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.

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