2nd UNESCO Conference "Refugees: Regional Approaches to Global Challenges"



The UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue of the University of Zagreb


The Jean Monnet Program of the Faculty of Law University of Zagreb

in cooperation with

Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Embassy of the United States of America


2nd UNESCO Conference

“Refugees: Regional Approaches to Global Challenges”


December 8-9, 2016

Faculty of Law – University of Zagreb, Trg maršala Tita 14

“Aula” of the University of Zagreb (University hall, ground floor)




DAY ONE: December 8, 2016


12.00 – 12.15       Opening speeches

  • Iris Goldner Lang, UNESCO Chairholder, University of Zagreb
  • Damir Boras, Rector of the University of Zagreb
  • Dubravka Hrabar, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb
  • Klaus Fiesinger, Regional Director for Southeast Europe, Hanns Seidel Foundation


12.15 – 13.45       Panel I: The US Perspective

                Moderator: Iris Goldner Lang, UNESCO Chairholder, University of Zagreb


  • Refugees at Our Backyard: The Flight of Central Americans to the US: Challenges and Responses

Deborah Anker, Harvard University


  • History, Hysteria and Syrian Refugees

Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Temple University


  • Externalization and its Limits: The Concentric Rings around the United States

David FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego

13.45 – 14.15
       Coffee break


14.15 – 16.15       Panel II: The External Perspectives

                 Moderator: Vanja Bakalović, Centre for Peace Studies


  • The Principle of Non-criminalization of Irregular Migration in South America:
    The Case of Humanitarian Protection of Haitians in Brazil

Diego Acosta Arcarazo, University of Bristol and Lieselot Vanduynslager, Leuven University


  • Navigating through Legal Categories and Rights: International Protection and Syrians in Turkey

Saime Özçürümez, Bilkent University


  • EU Cooperation with Third Countries: From Values to Interests

Daniel Thym, University of Konstanz


  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Unpacking the Drivers of Migration to Europe in 2015

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University



DAY TWO: December 9, 2016


9.30 - 10.00          Keynote speech

  • EU Development Cooperation and the Refugee Crisis: Concepts, Debates and Practice

Anna Schmidt, Representative of the European Commission


10.00 – 11.30       Panel III: The EU Perspective - Part I

                 Moderator: Tamara Ćapeta, University of Zagreb


  • Refugees in Europe and the Changing Paradigm of EU Law

Iris Goldner Lang, UNESCO Chairholder, University of Zagreb


  • A Critique of EU Refugee Crisis Management: On Law, Policy and Decentralization

Nika Bačić Selanec, University of Zagreb


  • States' Responsibility and Solidarity in EU Asylum Law

Philippe de Bruycker, Université Libre de Bruxelles



11.30 – 12.00       Coffee break


12.00 – 13.30       Panel IV: The EU Perspective - Part II

                 Moderator: Nika Bačić Selanec, University of Zagreb


  • Free Riding Instead of Solidarity: An Attempt to Interpret Hungary’s (Anti)Refugee Policy in the Frame of Global and Regional Suggestions for Responsibility Sharing

Boldizsár Nagy, Central European University


  • Reframing Solutions to the ‘Refugee Crisis’: Humanitarian Visas as an Individual Right
    Under EU Law

Violeta Moreno-Lax, Queen Mary University of London


  • “Humanitarian Corridor”: Unacceptable State of Exception or Alternative Approach to Migration?

        Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, Peace Institute


13.30        Concluding remarks

13.40        Catered lunch





Abstracts & Biographies (in the order of conference talks)

Deborah Anker, Harvard University

“Refugees at Our Backyard:  Current US Refugee Policy and the Flight of Central Americans to the United States”

Abstract (with Maggie Morgan, Albert Sachs Teaching Fellow):

Since the 1970s, the southern border of the United States – spanning 1989 miles of international border between the United States and Mexico – has been the site of significant migration from Central America. Over one million Central American refugees crossed into the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s to escape civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, while thousands more went to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize.

While refugee migration slowed after these conflicts ended in the late 1990s, a second increase in migration began in 2012.  This migration included a dramatic increase in the number of women and children leaving Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala (a region referred to as the “Northern Triangle”) for the United States. Thousands fled persecution from powerful ‘third-generation’ gangs and other politically powerful criminal organizations that had targeted them or their family members for rape, murder, extortion and other harms.  Many are also escaping pervasive gender-based violence, including rape, femicide (gender-based homicide), and domestic violence. Both third-generation gangs and domestic abusers in these countries often operate with impunity due to the inability or unwillingness of State governments to protect victims from harm. It has been recognised that many of these migrants are refugees, having grounds for asylum or related protection under domestic and international law.   

The response to this refugee flow has been a build-up of border militarization, expedited procedures, detention including of families and unaccompanied minors, and cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to deport refugees without hearings and forcibly return them at Mexico’s southern border as they attempt the journey to the United States.   

On a more positive note, there has also been a robust response from civil society, with a growth in NGOs providing legal representation and other forms of services to this refugee population. Quality legal representation is a highly significant factor in positive refugee recognition rates.  



Deborah Anker is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC).  She also serves as Senior Researcher for the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London. Author of the leading treatise, Law of Asylum in the United States, Anker has co-drafted groundbreaking gender asylum guidelines and amicus curiae briefs.  She is frequently cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as by various international tribunals. Professor Anker has received numerous awards including the Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA), the AILA Founder’s Award for the Women’s Refugee Project, and the AILA Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law.   She has also received the CARECEN Award from the Central American Refugee Center and the Massachusetts Governor’s New American Appreciation Award. Anker was designated a Woman of Justice by the Massachusetts Bar Association, and in 2011, she was elected as a Fellow to the American Bar Foundation. Most recently, she received AILA’s Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award for the groundbreaking work of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program.  Professor Anker is one of the most widely known asylum practitioners, teachers and scholars in the United States and a pioneer in the development of clinical legal education in the immigration field, training students in direct representation of refugees and creating a foundation for clinics at law schools around the country.


Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Temple University

“History, Hysteria and Syrian Refugees”


This talk will explore political reactions to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States and their wide-ranging impact. Beginning with the hysteria surrounding the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, and charting the course through the 2016 presidential elections, the talk will assess the impact of overblown fears of Syrian refugees on American politics.  It will walk through the details of the U.S. refugee resettlement process, discuss state government attempts to refuse to admit refugees and responsive litigation, and predict domestic strategies to protect refugees under a Trump/Pence administration. The talk will place these developments in a broader historical perspective, comparing U.S. laws and policies on Syrian refugees with its approach to Jewish refugees during World War II.



Jaya Ramji-Nogales is the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Institute for International Law and Public Policy at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where she teaches Refugee Law and Policy.  She is a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law as well as a founding Co-Chair of the Migration Law Interest Group at the Society. Prof. Ramji-Nogales is a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.

Prof. Ramji-Nogales is the co-author, with Profs. Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Philip G. Schrag, of Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform (NYU Press 2009), a ground-breaking empirical study of adjudication at all four levels of the US asylum system, and Lives in the Balance: Asylum Adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security (NYU Press 2014), an in-depth quantitative and qualitative study of asylum adjudication before the Department of Homeland Security’s Asylum Offices, the first instance decision-maker for affirmative asylum claims. 

Professor Ramji-Nogales also writes in the field of international and comparative migration law.  Her most recent works critique human rights law as insufficiently attentive to the interests of undocumented migrants and examine the role of international law in constructing migration emergencies. Prof. Ramji-Nogales has also authored articles on the situation of forced migrants under international criminal law and international humanitarian law.

Before entering academia, Prof. Ramji-Nogales worked in the field of refugee law for several years, including teaching in Georgetown’s asylum clinic, creating a refugee law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and supervising the asylum program at the international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton.


David FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego

"Externalization and its Limits: The Concentric Rings around the United States"


The U.S. government has built an expanding set of concentric rings of control around its territory. The effect of these constructions, and often their intent, is to prevent asylum seekers from accessing U.S. territory to lodge claims or enjoy the full processual rights of those on U.S. territory. Within each of these rings, there are different structural limitations to the governments' ability to keep out asylum seekers. A maritime "moat" includes concentric rings of the high seas, territorial waters, liminal zones between sea and land, and islands of fictional sovereignty. The principal limitations in the moat are self-restraint by the executive, domestic interest group pressure, and international norms rather than international law. In land "buffers," the main limitations are the need to create at least the chimera of compliance with rights norms in the buffer and the linkage between transit migration and emigration from the buffer country. An aerial "dome" that keeps asylum seekers thousands of kilometers away has the fewest limitations because of the high degree to which visa restrictions have become normalized, air travel securitized, and anti-smuggling deliberately conflated with anti-trafficking. A "cage" that keeps asylum seekers in their countries of origin where they are persecuted is limited by the domestic and international political price of openly cooperating with persecutors, a preference not to yield leverage to the government of an often hostile country of origin, and the political imperative of at least token in-country refugee processing.



David Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is co-author of Culling the Masses: The Democratic Roots of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014), which won best book awards from the American Political Science Association’s Migration and Citizenship Section, American Sociological Association’s (ASA) Political Sociology Section, and ASA International Migration Section. FitzGerald is also the author of A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration (University of California Press, 2009), Negotiating Extra-Territorial Citizenship (Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, 2000), and co-editor of six books on Mexico-U.S. migration. His work on the politics of international migration, citizenship, and research methodology has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Qualitative Sociology, New York University Law Review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. FitzGerald was awarded the American Sociological Association’s International Migration Section “Award for Public Sociology” in 2013.  His current project examines asylum policies in comparative perspective.


Diego Acosta Arcarazo, University of Bristol & Lieselot Vanduynslager, Leuven University

“The principle on non-criminalization of irregular migration in South America: The case of Humanitarian Protection of Haitians in Brazil”


In South America, the status and rights of migrants in an irregular situation has been a regional concern for decades. For example, regularization processes have been common since the 1940s. South America has recently become central on debates on irregular migration because its discourse and legislation seem at first sight to be much more liberal. Pioneering legislative discussions are taking place challenging global established assumptions on how to control undocumented flows. We can see a clear progress from a general concern with fundamental rights and managed migration as a solution to irregular flows, toward a much more emphatic, precise and delineated answer as lying in three consecutive aspects: non-criminalization, rights’ protection and regularization. With different degrees in emphasis, these three aspects have been reaffirmed in numerous regional fora and have progressed from political statements into laws.  But what do these principles exactly entail and how do they affect the interpretation and meaning of the law?

The legal responses by Brazil, through the granting of thousands of so-called residence permits for humanitarian reasons, to the arrival of Haitian migrants after the 2010 earthquake, offers an excellent example of the reach, limits and inconsistencies of the principle of non-criminalization. Brazil did not find a legal answer in its outdated migration law (1980) nor in its progressive Refugee Act (1997), but developed an ad hoc policy of humanitarian protection to respond to the specific case of growing Haitian migration, in order to facilitate legal arrival as well as legal stay in the country. This research will explore the innovative as well as contradictory character of this policy within Brazil’s legislative, policy and institutional framework as well as within regional and international approaches. Furthermore, it aims to investigate how Brazil’s migration policy on humanitarian protection has been used by Haitian migrants in their strategies to arrive and stay in the country. It questions the status of humanitarian protection for Haitians within the legal paradigms of refugees and migrants, exploring the benefits as well as challenges of this intermediate status. 


Biography Acosta:

Diego Acosta  is a Senior Lecturer in European and Migration Law at the University of Bristol. He  holds a PhD in European Law from Kings College London. His area of expertise is EU Migration Law and he is currently interested in migration law and policies in South America and in the process of construction of a South American citizenship. He has published widely in the area of European Migration Law, including his book: The Long-Term Residence Status as a Subsidiary Form of EU Citizenship. An Analysis of Directive 2003/109 (Martinus Nijhoff, 2011). He has also co-edited three other books: Global Migration. Old Assumptions, New Dynamics (Praeger, 2015, with Anja Wiesbrock); EU Justice and Security Law: After Lisbon and Stockholm (Hart, 2014, with Cian Murphy); and EU Immigration and Asylum Text and Commentary (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012, with Peers, Guild, Groenendijk and Moreno-Lax). His work has appeared in the most important journals in the area including the International Migration Review, European Law Review, European Law Journal, Columbia Journal of International Studies, Common Market Law Review, Journal of Common Market Studies or European Journal of Migration and Law.

Dr Acosta is also now working 20% of his time as co-supervisor and collaborator in a five years research project entitled Prospects for International Migration Governance (MIGPROSP) for which Professor Andrew Geddes, as principal investigator, has obtained a European Research Council grant of 2.1 million Euros. See for more information http://migrationgovernance.org. 

During the academic year 2015-2016 Dr Acosta spent four months as a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence (September-December 2015) and then 6 months as an Emile Nöel Fellow at the Jean Monnet Centre at NYU, New York (January-June 2016). His new book project looks at migration and citizenship in South America and the construction of the national and the foreigner since independence. 


Biography Vanduynslager:

Lieselot Vanduynslager is senior researcher at the Research Institute for Work and Society (HIVA) at Leuven University and has been carrying out research on migration and refugee policies in Europe and South America. She is currently undertaking a PhD in political sciences at Leuven University in collaboration with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) on emerging migration and asylum policy in Brazil within a regional (Mercosur) and international (European) perspective. She looks into the governance of legal borders and membership boundaries by analysing policies and practices of freedom of movement, (regional) citizenship and humanitarian protection (with case studies on Peruvians, Syrians and Haitians). Before joining HIVA in 2012, she worked as a migration research consultant and project assistant for international organizations (IOM Brussels, UNESCO Paris) and lived in South America, where she worked for the Belgian Development Agency (Peru) and the Belgian Embassy (Argentina).


Daniel Thym, University of Konstanz 

“EU Cooperation with Third Countries: From Values to Interests”


Much has been said in recent months about the Geneva Convention of 1951, which remains the cornerstone of international refugee law. Much less has been said, however, in how far the effective implementation of the Convention depends upon inter-state cooperation. Daniel Thym will address this lacuna and explore in how far the European Union may foster international migration governance, reflecting its cooperative approach to international relations in other policy fields. The presentation will combine structural considerations with ongoing policy debates, including EU-Turkey arrangements and cooperation with states on the African continent.



Daniel Thym holds the Jean-Monnet-Chair of European, International and Public Law at University of Konstanz and is co-director of the Research Centre Immigration & Asylum Law at the same university after having previously worked for the Walter-Hallstein-Institute for European Constitutional Law at Humboldt-University in Berlin. He serves as an editor of the European Law Journal and is a principal investigator of the Cluster of Excellence Cultural Foundations of Social Integration at the University of Konstanz. Daniel Thym regularly appears as an expert witness in the home affairs committee of the German Bundestag, contributes to the pan-European s Odysseus Academic Network of legal experts in immigration and asylum law and has been appointed as a member of the German Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR). He has published widely on diverse issues of European law, with a special focus on immigration, citizenship, asylum, constitutional affairs and external relations.


Saime Ozcurumez, Bilkent University

“Navigating through Legal Categories and Rights: International Protection and Syrians in Turkey”


Turkey currently hosts over 3 million people who escaped humanitarian crisis in different countries around the world. While the numbers are certainly striking, placing Turkey among the top ten refugee hosting countries, and the country seems to cope well, a closer analysis of the legal, administrative and institutional challenges surfacing with the mass influx reveals major tensions in asylum governance in Turkey and in Europe.  This study seeks answers to the question: Why was there a sudden surge in levels of irregular migration towards Europe in the summer of 2015? What are the consequences of how the flow was governed and why? This research reviews the changes in the asylum law and policy in Turkey by focusing on the legal, political, economic and social consequences for the different groups of refugees in the April 2011-April 2016 period. The study relies on data collected from different reports, interviews with NGOs, local governments and policy makers. It reviews, first, the consequences of Turkey’s “geographical limitation” to the Geneva Convention for the challenges in asylum governance. Second, it discusses the Temporary Protection Directive for Syrians, which sets Syrians apart from asylum seekers from other countries of origin leading to differentiated access to rights by different groups. Third, it analyzes what the EU-Turkey deal brings forward various institutional, legal and administrative tensions about asylum governance in Turkey. It concludes with a discussion on how the experience of Turkey with mass influx emerging as a result of continuous humanitarian crisis reveals many long-lasting legal, political and social challenges in governing mass influx around the world.



Saime Ozcurumez (Ph.D., McGill) is a Faculty Member in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University. She conducts research and publishes on migration policy and politics in the European Union, Turkey, and Canada, health and immigration, gender and immigration, irregular immigration, integration and citizenship, media representation of migrants, comparative politics of deliberative democracy, and Europeanization research agenda. She has articles published in International Migration, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Turkish Studies, Comparative European Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Uluslararasi Iliskiler-International Relations,Women's Studies International Forum, European Political Science. She is the co-editor of two books: Of States, Rights and Social Closure with Palgrave andAsylum, International Migration and Statelessness: Concepts, Theories and Politics (in Turkish). She has co-authored several book chapters on immigration policy process and foreign policy in Turkey in comparative perspective, Europeanization and collective identities through historical and media analysis in Turkey and access to health care by ethno-cultural groups in Canada, Italy and Germany. She has been part of many international and national collaborative research projects on cultural diversity and health care systems; transcultural memory in Europe, collective identities in Europe, migrants’ media representation, transformation of immigration and asylum governance in EU accession in Turkey. Her current projects are on local governments and integration of Syrians in Turkey,  the resilience of health care systems in Turkey in response to mass influx of refugees from Syria, employment and livelihood conditions of refugees in Turkey.


Philippe de Bruycker, Université Libre de Bruxelles

"States's Responsibility and Solidarity in EU Asylum Law"


In the Bratislava Declaration, the European Council pretends to "Broaden EU consensus on long term migration policy and apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity". However, those principles do not exist as such in EU law. Moreover, this declaration ignores the specific provision on solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility supposed to govern the migration and asylum policies since the Treaty of Lisbon. Using the right legal basis to assess the developments of the EU migration and asylum policy leads to the conclusion that the current limited level of European solidarity as well as the Commission proposal to introduce a mechanism of relocation of asylum seekers in the Dublin III Regulation determining the responsible Member State for examining an asylum claim, are not in line with the Treaty. The same might be true with the idea of « flexible solidarity » supported by the Visegrad Group made of four Member States. 


Philippe DE BRUYCKER (PhD in Law) is Jean Monnet Chair for European Law on Immigration & Asylum and Professor at the Institute for European Studies and the Law Faculty of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He founded in 1999 the “Academic Network for Legal Studies on Immigration and Asylum in Europe” known as the Odysseus Network. From 2001 till 2004, he was in charge of drafting proposals for directive on immigration in DG Home Affairs of the European Commission. He works as an expert and trainer for different institutions (European Parliament, UNHCR, IOM, ICMPD,…) and is at the origin of the European Asylum Curriculum (EAC) used by the EU Agency to train asylum case officers. After having extensively published on issues of constitutional and administrative law as Head of the Centre for Public Law in ULB till 1999, his books and articles now focus on Immigration and Asylum Law with a special emphasis on its EU dimension.


Heaven Crawley, Coventry University

“Between the devil and the deep blue sea: unpacking the drivers of migration to Europe in 2015”


Drawing on the findings of research with 215 people who crossed the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route during 2015, this paper challenges the construction of Europe’s migration ‘crisis’ as one constituting primarily ‘economic migrants’. The fact that the vast majority of those arriving in Greece came from countries in which there is well documented conflict and human rights abuse is reflected in the experiences of respondents, 91% of whom described being forced to leave their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere. But their detailed accounts of the factors driving this decision - and subsequent decisions to move on from countries such as Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey - tell a more complex story which challenges the legal and policy dichotomy between ‘forced’ and ‘voluntary’ migration and raises important questions about how to fully reflect this complexity in asylum decision making.


Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations where she leads a team of researchers working on issues of migration, displacement and belonging. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London and  Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

Heaven was previously head of asylum and immigration research at the UK Home Office and Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).  She joined Coventry University from Swansea University where she was Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR).

Heaven has written and published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues including the drivers of forced migration to Europe, refugee and migrant decision making, gender issues in procedures for Refugee Status Determination, access to legal advice and representation, public attitudes towards asylum and immigration issues and children’s experiences of immigration controls, including detention, guardianship and the process of age assessment.

Heaven is currently leading a team of researchers from the Universities of Coventry, Birmingham and Oxford on the ESRC-funded MEDMIG project (www.medmig.info) which explores the dynamics of migration in the Mediterranean region and the complex factors affecting refugee and migrant decision-making in the context of the current European ‘crisis’.


Iris Goldner Lang, University of Zagreb

"Refugees in Europe and the Changing Paradigm of EU Law"


The paper will discuss the effects of the mass refugee inflow on the future of the EU legal regime. It will acknowledge that the refugee influx has brought to the surface the lack of inter-state solidarity and a number of other deficiencies in the Common European Asylum System, which has, in return, led to the dismantling of a number of EU rules, policies and values and to closing down of Europe in general. Such a change of paradigm of EU law will be discussed at three levels: at the level of the EU political discourse related to refugees; at the level of Member States’ incorrect implementation and non-application of EU asylum law and; at the level of the Union’s response to high refugee inflows and to Member States’ reactions.



Prof. dr. sc. Iris Goldner Lang, LL.M. (LSE), Ph.D. (Zagreb), is a Jean Monnet professor of European Union law and a UNESCO Chairholder at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law. In 2015/2016 she was a Visiting Professor and a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School.

She graduated in law (LL.B.) and in English language and literature (B.A.) at the University of Zagreb. As a British Government Chevening Scholar, she earned her LL.M. degree with merit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She did part of her doctoral research at the LSE and as an Ernst-Mach Scholar at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria). She has been the leader of two Jean Monnet Modules "EU Migration Law and Policy" and "EU Internal Market Law" granted by the European Commission. She holds a UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue at the University of Zagreb. She has held a number of visiting lectures (Harvard, Boston University, Temple University (Philadelphia), LSE, University of Stockholm, University of Vienna, University of Lisbon, Court of Justice of the EU, European Parliament, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Alpbach Forum Summer School, etc.). She is the editor of three books and the author of a number of articles, chapters in books and a book entitled From Association to Accession: How Free is the Free Movement of Persons in the EU? She is Editor-in-Chief of the Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy (CYELP). She is also president of the Croatian Society for European Law and the Croatian representative in the Odysseus Monnet Network for Immigration and Asylum.



Nika Bačić Selanec, University of Zagreb

"A Critique of EU Refugee Crisis Management: On Law, Policy and Decentralization"


The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the biggest one this world has seen in decades, has been subject to much debate - both in public, through the eyes of the media, but also in the sphere of politics. What still seems to still be lacking, however, is a coherent critique of the crisis’ legal setting. In other words, what has the European Union actually done pursuing its legislative and operative agenda for managing mass inflows of refugees, as compared to what other legal avenues were available?

A core set of measures was then introduced to repair the existing EU legal framework on asylum, proven as dysfunctional when faced with the unprecedented pressures of incoming refugees. These measures came about in the context of an already deficient Common European Asylum System, yet the Union still decided to place the Dublin Regulation as a starting point to all operative plans of dealing with the refugee crisis within the Union territory. Although the Dublin Regulation was not envisaged to function in a time of crisis, all EU measures introduced were in effect merely exceptions to that inherently inefficient system, as the author will try to prove. On the other hand, a true emergency mechanism was not something the Union was unequipped with during the crucial moments of creating the operative plan for the Agenda. The existing Union framework on asylum creates two quite different concepts for determining the Member State responsible for providing international protection to refugees – one for regular asylum procedures in the Dublin Regulation, and another one which is specifically envisaged for emergency situations. By choosing the former instead of the latter, the EU went for the wrong option. The author’s position is that the Union in its centralized capacity failed to activate an efficient legal framework to respond to a crisis of the present magnitude, thus creating a perfect ground for individual Member States to become the main actors of the crisis management, each invoking its own political particularities and national interests. The outcome was polarization of the Member States every day going further away from the evercloser Union. By refusing to confront these issues, the EU avoids admitting that the ideal Union integration is currently facing its ultimate identity crisis; that political particularities of individual Member States still condition the core selective unity for peoples of Europe.



Nika Bačić Selanec, LL.M. (UMich) works as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Department of European Public Law, University of Zagreb - Faculty of Law. She is a member of the UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, working on her PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Iris Goldner Lang. Her dissertation analyzes the changing contours of EU federalism and the balance of powers between the European Union and its Member States in the context of free movement of persons and migration. She has also researched and published several articles in the area of EU immigration law, refugee law, EU citizenship and anti-discrimination law. 

Nika graduated law from the University of Zagreb in 2012. During her studies, she was part of the University of Zagreb student team that won the 2011 Central and Eastern European Moot Court Competition. In 2014, as a Hugo Grotius Fellow, she obtained her LLM degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where she also received the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Performance in European Union Colloquium and the John Henry Kouba Prize for Best Paper on European Integration.  In 2016, she worked at the Court of Justice of the EU as a stagiaire in the cabinet of Judge Siniša Rodin and the cabinet of Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston. She is a member of the Odysseus Academic Network of Experts in Asylum and Migration Law and a legal secretary of the Croatian European Union Studies Association.


Boldizsar Nagy, Central European University

“Free riding instead of solidarity: An attempt to interpret Hungary’s (anti)refugee policy in the frame of global and regional suggestions for responsibility sharing”


The talk will consist of two major parts. Part one will offer a systemic overview of academic and government or institutional proposals for responsibility sharing at the global or the regional level and then in light of those (especially the Commission’s 2016 May proposal for the corrective allocation mechanism as part of the Dublin regulation recast) it will interpret Hungary’s actions, including the court case (Case C-647/15, Hungary v. Council)  against the Council attacking the 2015 relocation decision (Council Decision 2015/1601) and the stakes of the referendum of 2 October. An analysis of the planned amendment to the Fundamental Law (constitution) proposed by the government after invalid referendum, is also part of the planned contribution.


Boldizsár Nagy read law and philosophy  and received his PhD in law at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and pursued international studies at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center. Besides the uninterrupted academic activity both at the Eötvös Loránd University (since 1977) and the Central European University (since 1992) he has been engaged both in governmental and non-governmental actions. He acted several times as expert for the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Europe and UNHCR and participated at various inter-governmental negotiations.  He is a co-founder and former board member of the European Society of International Law and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Refugee Law and of the European Journal of Migration and Law. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the on-line Rerugee Law Reader. His earlier teaching venues include Ankara, Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Moscow, New York, Tblisi and Yerevan. More than two dozens books were co-authored and/or edited by him. In October 2012 he published a monograph on the development of the Hungarian  refugee law and refugee movements between the end of the Cold War and Hungary's accession to the EU. The German law Journal will carry his next article on the Hungarian refugee law and policy in November 2016. Further details - including a bibliography – are available at his webiste: www.nagyboldizsar.hu


Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, Peace Institute

"'Humanitarian Corridor': Unacceptable State of Exception or Alternative Approach to Migration?"


The period from September 2015 to March 2016 saw an unprecedented arrival of refugees and migrants to Europe through the “Western Balkans migration route” where the states established the so-called “humanitarian corridor”. The operation of this corridor was outside the normative framework and could be understood as a “state of exception” situation. This situation was governed by unpublished ad-hoc rules that were changing on a daily basis, creating an extremely unpredictable and uncertain situation for all stakeholders involved, in particular for the migrants and the refugees themselves. The most notable feature of this 'state of exception situation' was a general and indiscriminate limitation of movement. This measure was imposed in an arbitrary manner, raising a significant rule of law problem – there was no legal basis for it in the national law or international law. At the same time one cannot ignore the fact that although the circumstances within the corridor at times amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, the corridor itself enabled asylum seekers a safer, faster and cheaper way of travelling to a desired country of destination. The paper will elaborate on the idea that the unprecedented assistance the facilitating countries provided for asylum seekers could be considered as an alternative approach to responding to migration and providing refugee protection.  


Neža Kogovšek Šalamon holds a Masters Degree in international human rights law from the University of Notre Dame, Law School, and a PhD in Law from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law. She works as a Researcher and Director of the Peace Institute, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her research interests include fundamental rights, asylum, migration, non-discrimination and citizenship law. She completed a postdoctoral research project “Fundamental Rights of Citizens and Foreigners in the European Union” (2014–2016) and is currently head of basic research project “Crimmigration between Human Rights and Surveillance” (2016–2018), both funded by the Slovenian Research Agency. She is, inter alia, author of “Migration Law in Slovenia” (Kluwer Law International 2011), “Asylum Systems in the Western Balkans: Current Issues” (International Migration, 2016), and “Erased: Citizenship, Residence Rights and the Constitution in Slovenia” (Peter Lang Academic Research, 2016). She is a member of a number of professional networks, including Odysseus Academic Network of Experts in Asylum and Migration Law.


Violeta Moreno-Lax, Queen Mary University of London

“Reframing Solutions to the ‘Refugee Crisis’: Humanitarian Visas as an Individual Right Under EU Law”


Considering the background to the mounting ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe and its immediate neighbourhood, the aim of this paper is to reframe solutions thereof. Instead of propounding a security-centric approach, focusing on the eradication of irregular maritime arrivals and the mafias facilitating them, this paper proposes to adopt a protection-centred vision that avoids portraying refugees and/or their facilitators as the ‘problem’ – as the causers of the ‘crisis’. The focus will rather be on the need to open up channels for safe and regular access to international protection, so that the necessity to employ traffickers and smugglers dissipates. So-called ‘humanitarian’ or ‘asylum visas’ will hence attract particular attention. The key point in this respect will be to dispel the myth that ‘asylum visas’ are a matter of 'diplomatic asylum' or of some form of discretionary power of States to authorize (individual) resettlement, as most scholarship in the field maintains. This paper propounds to place them within the remit of 'access to territorial asylum' instead. On that basis, it will be argued that the right to asylum in Art 18 CFR entails an individual entitlement to international protection that includes an (implicit) right to access the relevant procedure (and the territory where they can be held) for it to be effective (much in the vein of the implicit rights to access courts within Art 6 ECHR, as in Golder, or the implicit right to protection against refoulement within Art 3 ECHR, as in Soering). Determining then the scope of application ratione loci of that entitlement will be crucial to the argumentation - otherwise Art 18 CFR would be of no use to individuals in third countries where humanitarian visas could be obtained. This will constitute the core issue to elucidate: Whether and to which extent the Charter (and its single provisions) reaches out extraterritorialy and with what effect. A conclusion in favour of the extraterritorial application of Art 18 CFR will determine the nature of humanitarian visas as a matter of individual rights under EU law in particular circumstances - and, hence, potentially revolutionise the way in which 'solutions' to the current 'refugee crisis' have been framed.



Dr. Violeta Moreno-Lax is Lecturer in Law, founding Director (2014-16) of the Immigration Law programme, and founding Co-Director (2014-16) of the Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA) at Queen Mary University of London. She is also a Fellow of the Centre for European Law of King s College London, EU Asylum Law Coordinator at the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London, Co-Chair of The Refugee Law Observatory, Convener of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Migration Law Section, as well as member of the Steering Committee of the Migration Law Network. Since January 2016, she is part of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Migration and Law. Before coming to Queen Mary, she was a Lecturer in Law at the Universities of Liverpool (2012-13) and Oxford (2011-12). She has held visiting positions at the Universities of New South Wales (2016-17), Oxford (2010-12), Nijmegen (2009-10) and The Hague Academy of International Law (Research Session 2010). She read Law in Murcia (LLB/LLM), European Studies in the College of Europe (MA), and EU Immigration and Asylum Law at the Free University of Brussels (PG Certificate), before obtaining her Doctorate in Law from the University of Louvain (PhD). She has published widely in the areas of international and European refugee and migration law and acted as expert consultant for the EU institutions and other organisations in the field.



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