European Council Experts’ Debrief April 2023: How can the EU balance solidarity and responsibility in migration policy?

The European Council Experts’ Debrief is our series of policy responses to the regularly published conclusions of the European Council. Each time the European Council meets for a summit, TEPSA gathers its leading academics to comment on the conclusions, analyse alliances formed, maintained, and broken, investigate policy implications, and suggest solutions to move Europe forward.

This edition of the Debrief also includes a follow-up on the previous edition, authored by Brigid Laffan, President of the European Policy Centre and Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute.

In this seventh edition of the European Council Experts’ Debrief, our experts focus on the implications of the March European Council conclusions as regards Europe’s approach to migration and asylum. TEPSA Secretary-General Jim Cloos asked authors to respond to the question ‘How can the EU balance the requirements of solidarity and responsibility in migration policy? What could be a comprehensive new bargain, covering both measures to reduce illegal crossings and a better management of legal migration, bearing in mind human rights concerns and the needs of the EU labour market? What could be done to enable asylum applications from abroad?” The recent flow of refugees coming from war-torn Ukraine into the EU has put the EU’s approach to asylum, and with it the broader migration policy, back into the forefront of the European conversation. At a time where the impacts of global climate change risk displacing record numbers of people across the globe, the European Union must look once more at its legacy migration policies, left over since the refugee crisis in 2015-16, and at its future approaches. The proposed New Pact on Migration and Asylum, as well as discussions of the issue in both the February and March 2023 European Councils, offer glimpses at future progress, but much is yet to be done. These themes and many more are tackled in this new edition of the European Council Experts’ Debrief.

In addition to the foreword by TEPSA Secretary-General Jim Cloos, expert contributors to this edition include: 

  • Brigid Laffan, European Policy Centre (EPC) & Emeritus Professor at the European University Institute (EUI);
  • Hugo Brady, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD);
  • Ana Paula Costa, Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI-NOVA);
  • Alessio Iocchi, University of Naples L’Orientale & Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI);
  • Eugenia Kopsidi, European Law & Governance School (ELGS);
  • Giles Merritt, Friends of Europe & Egmont Institute;
  • Eleonora Milazzo, Egmont Institute & European Policy Centre (EPC);
  • Iulian Oneașcă, European Institute of Romania (IER);
  • Erzsébet N. Rózsa, Institute of World Economics (CERS) & University of Public Service Budapest;
  • Senada Šelo Šabić, Institute for Development & International Relations (IRMO);
  • Mihai Sebe, European Institute of Romania (IER);
  • Tamara Tubakovic, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE);
  • Jaap de Zwaan, Erasmus University Rotterdam & former Director of the Clingendael Institute.

Cover Picture: © European Union