Faculty of Social Sciences

Whither European asylum policy? A pendulum between universalisation and re-nationalisation

The conference will bring together politicians, academics and representatives from non-governmental organisations in order to share their views and evaluations of the common asylum procedure suggested within the framework of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). 

Refugees queuing to enter the frontier with Macedonia, from Greece.
Nicola Zolin/Redux/NTB Scanpix

Main content

CEAS aims to secure the rights of asylum seekers by harmonising the different Member States’ asylum procedures. Among other things, CEAS suggests some common effectiveness and efficiency measures that are less resource-demanding, less time-consuming, and more cost-effective than many of the Member States’ individual procedures. However, questions remain concerning evidence that these measures also guarantee a proper protection of the rights of asylum seekers. A panel of specialists will lead a discussion of these questions. The specialists are involved in different parts and phases of asylum procedures, policymaking and refugee protection. It promises to be a rewarding debate between stakeholders who approach the complex issues of ‘political asylum’ from many different angles.

The event will be hosted by MEP Mrs Jean Lambert.

09.30-10.00 Morning Coffee / Refreshments

10.00-10.10 Welcome
Jan Erik Askildsen, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen

10.10-10.15 Introduction
Hakan G. Sicakkan, Professor, Academic Convener of the Conference, University of Bergen

10.15-10.30 The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of Asylum Seekers
Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

10.30-10.45 Conflicts between the EU Asylum Policy and International Human Rights Obligations
Mads Andenæs, Professor, University of Oslo and Institute of Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London

10.45-11.00 Solidarity with Whom? The CEAS between Internal Struggles and External Cooperation
Claudio Matera, Assist. Professor, Chair of International and European Law and Governance, Centre for European Studies, Department of Public Administration, University of Twente 

11.00-11.15 Coffee, Refreshments and Networking

11.15-11.30 In Search of Good Legal Procedures and Institutional Arrangements for Political Asylum Determination: A Comparative Analysis of 17 European States
Hakan G. Sicakkan, Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen
11.30-11.45 Waiting for an Uncertain Future: The Temporalities of Irregular Migration and Asylum Policymaking
Christine M. Jacobsen, Professor, Director of Centre for Women’s and Gender Research, University of Bergen

11.45-12.00 Q/A and discussion with the participation of the audience

12.00-13.30 Lunch break / networking

13.30-13.45 Approaching Assisted Return Policy from a Migrant Perspective
Synnøve Bendixsen, Researcher, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen

13.45-14.00 The Effects of Framing Asylum Arrivals
Susanne Bygnes, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bergen

14.00-14.15 CEAS and the EU’s Harmonization Goals
Stephen Ryan, Deputy Head of Unit for Asylum, DG Home Affairs C3, European Commission

14.15-14.30 Asylum and Migration: Politics vs. Rights?
Dominique Guibert, President of the European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (AEDH)

14.30-14.45 Q/A and discussion with the participation of the audience

14.45-15.00 Coffee, Refreshments and Networking

15.00-16.00 Roundtable debate
MEP Jean Lambert (EP), Deputy Head of Unit Stephen Ryan (EC, DG Home), Director Dominique Guibert (AEDH), Prof. Mads Andenæs (UiO/ULO), Assist. Prof. Claudio Matera (UT), Prof. Christine M. Jacobsen (UiB), Researcher Synnøve Bendixsen (UiB), Assoc. Prof. Susanne Bygnes (UiB), Prof. Hakan G. Sicakkan (UiB)

* This conference is organized with funding from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Strategic Working Group of Leaders for Global Challenges at the University of Bergen and the University of Bergen's Brussels office.

Organising committee
Mrs. Jean Lambert, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
Dr. Hakan G. Sicakkan, Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen
Mr. Kristof Vlaeminck, Head of the Brussels Office, University of Bergen
Mr. Sverre Ole Drønen, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen
Dr. Nils Gunnar Songstad, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen