A New Idea(l) for Europe : Report on the Future of Cosmopolitanism in Europe

Université Paris 1 (France)
Deleixhe, Martin;
Université Paris 1 (France)
Aubert, Isabelle

While designing its migration policies, the European Union must carefully weigh two conflicting considerations. On the one hand, the Union has set some normative standards for itself in its Charter of Fundamental Rights. On the other hand, after the sudden influx of asylum seekers over the summer of 2015, several member states signalled that their reception facilities could not cope with the tide of new arrivals, while some populations voted into power or confirmed national governments committed to restricting immigration into Europe.

This report aims to offer some constructive criticisms and to present various solutions that would reconcile the Union’s normative commitments with its migration practices. To that end, we will proceed in four major steps. To begin with, we present a thorough diagnostic of the current situation of the Union’s migration policies and of its adequation to its self-assigned values and norms. Then, we introduce three possible scenarios for the future of the Union’s migration policies.

In our first scenario, we suggest that the current status quo is unstable and that its perpetuation is likely to come at a political cost. We then sketch two alternative options.

In the second scenario, the Union takes a step back in the management of its external borders, hands over most of the operational responsibilities to its member states and limits itself to a supervisory function. From a normative point of view, the Union would acknowledge that the European norms and values are open to distinct contextual interpretations in each member state and would endorse the idea that local migration policies should be tailored to those varying interpretations, so long as the core principle of human dignity is unconditionally respected.

In the third scenario, the European Union doubles down on the idea that what makes it stand out as a transnational polity is the fact that it is driven by a political cosmopolitanism. It would argue that the exact content of its norms and values is open to discussion but that it cannot allow their egalitarian and universalist core to be compromised. Consequently, it would adopt a more proactive stance in the management of migrations, emphasize the need for European solidarity and assert its authority over< the issue.




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