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Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum? : Multilevel Governance and the Governance of Migration and Asylum in the EU

Conference to be held on September 22-24, 2016 in Chicago, IL


The European Union (EU) is facing an unprecedented crisis as hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants are risking their lives attempting to reach destinations across Europe. The crisis has demonstrated that the EU’s existing system of governance for asylum and migration is inadequate and fundamentally flawed. As member states - from Greece to Finland to Hungary to Germany – adopt divergent responses, European policy frameworks from the Dublin Regulations to the Schengen system are unraveling. The crisis is straining all levels of European governance, from local authorities to the EU. Ill-equipped and underfunded municipalities have transformed into tent cities, while regional and national governments are struggling to document and process thousands of applicants.

At the EU level, intense normative and economic conflicts have arisen concerning the appropriate response to the inflow of refugees. Coming on the back of a long period of economic crisis and austerity, the refugee crisis is sparking a battle over resources and a struggle over competing visions of Europe: one that is accepting and tolerant and the other xenophobic and ethnocentric. These clashes are testing the political foundations of the European Union as they reveal powerful centrifugal trends that favor closed borders and narrowly defined ethnic and national identities.

For a link to the full program click Here