Article: Relocation of the refugees, a solidarity deficit and a gap in the European Union

Published in the Revista General de Derecho Europeo, no. 44 (January, 2018)

(ABSTRACT) In the judgment of the 6th September 2017, the European Union Court of Justice ruled on the Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece (Relocation Decision). As the demands for international protection in the two countries reached numbers never seen before, the Decision put into play a temporary mechanism for the relocation of the asylum seekers arriving from Greece and Italy. According to the Relocation Decision, the remaining State members of the EU would receive 120.000 asylum seekers who would have presented their petition in the two Mediterranean States. The asylum seekers would be distributed among the member States according to a quota system. Hungary and the Slovak Republic requested the European Court of Justice to annul the Decision. The case was relevant due to the nature of the principle of solidarity implied and the context of the reform of the Common European Asylum System in which the judgment was adopted. The Court rejected the applications on the basis of technical and legal arguments rooted in the EU Law. However, the interpretation of the principle of solidarity was reduced to merely a symbolic status.

By Joana Abrisketa, Professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Deusto and member of the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Economic and Legal integration for people.

Financial accountability in the European Union institutions, policy and practice

The EUFINACCO Collaborative Research Network was co-founded in Boston, USA, in 2010 by Deusto prof. Maria Luisa Sánchez Barrueco, who currently holds the Coordination of the Network together with Paul Stephenson, from Maastricht University, and Hartmut Aden, from Berlin School of Economics and Law. This Network has grown continuously ever since that moment and, nowadays, 27 experts are offering their knowledge to the network in the field of financial accountability in the EU. EUFINACCO is also connected to the UACES European association as it gained status as UACES collaborative research network for the period 2015-2018. More information about the Network can be found on the blog.

Among the activities of EUFINACCO, there is the III EUFINACCO Workshop hosted by the Deusto Faculty of Law and organized by the SAPIA Jean Monnet Module held by Maria Luisa Sánchez Barrueco from the 31st January to 2nd February. During the event, numerous experts and professionals of the Network offered several conclusions on the subject that marked the title of the Workshop: the Financial accountability in the European Union institutions, policy and practice.

The event was opened by the Vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and member of the Jean Monnet Chair in “EU Economic and Legal integration for people”, Marta Enciso, who offered the stage to the first speaker, Hartmut Aden. Hartmut together with Gilberto Moggia, EU official at the European Court of Auditors, offered the first insight by explaining what accountability and the Court of Auditors are as well as their importance in this research project.

The following day, the Workshop was started by Gabriele Cipriani, also Official at the EU Court of Auditors, who explained the challenges of visibility of the EU Revenue and some possible solutions for integration through visibility. After this, Justyna Lacny (Polish Academy of Sciences), Andreea Hancu (Universitat de Valencia), Claudia Gloazzo (University of Strathclyde) and Maaike Damen-Koedijk (Tilburg University) offered their knowledge from a more practical perspective as they described the financial corrections, the EU Development fund or the financial instruments in the Cohesion Policy and the accountability process of the Cohesion Policy from the Dutch system. Likewise, Giacomo Benedetto (Royal Holloway University of London) completed the accountability of EU Funds explaining the example of the European Fund for Strategic Investments. Finally, Paul Stephenson offered some remarks on the differences between the parliamentary scrutiny and the audit process of the EU Court of Auditors and Maria Luisa commented the many issues regarding accountability in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.

The last day was dedicated to a gathering of all the speakers who were present at the III EUFINACCO Workshop.


For more information on Financial accountability in the EU, visit the living bibliography created with the publications and work of the members of EUFINACCO.

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness bets on Joana Abrisketa’s Project

Recently, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness has funded with 19,360€, our researcher Joana Abrisketa’s project “The asylum policies of the European Union: convergences of the internal and external dimensions” (ref. DER2017-82466-R) for the 2018-2020 period.

The above-mentioned project takes as starting point the failure of the Common European Asylum System and the current reform tackled by the EU on the asylum policies, with the aim of proposing realistic and sustainable recommendations that can improve the asylum processes of the EU both in its internal and external dimensions.

To this date, all the studies on the asylum policies of the EU have been addressed either from the perspective of their internal dimension or the perspective of their external dimension, but never from the perspective of both policies in a merged and holistic form. Precisely, the value of this research project derives from providing an analysis that can address the described reality based on the complexity and the connection of both dimensions.

In this context, three hypotheses are considered. Firstly, the asylum policy of the EU is circumscribed within a global tendency of stopping forced migration, which is perceived to be a menace for stability, and it hardly takes into consideration other policies that can be more realistic on the long term, such as the regulation of the cited migration or the implementation of measures against human trafficking. Secondly, the mechanisms of the current Common European Asylum System are not following any principle of solidarity or guaranty of rights, required to the EU and its Member States and neither is it modified with the new reform. At last, the external dimension of asylum, that is, the cooperation of the EU and its Member States with third countries can seem controverted regarding the exercise of competences of the EU and referring to the conformity with human rights of the asylum seekers.

Therefore, based on the previous information, the following objectives are set out:

  1. To propose a Recommendation Plan on Asylum (RPA) in the EU addressed to its institutions and Member States;

  2. To analyse the global tendency of the non-entrance migration policies and their connection with the measures adopted by the EU in order to elaborate the recommendations;

  3. To value the deficits of the Common European Asylum System and its reform regarding the internal dimension; and

  4. To evaluate the used instruments of the EU and its Member States with third countries in order to manage the forced migration regarding the external dimension.

The research project has been elaborated by the reasearch team formed by Javier González Vega from Oviedo University; Paula García Andrade from the Pontifical University of Comillas; and by Felipe Gómez Isa, Laura Gómez Urquijo, Steffen Rasmussen, Sergio Caballero, Cristina Churruca y José Ramón Intxaurbe from the University of Deusto. The working team has been formed by Elspeth Guild from the University of Nijmejen, Thomas Gammeltoft from the University of Aarhus, Violeta Moreno-Lax from the University Queen Mary of London, Silvia Morgades from the University Pompeu Fabra, Carmen Pérez Gónzález from the University Carlos III of Madrid and by David Fernández Rojo from the University of Deusto.

Shaping the Future of employment in Europe: social innovation as a driver for social change

Last December 15th, the Jean Monnet Chair in “EU Economic and Legal integration for people” co-organised, together with the Faculty of Law, IRPO and EDISPe, the Conference “Shaping the Future of employment in Europe: social innovation as a driver of social change” which started from the results of the European project “Social Innovation – Driving Force of Social Change (SI-DRIVE)”. The aim was clear: to initiate a path of reflection on the current labour challenges in the European market and the relevance of social innovation as an instrument to tackle them.

The curtain of the event was lifted up by Xabier Ochandiano, Delegated Councillor of Economic Development, Commerce and Employment Area from the Bilbao City Council, and Marta Enciso, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Law. The staging was started with the “Shaping the future. Innovative trends in employment” Panel moderated by Laura Gómez, Chair holder, and with the interventions of Jeffrey Saunders (Director of Future Work and Workplace of the Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies), Peter Oeij (Senior Researcher in TNO, the Netherlands) and Jon Azkue (Vice-councillor of Labour and Social Security of Basque Government).

The final stage was represented in the Panel “Best practices of socially innovative entities” by Garbiñe Henry (Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Deusto) moderating it and, intervening, Elena Como and Laura Martelloni (LAMA), Karmele Acedo (Director General of Integrated Social Services, Cooperative Society), Pablo Ocaña (Founding Member of Urbegi Group) and Amaia Naveda (Responsible of Social Audit in REAS Euskadi). In the end, Toñi Caro, Director of the International Projects Office, was in charge of  dropping the curtain.

Programme of the Conference

Biennial Jean Monnet conference and kick-off meeting for new beneficiaries

During the 27th and 28th of November, Laura Gómez, Jean Monnet Chair Holder in “EU Economic and Legal Integration for People” was present at the Biennial Jean Monnet conference and kick-off meeting for new beneficiaries organized by the Commission and the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency.

Gathering around forty speakers and moderators and 350 participants, the 2017 edition dealt with the current turning points in EU history and their consequences over the integration process. These topics have been of great relevance for the academic and political debate. Likewise, the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe, the State of the Union discourse presented by J.C. Juncker and the last political developments in the Member States have played a major role during the event.

Nonetheless, the objective was not only to create a debate around the main issues and challenges of the EU policies but to share a more technical information with the new beneficiaries of the Jean Monnet Programme.