The EU has adopted policies of transferring external border controls to neighbour countries (Turkey, Libya, Albania, etc.) to manage migration lato sensu from a distance. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum further supports this strategy. Different types of migratory flows are, accordingly, handled away from the EU territory, officials and surveillance. The enforcement of this policy raises serious EU law questions. Despite the provision of Article 67(2), TFEU, those agreements can be celebrated under intergovernmental procedures where the CJEU lacks jurisdiction (cases C‑208/17 P to C‑210/17 P). In addition, externalisation may downgrade fundamental rights protection of migrants and asylum-seekers in general (v.g. detention and ‘pushbacks’) and could cause their unlawful removal. All in all, this presentation will address these two lines of legal shortcomings of outsourcing the EU’s border controls, i.e., the intergovernmental setback as well as incompliances with migrants’ rights.
In 2015, the European Commission launched the “hotspot approach” to deal with exceptional migratory flows. The “hotspot approach” aimed to help the Member States, such as Italy and Greece, identify, register, and fingerprint migrants and determine their protection needs.
However, these hotspots, also known as Reception and Identification Centres, ended up becoming real detention centres with inhuman conditions. These RICs are also described as unsafe places, especially for women and girls, and several episodes of violence have been reported namely sexual violence. Going to the toilet became a challenge for many women and girls, as it made them easy targets for sexual assault.
In 2020, the European Commission presented the “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”, leading us to reflect, in our communication, whether the proposals put forward will provide an adequate response to the problem of violent crimes committed in RIC, notably sexual violence.
From the cold war to the COVID-19 pandemic, unexpected tragic events have caught the EU by storm and made it clear that this is still an unfinished project.
However, according to Jean Monnet the EU would be the result of successive crises and how they would be handled. Although not all emergencies have led to the same outcomes, we have recent examples of reinforced integration as the ultimate positive consequence of European turmoil. In fact, as the outcome of Europe’s last crises, we have seen more developments in EU integration than what we have been seeing in last years.
After a pandemic, the EU is now confronted with a war on its doorstep. An unprecedented challenge that, according to the most recent projections, will cause the largest wave of refugees since the II World War. With our communication, we will reflect on the possible outcomes of this crisis and how this can be a turning point for the EU integration process, especially in what concerns social protection systems.