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Using Human Security as a legal framework to analyse the Common European Asylum System

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By Amanda Taylor, Research Assistant T.M.C. Asser Instituut

The Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER)- hosted by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague- will convene the second conference relating to its current research project “Human Security: a new framework for enhanced human rights in the EU’s foreign security and migration policies”.

This project is implemented with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Union. On the fourth of July 2014 the conference at T.M.C Asser Instituut will break new ground through its focus on the potential impact that the concept of Human Security can have, from a legal perspective, on the application of EU rules pertaining to asylum and border controls. Every Member State of the European Union is, in some way, affected by mixed movements of persons entering the territory from a third country. As a result, over the past few years, a complex set of challenges have been brought to the forefront, with many Member States struggling to co-ordinate their responses when faced with increasing numbers of economic migrants, irregular migrants and/or persons seeking international protection. This, in turn, has placed a spotlight on asylum instruments developed by the Union, who have had legislative competence in the field of migration, border controls and asylum since the nineties.

Union legislation along with policy programmes have been geared to the creation of a Common European Asylum System and a common policy on external border control. A main objective of the system has been to harmonise domestic legislation on minimum standards of protection for those in need. However, these legislative instruments have been put to the test in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and other events such as the on-going Syrian crises with academics criticising Member States selectivity of EU provisions and their poor enforcement. In turn, Member States, themselves, have criticised notions of “burden sharing” and “solidarity” as being unequal, with certain countries bearing the brunt of EU asylum obligations.

It is in this environment that the CLEER conference seeks to cultivate a new approach to the topic through its evaluation of the CEAS in the light of the Human Security paradigm. A notion which is yet to be used in the context of European asylum law, but one which could enrich protection standards, since refugee movements  are inextricably linked to and highly indicative of human insecurity. With a forum of expert speakers from both academic and practitioner backgrounds, the objective of the conference will be to trigger an inter-disciplinary debate taking stock and appraising recent legal and policy developments in the CEAS through the lens of Human Security.

The conference will be of direct interest to everyone working and studying in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice of the EU, notably the asylum and refugee fields. Each panel will be followed by a question and answer session allowing for the audience to participate in the debate, thereby forging new perspectives on EU asylum law and its protection regime.

For more information on the conference click here. The event is free of charge, however registration is required. Please register here.


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