CFP : ‘Turning the tide? The EU Global Strategy’s implementation and the EU approach to migration’, 12-14 septembre 2019, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italie — LIMITE : 19/05/2019

Infos pratiques


In recent years the European Union (EU) has been witnessing a series of crises that have put, for the first time in its long history, its existence into question. This panel intends to bring together contributions analyzing the implementation of the 2016 Global Strategy (EUGS) in a policy area where one of these crises occurred, namely in the EU migration and refugee sector. Indeed, the migration and refugee crisis is only one of the multiple crises that broke out in the EU after the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty (December 2009, LT). When the inflow of migrants and refugees increased dramatically in 2015, the EU had already engaged with the Euro crisis and with a series of political and military conflicts arisen in its neighborhood, with a record of tensions regarding its ineffective – or late – response on both fronts. Nevertheless, this policy area deserves special analysis. Not only because of the magnitude of the humanitarian costs the migration and refugee emergency entailed, but also because due to its politically contested nature, migration is directly related to many dimensions of the existential crisis the EU is currently experiencing and that are putting European integration at risk.

The institutional construction of EU foreign policy-making and of the Justice and Home Affairs’ (JHA) field were considered strategic innovations of the LT. While the LT made significant modifications to temper the intergovernmental logic within foreign and security policy, such as the reform of the role of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the 2009 legal text also completed the transition of the JHA sector to the supranational domain. Thanks to this restructuring the EU should have finally achieved a more united and powerful voice in the world, and a more effective apparatus for supporting it.

And yet, as a series of political and military conflicts arisen at the EU borders was generating pressure to formulate more efficient foreign and security policies, the EU seemed to be less and less able to face a variety of external challenges. The EU’s responses to a series of political and military conflicts that arose in the Middle East and in northern and sub-Saharan Africa were belated, or ineffective. The ensuing migration emergency highlighted the asymmetries of EU migration and asylum policy frameworks, which inevitably penalize member states whose territories serve as external EU borders. The absence of solidarity among national governments provided fertile ground for the rise and strengthening of sovereigntist forces across Europe, some of which went so far as to question the Schengen principles. It is against this backdrop that in June 2016 the High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini presented the EUGS.

The EUGS introduced the notion of state and societal resilience, to be projected in the neighbourhood in order to enhance the EU’s capacity to prevent and address any further instability. It renewed the EU’s commitment to take responsibility for the stability of neighboring countries and reiterated its relevance for Europe’s own security. As for migration, it called for the overcoming of the fragmentation of external policies relevant to it. According to the EU official document, increased coherence would be achieved by deepening the links between humanitarian and development efforts, by employing joint risk analysis, and through multi-annual programming and financing. Furthermore, the EUGS stated the importance of making different external policies and instruments migration-sensitive, and it envisaged an improvement in the consistency between external and internal policies.

Based on these insights, several questions regarding the EUGS implementation can be raised:

  • Has EU member states and institutions’ approach to the migration and refugee crisis evolved in the framework of the EUGS’ implementation? If so, how?
  • Which factors have determined EU member states and institutions engagement – or lack thereof – to the EUGS’ implementation? And, has such engagement changed over time?
  • Has the EUGS been implemented differently from country to another? If so, how?
  • What have been the implications of the EUGS’ implementation on the effectiveness and legitimacy of EU policy on migration?
  • What have been the consequences of the migration policies launched in the framework of the Strategy’s implementation on EU member states’ domestic politics?
  • Has BREXIT led to an increase or to a decrease of cooperation in migration policy among EU member states and institutions in the framework of the Strategy’s implementation?
  • Have the US President Donal Trump’s mixed signals towards the EU and NATO engagement in Europe influenced the EUGS’ implementation in migration?

The panel aims at setting the basis for a systematic assessment of the EUGS’ implementation in the field of migration. It would accept papers addressing both theoretical and empirical questions, though different theoretical and methodological approaches. In particular, it would welcome, papers that deal with EU foreign and security policy; with external relations of the EU; with migration and refugee policies; with  international relations, more in general; and with EU integration and politics. Nonetheless, the submission of contributions on other topics related to the EUGS’ implementation in migration is also encouraged.