The European Union
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The European Union

Facing the Challenge of Multiple Security Threats

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim

This book addresses the challenges presented to the EU by an increasingly complex security environment. Through the interdisciplinary approach taken, researchers in economics, law and political science identify a range of problems relating to the multiple security threats that the EU faces, and present new means to address them within their respective fields of expertise. The contributions provide accessible and policy-relevant analyses of crucial challenges to the EU’s ability to function as a political union in the years ahead.
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Chapter 9: Security in a liberal union: EU asylum and migration control policies

Gregor Noll


This chapter argues that the asylum and migration control policies of the European Union (EU) are usefully analysed as an expression of liberal thought. The chapter shows how the roots of these policies go all the way back to the creation of the Union in the 1950s and illustrates how this heritage affects prevailing rules in the areas of migration and asylum. This order was paradoxically strengthened during the crisis of 2015 and 2016. Against this backdrop, the chapter explains why the concept of solidarity in EU law is poorly constructed and maps possible solutions. If the EU is serious about its liberal identity it cannot completely deny the rationality and free will of the asylum seeker. The question is if there is a reformist alternative: a complement to the present protectionist system that acknowledges the rationality and free will of the asylum seeker without demanding utopian or revolutionary wonders of the Union in its present form. The chapter then tests whether humanitarian visas could constitute such a complement, where the asylum seeker and the EU Member State meet in a rational discourse before the asylum seeker has decided to travel to Europe. As the Court of Justice of the EU has practically written off this option, this might tell us something of how the particular form of liberalism that the EU represents can be articulated.

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