Seminar: Solidarity and Asylum Policy of the European Union

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Solidarity is one of the challenges facing European Union asylum policy and, knowing that it will be impossible to build a truly Common European Asylum System without increased solidarity, it becomes more and more relevant due to the growing tensions and distrust among Member States. While some Member States ask for more solidarity, others answer that each Member State should first take on its own responsabilities. While responsibility distribution is organised by the so-called Dublin system for the examination of asylum requests, article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union also provides a legal basis for the principle of solidarity. However, it has until now been implemented in a piecemeal way without fully addressing the problem, in particular regarding financial solidarity.

With this informal seminar, the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) intends to launch a brainstorming exercise on the possibilities of better implementing the principle of solidarity. Even though this event will focus on its internal dimension between EU Member States, solidarity is of course also an issue for International Refugee Law and Policy that has to be taken into consideration. International cooperation to share burdens and responsibilities is equally difficult to implement between States at the level of the international community. Needless to say, it is more than ever relevant with the current refugee crisis from Syria that affects the neighbouring countries, while the EU focuses on financial rather than physical solidarity despite some positive evolution regarding resettlement in some EU Member States.

The primary  goal of the seminar is to discuss a model for tradable refugee quotas between EU Member States that has been elaborated by economists attached to the MPC. The morning session will be devoted to gaining a good understanding of this model and the possibilities of implementing it. The afternoon session will address the issue of solidarity and the diverse ways in which it has been implemented until now in the context of the European Asylum Policy in order to see what could be done in the future to increase solidarity between Member States. On the basis of the results of the discussion, the MPC will examine how it could follow up by launching a research project on the issue of solidarity in view, for instance, of organising a European conference and/or of publishing a book or a special issue of a journal during 2014-2016. Such a project would be particularly relevant as the EU will evaluate the Dublin mechanism of responsibility distribution during this period.

Seminar programme

Date and Location

Wednesday 21 May 2014, 9h-17h

Seminar Room, Villa Malafrasca, European University Institute, Florence



This event is co-funded by the EU