Intercepting Migration Crises: The Implications of 2015 and the Potential of Local/Supranational Collaboration

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Streeterville East (InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile)
Moritz Baumgärtel , Law, Utrecht University, Netherlands
The widely shared representation of 2015 as a “refugee crisis” has been challenged by many scholars in the field who, instead, emphasise the politicized and opportunistic character of such a conception. This paper proposes a more nuanced interpretation of this moment in 2015, namely as a point of interception of two long-term political crises. On the one hand, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) has experienced decreasing commitment on the part of EU Member States. With the recent rise in national contingency and ad hoc responses, the CEAS arguably entered the last stage of its crisis as a project of harmonization. On the other hand, governments have fallen short of tackling the practical challenges of migrant reception and integration, thereby creating a lasting social crisis in many places on the European continent. National administrations have consequently been losing influence vis-à-vis local authorities whose heightened role in these areas, though pivotal for a while now, became particularly apparent at that moment. Reframing 2015 as an “interception point” not only permits us to connect these two crises but also to imagine some new directions for EU policy. The paper thus closes by outlining the relation between the local and the supranational level in EU law, the political benefits of deeper collaboration as well as some of the specific domains in which their political efforts could prove to be complementary.
  • Paper.pdf (290.4 kB)