Tuesday, 01 May 2018 18:49

Solidarity in EU Asylum and Migration Law: A Crisis Management Tool or a Structural Principle?

Miglio, A. (2018). Solidarity in EU Asylum and Migration Law: A Crisis Management Tool or a Structural Principle? In E. Kuzelewska, A. Weatherburn, & D. Kloza (Eds.), Irregular Migration as a Challenge for Democracy (pp. 23-50). Intersentia. doi:10.1017/9781780687025.004


In recent years, the European Union (EU) has arguably been experiencing the deepest crisis in its history. The most acute phase of the economic and sovereign debt crisis had just been overcome, when a new crisis, driven by the increased fiow of migrants and asylum seekers from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean coasts, exposed the weaknesses of the European asylum system and led to an unprecedented level of confrontation between the Member States.

The two crises are not only interconnected, but also share some common features and raise similar concerns.

The crisis of sovereign debt and the ensuing threat to the common currency have revealed the deep fiaws existing in the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and led to mounting dissatisfaction with EU policies among European citizens. In some Member States, the EU is viewed as responsible for detested austerity, shrinking budgets and ultimately the demise of the welfare state, whilst in others financial solidarity is fiercely contested as an unacceptable challenge to the principle of democracy.

Looking at the migration crisis and its perception in public opinion offers an equally depressing picture. The crisis has exposed a failure in the governance of migration and generated a widespread sense of insecurity, prompting calls for border closure and repatriation of powers. The EU ' s intervention has been perceived as ineffective in the control of the external borders and in aiding the Member States in the allocation and reception of asylum seekers.

Both the sovereign debt crisis and the migration crisis can be explained as the product of a ‘perfect storm’, a combination of external events, incorrect behaviours and ill-designed legal rules. The reason why they are so concerning, however, is that they also question some of the foundational values that are supposed to be shared within the Union, solidarity in the first place.

Against this background, the present chapter aims to assess the role of the principle of solidarity in the context of EU migration and asylum policies.

At the outset, by briefiy sketching the evolution of references to solidarity in the EU Treaties, it shows that solidarity has emerged as a legal principle capable of imposing obligations (section 2).

This book chapter can be read at the following linkhttps://www.cambridge.org/core/books/irregular-migration-as-a-challenge-for-democracy/solidarity-in-eu-asylum-and-migration-law-a-crisis-management-tool-or-a-structural-principle/542FC5F5B74A3B305241B2ABF05CC5EA


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