Collective Refugee Status Determination in the European Union

Worldwide, circa 84 million people are forcibly displaced. The UNHCR predicts rising numbers and a rising number of displacement factors. These include events of mass displacement like sudden weather changes due to climate change or wars. The 1951 Refugee Convention does not specifically include events of mass displacement. However, renowned scholars (e.g. Hathaway, 2021) have argued that its grounds are sufficiently broad to account for the specific vulnerabilities arising from such situations. Irrespectively of a predicted increase of mass displacement, states of the Global North generally rely on individual refugee status determination (RSD). Contrarily, RSD systems in the Global South and of the UNCHR often operate group based. Despite far reaching harmonization efforts for RSD within the EU, recognition statistics show wide disparities.

This paper will explore the potential of group-based RSD for the EU by referring to group-based RSD systems as a counterpoint.

Arbitrariness and Migration: The Case of Citizenship by Investment Programmes in the European Union

In my presentation, I will introduce a distinction between the notions of discretion and arbitrariness grounded on the requirement of providing reasons of a certain (legal) pedigree. I will also provide arguments supporting that the provision of reasons justifying the actions of the public authorities applies to all public actors, including the law-makers. Lastly, I will present the case of citizenship by investment programs (CIPs) in the UE as a case of great arbitrariness by public authorities. CIPs bestow national and European citizenship, the core status of the EU, in exchange for mere economic transactions, waiving all other criteria required for regular naturalization applicants. Delving into the process of creation of these programs shows that CIPs have been created in a highly arbitrary manner, thus damafing the Rule of Law and granting national and supranational citizenship arbitrarily.

Cross-border cooperation in public health: European public law to the rescue?

Emergency services should be able to help people in need, regardless on which side of the border they are. Moreover, cross-border training could increase the quality of services.
Although the internal EU borders are soft borders, crossing these borders for public health emergencies is not always self-evident. Cross-border cooperation in public health often comes up against legal obstacles.
Convinced of the need for further regulation of cross-border cooperation, the Commission proposed a mechanism (ECBM) that would make it possible to determine the applicable law in case of cross-border cooperation.
The presentation will critically assess the proposal – which has not yet made it into a regulation- from a public health perspective.
The research question is: To what extent could ECBM support public health professionals? Based on both a legal and empirical assessment, the presentation will address major shortcomings and formulate some recommendations for the development of an ECBM 2.0.

Building Transparency and Integrity through Integrity Pacts in Europe

While the recovery after the pandemic is an open challenge, the attention is now turning at providing stimulus measures whose ultimate purpose would be to spark the economic recovery. In this scenario a well-functioning and efficient public procurement is required in order to guarantee integrity, transparency and accountability in public spending, where the EU recovery, a sustainable growth and creation of fair jobs “step up to the plate”. Integrity and transparency are among the conditions affecting the EU Commission judgement on the RRF funds disbursement that will be required every six months.
How to improve public procurement practices in Europe in this perspective? How to better involve the civil society in the public decision-making process?
The paper aims at pointing out the role of integrity pacts as an effective tool to cope with corruption and illicit practices, improving trust, accountability and democracy in the public spending procedures.

Supremacy of EU Law and the Romanian Constitutional Court

Recent jurisprudence of the CJEU has dealt with the decisions of the Romanian Constitutional Court (RCC) that ignore or reject the supremacy of EU law in the matters of judicial organization and independence. In this paper, I explore the origins of this crisis finding its roots in the anti-corruption campaign that the Romanian Directorate for Anti-Corruption led against the political class in Romania and the subsequent legal backlash against the campaign that was led by both the political class and the RCC. I argue that these specific roots of the legal backlash against the judiciary in Romania are what separates the battle between the CJEU and the RCC concerning the supremacy of EU law from similar events in Poland. Consequentially, the rule of law crisis in Romania has less to do with populist constitutionalism, or the pluralism of constitutional identities then with securing that the criminal proceedings of the members of the political class do not happen again.