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Among the locations where the European Union is most manifest is at its outer borders. This is where the Member States experience a joint interest in restricting access to the Union's territory, notably for those whose intention is to seek asylum.

Detail Summary
Date 8 November 2018
Time 12:00 - 17:30

In some locations, fences, walls, and bureaucratic procedures demarcate this border and make it (more or less) impenetrable. At others, the border is unable to restrict access for the simple reason that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. The border then is primarily a symbolic one and its guards do not just control but also care for those arriving. Once asylum seekers have thus gained entry, their presence creates challenges to one of the European Project's cornerstones, i.e. solidarity between member states. Should asylum seekers remain in the country they enter, this leads to unequal administrative and financial burdens. Should they be redistributed among member states, this results in conflicts and collective action problems. Our workshop will focus on a number of these challenges, including:

  • The accountability of border management practices by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
  • The future of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which appeared unable to properly function under the stress of mass influx during the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’.
  • The role of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
  • How to salvage the notion of solidarity in a Europe with deep political divides on refugee protection.
  • Whether a future CEAS should involve sub-national authorities, such as cities.
  • The feasibility of managing migration beyond EU’s borders.


  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12:30 – 13:00 Introduction by Saskia Bonjour
  • 13:00 – 15:00 Paper presentations
    Leila Gianetto: The European Border and Coast Guard and its Consultative forum on fundamental rights: more than consultation?
    Lilian Tsourdi: The Changing Nature of Practical Cooperation in the EU Asylum Policy: EASO in action
  • 15:00 – 15:30 Break
  • 15:30 – 17:00 New agendas for research and policy - presentation of two H2020 projects: CEASAVAL (Evaluation of the Common European Asylum. System under Pressure and Recommendations for Further Development) and ADMIGOV (Advancing Alternative Migration Governance) by Jeroen Doomernik and Martin Wagner (International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Vienna)
  • 17:00 – 17:30 Panel discussion with Karina Franssen, Koos Richelle and Tamirace Fakhoury
  • 17:30 Drinks

About the speakers

Saskia Bonjour is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science of the UvA. She teaches mostly in the field of gender & politics and intersectionality. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and citizenship in the Netherlands and in Europe. She is especially interested in family migration, civic integration, gender and migration, and Europeanisation. She is coordinator of the ACES Migration Network.

Leila Giannetto is Researcher at FIERI - International and European Forum on Migration Research in Torino (Italy). Her research interests include Frontex and fundamental rights, civil society organisations’ role in the governance of EU border management and asylum, and reception and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Italy.

Lilian Tsourdi is a Departmental Lecturer in International Human Rights and Refugee Law at the University of Oxford. Her expertise lies in EU, Public International, Human Rights and Public Law. Lilian has undertaken research in asylum and migration for NGOs, UNHCR and the EU institutions, and has policy experience, including as policy advisor to a Member of the European Parliament.

Jeroen Doomernik is Assistant Professor of Migration and Ethnic Studies at the Department of Political Science of the UvA. His research centers around migration and its practical consequences for European and national migration regulating and integration policies.

Martin Wagner is responsible for ICMPD’s Asylum Competence Centre. He has a legal background, with a specialisation on international refugee, human rights and antidiscrimination law. Before joining ICMPD, he worked for NGOs providing legal advice to asylum seekers, immigrants, non-nationals and victims of discrimination. He then worked for the office of the Austrian Human Rights Advisory Board.

Karina Franssen is senior policy officer at the Dutch Refugee Council and member of the Commissie Meijers, an independent group of experts that researches and advises on European criminal, migration, refugee, privacy, non-discrimination and constitutional law.

Koos Richelle is Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs. He has held positions at several Dutch ministries before moving to Brussels, were he was Director-General for Development, Director-General EuropeAid and Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Tamirace Fakhoury is an associate professor in Political Sciences and International Affairs in the Department of Social Sciences at the Lebanese American University, and the associate director of the Institute of Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR), and currently Research Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg.


Participation is free but registration is required: 

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