On July 5, 2023, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted the 18th GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar titled “Recent Development Related to the Migration Influx in the European Union,” featuring Professor Iris Goldner Lang (Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law at the University of Zagreb). A total of 14 Hitotsubashi University students and faculty members participated in this seminar.
Professor Goldner Lang gave an overview of recent developments regarding the influx of migrants into the European Union (EU) and emphasized the political nature of this issue. The professor began by referring to the Dublin Regulation, under which the state where immigrants first enter is responsible for the examination of asylum applications. The professor explained that the presumption of the regulation was originally on the equality of states in observing human rights and on the solidarity of the EU. In reality, however, the professor explained, there have been variations in the performance of different national asylum systems and in the number of applications examined across the EU, resulting in systemic deficiencies of certain national asylum systems and violations of asylum seekers’ rights. The professor also pointed out the 180-degree turnaround in Germany’s refugee policy and the “deal” between the EU and Turkey, in the context of the huge influx of Syrian refugees, and explained the political interpretations of the “deal” by the courts of European states. The professor also explained the discrepancy between the Schengen Agreement, which allows freedom of movement, and the border blockade preventing the spread of the new coronavirus, stating that states justified the blockade on the grounds of “security.” In addition, the professor discussed the introduction of new technologies and “legal pushback” in border control. Finally, Professor Goldner Lang pointed out the conflict between humanitarianism and security, and the lack of unity in the EU on the issue of migration.
During the Q&A session, various questions were raised regarding the criteria used by the courts to determine who was in charge of decision-making, how the Dublin Regulation was formed, and the instrumentalization of migrants and refugees. Professor Goldner Lang responded to these questions by discussing the political nature and scale of immigration issues, the challenges of the Dublin Regulation, and the ongoing discussion on the amendment of the Schengen Borders Code.
【Event Report prepared by】
Takahiro NAKAJIMA (Bachelor’s student, Faculty of Law, Hitotsubashi University)