending to seek asylum in the EU. If deemed possible, the inquiry will result in a proposal of a legal framework in accordance with Sweden’s obligations under EU law and other international instruments. The findings of the Inquiry will be presented at the latest 31 December 2017.

Read more about the inquiry here (in Swedish).