By Catharina Ziebritzki, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law       logo_mpil_en

This blog post is up to date as of 29 June 2016.

Legal uncertainty seems inherent to the Hotspot system and the “absence of legal clarity, worrying”. The EU-Turkey statement which came into effect on 20 March 2016 has caused major changes to the administrative procedure in the Greek Hotspots. On 1 April 2016, Greek Law 4375 reforming the Asylum System was adopted. Shortly after its last parts took effect on 1 June, it was amended again on 16 June. These recent developments have increased legal uncertainty. The Greek asylum system still suffers from “systemic deficiencies”. This, in combination with the highly politicised nature of recent developments in Greece and the chaotic and tense situation in the Hotspots, has created a significant degree of misinformation, or indeed lack of any information at all, both among potential information providers as well as those that should potentially be entitled to receive information. “Administrative limbo and uncertainty in the Aegean” are the results.

This blog contribution aims to give an overview of the current administrative procedure in the Greek Hotspots and to shed light on some procedural questions. Other crucial issues concerning implementation of the EU-Turkey statement and the Hotspot scheme in general – such as reception conditions which are undeserving of this name, systematic detention since 20 March, detention of unaccompanied minors, conditions of detention and restriction of freedom to an island – are beyond the scope of this article. The anything but decent living conditions however greatly increases the need for working procedures and for asylum-seekers to have information about what will happen to them.

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By Elspeth Guild, Jean Monnet Professor ad personam, Queen Mary University of London     queen-mary-logo

In 2009 the EU institutions adopted a directive regulating the admission, residence and rights of highly qualified third country nationals for purposes of relevant employment. This directive is commonly called the Blue Card scheme (Directive 2009/50). While the institutions trumpeted the arrival of a new labour migration tool on the EU market promising that the new directive would transform the attractiveness of the EU’s Internal Market to highly qualified third country nationals encouraging the world’s ‘best and brightest’ to come to work in Europe, the results have been paltry. As the Commission notes (more than once) in its presentation of a new revised version of Blue Card, the original scheme of the directive has “proven insufficiently attractive and underused, with only a limited number of Blue Cards issued.” (European Commission Fact Sheet 7 June 2016).

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By Henri LabayleCDRE CDRE

Cet article est disponible en français.

The media circus of political commentary  does not grasp the scale of the stakes involved in the Brexit result. Now that the referendum is over, the people who complained about the lies and estimations during the campaign still revere the technique of the referendum as a sacred process which should be revered in an established democracy. However, almost by its very nature, the referendum created the conditions for such liberties to be taken with the truth.

Forgetting the conditions surrounding the success of the “no” side of the 2005 Constitutional referendum, they continue to think we can respond to complex issues in a binary manner, and feed the illusion of democracy. Is Boris Johnson’s inconsistency today’s equivalent of Laurent Fabius’ “Plan B” during the Maastricht Referendum in France? And did it make sense at that time to mix the voices of the extreme left and the extreme right?

Indeed, the new champions of the (de) construction of Europe are ignoring the essential facts. Among the burning questions written off in the debate, which British citizens are now discovering, the issue of redefining the external borders of the United Kingdom is not insignificant. The challenges – whether maintaining past situations, such as Gibraltar and the Channel Tunnel, or the new concerns surrounding the relationship with the Republic of Ireland – are serious,  but they are not of the same nature. Continue reading »

Par Henri LabayleCDRE CDRE

This article is also available in English .

Les commentaires du feuilleton politico médiatique accompagnant le feuilleton du Brexit ne sont pas à la hauteur de ses enjeux. Les mêmes qui stigmatisent les mensonges et approximations de la campagne référendaire britannique, trouvent logique de sacraliser le procédé référendaire qui l’a conclue, comme si cette technique était un modèle à révérer dans une démocratie accomplie. Elle appelle pourtant presque par nature de prendre de telles libertés avec la vérité.

Oublieux qu’ils sont des conditions dans lesquelles les « non » de 2005 s’étaient agrégés, ils persistent à penser que l’on peut répondre de façon binaire à des questions complexes et nourrissent l’illusion démocratique. L’inconséquence de Boris Johnson a-t-elle quoi que ce soit à envier aujourd’hui au « plan B » de Laurent Fabius et mêler les voix de Jean Luc Mélenchon et du Front national avait-il un sens à l’époque ?

C’est dire si les nouveaux chantres de la (dé)construction européenne ignorent l’essentiel. Parmi les questions brûlantes passées par pertes et profits dans le débat et que découvrent les citoyens britanniques, celle de la redéfinition des frontières extérieures du Royaume Uni n’est pas la moindre. Qu’il s’agisse du maintien de situations antérieures, à Gibraltar comme aux abords du tunnel sous la Manche, ou de l’appréhension nouvelle des relations avec la République d’Irlande, les défis sont sérieux. Ils ne sont pas de même nature.

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Par Henri LabayleCDRE CDRE

Les commentaires accompagnant la décision britannique de quitter l’Union européenne affligent. Ils ne surprennent pas. Succédant à une légère vague d’optimisme ignorante de la qualité des organismes de sondage britannique, est décrit aujourd’hui un « séisme » qui n’en est pas un. Car, si la caractéristique des tremblements de terre est leur imprévisibilité, tout, dans l’épisode du Brexit, était largement annoncé même si l’expression démocratique des citoyens n’était pas imaginée aussi explicite.

Les petits calculs politiciens, nationaux comme européens, ayant conduit à cette crise majeure (1) obligent donc à évaluer le prix du renoncement (2), les conséquences de son règlement s’avérant largement imprévisibles en l’état du délitement de l’Union (3).

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by DDr. Philip Czech, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Human Rights Institute, University of Salzburg Logo ÖIM_rotweißrot-links-EN Logo_University of Salzburg

For a long time, the European Court of Human Rights showed great respect for state sovereignty in the field of migration and was very reluctant to affirm a right of aliens to enter a Convention State to reunite with family members living there. Only in very rare cases has the Court found violations of the European Convention on Human Rights when migrants or refugees have been denied reunification with their children or spouses in the state of residence. However, recent case-law points to an increasing shift from respect for states’ prerogatives in the field of immigration to a strengthening of the human rights of aliens. On the one hand, the Court has adjusted its approach under Article 8 ECHR giving increased weight to the interests of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection to be reunited with their loved ones (1) and on the other hand, applicants have been successful in utilising the Article 14 prohibition of discrimination to claim a right to family reunification (2).

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