Refugee numbers and the EU’s obligations

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Rue du Commerce 20
Tuesday, November 08 2016 / 12:00

The mass influx of refugees and migrants into the EU since August 2015 has raised questions about the EU’s responsibility to give protection to people fleeing conflicts and poverty. Individual politicians of different political persuasions have argued that Europe’s human rights obligations have led to the EU accepting more refugees than it should.

What are the EU’s options? Should the existing legal commitments be rethought? Should the asylum and immigration policies be implemented before revisions of legal obligations are attempted? Or should the asylum system be fundamentally reformed? In implementing existing laws on asylum and return, what is the balance of responsibilities between the EU and the member states? In attempting a global system of shared responsibility for refugees, what is the role of the EU and that of non-European countries?