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Panel 4. EU, Migration and Justice. Evaluating Migration Governance in the European Space (GLOBUS)

Chairs: Sonia Lucarelli (University of Bologna); Michela Ceccorulli (University of Bologna); Enrico Fassi (Catholic University Milan)
Discussant: Ferruccio Pastore (Forum Internazionale ed Europeo di Ricerche sull'Immigrazione)

Date: Friday | 10.30 - 12.30
Room: Aula Jemolo 


The EU seems to have much to contribute to the understanding and shaping of justice in the realm of migration and asylum. First, it is a major host region for migrants and asylum seekers which choose it for different reasons among other places in the world. Second, it endorses and promotes principles and values, such as of liberal democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law which put centrality on individual rights. Third, it boasts an extended net of relations with neighbors, strategic partners, regional agglomerates and International Organizations where its voice is not only heard but often duly taken into account. However, in such peculiar domain, the extent and the content of such contribution seems to largely depend on how (and if) the EU is likely to overcome its internal divisions, keep faith to its inherent creed and mold its integration project accordingly. Hence, some questions with respect to the internal governance of migration are inevitably to have a bearing on the ‘external’ contribution of the EU to the matter: does national sovereignty still trump EU’s capacity to properly deal with massive inflows of migrants and asylum seekers? If so, how does the EU react to this state of affairs? Is the EU living up to its rhetoric on human rights protection as leading principle of its action? Is the EU able to promote an understanding of responsibility sharing with most affected countries? Is the EU promoting an inclusive management of the issue? These and other questions blurring the net demarcation between the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ domains in the management of migration are worth reflecting upon, especially these days that EU’s rhetoric to the world is practically tested on its approach towards the continuous arrivals on its shores. 


Confirmed Papers: 

1) Understanding EU’s approach to Libya for the governance of migration and asylum: frameworks of cooperation, relevant actors and challenges ahead
Michela Ceccorulli (University of Bologna)

In recent months, increasing (critical) attention has been paid to the European Union (EU)’s relation with Libya in the domain of migration. Far from stable, secure and well performing on basic rights’ protection, Libya has become the pivot of a broader strategy in the governance of migration in the Central Mediterranean. But how has this all come about? This is not a trivial question given the fact that the European Union was never able to develop full-fledged relations with the North African country. And why has this occurred with such speed? The aim of this paper is to explore the phases and the diplomatic steps that led to consolidated relations with Libya, exploring them with a view to key institutional frameworks set in motion and to the role of key actors (Italy first and foremost) against the backdrop of ever developed external dimension to migration, as clearly reported in the 2016 EU Global Strategy. Finally, the paper will consider the different ethical challenges of this cooperation, assessable from different angles.

2) Migrant Smuggling into the EU: perspectives of Justice
Enrico Fassi (Catholic University Milan)

Human smuggling is an old phenomenon, often associated with irregular migration. Within the EU context, however, the issue gained attention since 2015, due to magnitude of the “European migration crisis”. According to Europol, 90% of the over one million irregular migrants who entered Europe in 2015 used some form of “facilitation service” provided by smuggling networks. The unprecedented profits associated with these activities, together with the articulation and professionalism of these transnational criminal networks, are creating what seems to be, to some observers, a paradigm shift in the International Political Economy of Migration. Moreover, migrant smuggling seems to lay at the intersection of different interests, but also of different values and justice claims. In this view, the paper applies three conceptions of global political justice – justice as non-domination, justice as impartiality, justice as mutual recognition – in order to address the multifaceted normative struggle taking place around migrant smuggling at the EU borders.

3) Migration narratives in the UK media discourse: inwardness and global aspirations 
Antonio Zotti (University of Bologna & Catholic University Milan)

In response to the threat posed by the European migrant crisis (in combination with the predicament of the monetary union) to the Schengen Area – and possibly the integration process as such – the European Union took emergency steps that have considerably affected its decision-making processes. The intent of the paper is to consider the impact of this transformations not only on the governance of the Union as a whole – most notably, its shift towards a more intergovernmental order – but also on the role of Germany within this shifting political setting. In order to do so, Germany’s migration policy will be looked into in order to identify long-term trends and distinctive institutional arrangements and practices, so as to determine the country’s normative stance in this area and, more in general, how migration and asylum issue still affect the character of the nation. Based on these results, the paper will investigate whether and how the intrinsically Europeanised version of German nation state identity has reacted to national and EU-wide debates triggered by the refugee crisis about the German response’s effectiveness and normative adequateness, as well as the alleged special duties – and leading roles – of the country within the EU (migration) governance system.

4) French migration policies between logistification and minimalism: what about justice?
Giorgio Grappi (University of Bologna)

France’s migration policies changed over time following the unstable political meaning of both immigration and asylum, using the European dimension as a legitimizing tool or, on the contrary, as a critical reference to shift political responsibility elsewhere. This paper analyses the present situation as the result of the emergence in France of a minimalist understanding of what is ‘just’ in the field of migration policies, based on an operational logistical rationale and resulting in growing discretionary power in the access to rights and protection for migrants. The paper argues that the present situation, far from being exceptional results of a sudden ‘migration crisis’, is a structural product of France’s immigration and asylum policies and their inscription inside a developing European framework. The use of the concept of logistification, introduced by critical scholarship to describe the emergence of a discursive and legal framework that implement a managerial dimension of migration policies over ethical and normative claims, helps to capture the ongoing shift towards a limited and narrow conception of justice in the field of migration by state actors and its consequences with regard to protection of migrants’ rights, inter-states relations and the European dimension.