Refuge Europe – a question of solidarity?

International conference at Chemnitz University of Technology, September 30-October 2, 2019.

Since 2015, migration towards and within Europe has created a ‘stress’ in the EU asylum and migration systems, challenging both the adequacy of the legal design of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and its practical implementation. Soon after the influx, the process was labeled as a “refugee crisis” by some, and “crisis of solidarity” by others, referring to the notion of solidarity and responsibility-sharing, which both are founding principles of the European Union.

Our conference aims to reflect on these recent experiences with refugee reception in Europe and present research results on how those challenges have been tackled at the different levels of governance. The conference will discuss asylum governance and refugee reception from a multilevel governance perspective. It will integrate the migrants’ perspective and reflect their experiences of mobility, borders, arrival and settlement. It will furthermore reflect the massive politicization processes of migration and integration, which stimulated a transformation of the political landscape in many European countries. Last but not least, the conference will be attentive to best practice approaches in the field of refugee reception and asylum governance and will discuss future scenarios of a common European asylum system, based on the principle of solidarity and responsibility sharing.

This conference is part of the Horizon 2020 project CEASEVAL Evaluation of the Common European Asylum System under Pressure and Recommendations for Further Development, which aims to evaluate the European Asylum System considering recent events of stress and elaborate possibilities for reform, based on the central idea of harmonization of regulations and solidarity among EU member states. The conference will give the floor to fellow researchers to present and discuss their findings in the field of refugee reception and asylum governance, focusing on the five thematic fields CEASEVAL is studying: (1) regulatory mechanisms of the CEAS, (2) multilevel governance of reception, (3) borders and the mobility of migrants, (4) patterns of politicization on refugees and policy responses and (5) rethinking solidarity – from lip service to good practice. Moreover, we will (6) debate methodological challenges of comparative fieldwork and (7) discuss good practice of dissemination to various audiences.

The conference will take place at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. Panels will be held in English and German, translation will be provided. Panels will start in the morning of 1st October and last until 2nd October, 2 p.m. At the 30th of September we hold a pre-conference day, devoted to committee meetings of the CEASEVAL project. A call for paper will be published in due course. Conference registration is open via the CEASEVAL website from the 1st of May.