Panel debate on reform of EU asylum policy – IES ‘konekt(s).Brussels’

On 28 March 2018, the IES (VUB) and the IEE (ULB) co-organised a panel debate on the reform of the EU’s asylum system in the Ravenstein Gallery in the centre of Brussels. The event was part of the VUB-ULB initiative ‘konekt.brussels’, which sought to improve the links between the Brussels-based universities and the city of Brussels. The guiding question for the event was: ‘Is the reform of the EU’s asylum system on track?’. It was debated by a high-level group of experts consisting of Prof. Philippe De Bruycker (IEE), Stefan Maier (UNHCR), Sara Silvestre (IES), Jihad Mustafa (VUB Refugee Student) and Dr. Leonhard den Hertog (Policy Advisor in the European Parliament). IES Prof. Florian Trauner moderated the discussion.

The EU’s institutions are currently negotiating a recast of several EU asylum laws, first and foremost the Dublin regulation. The participants shed light on the stakes and the contentious nature of the ongoing negotiations. While the European Parliament has recently proposed a compromise on the legal package, the Member States are still divided. Some highlight the need of first fulfilling existing ‘responsibilities’ of EU asylum law, while others urge for more European ‘solidarity’ symbolized in particular in a mandatory relocation scheme. The audience had the chance to engage in a Q&A session. The event was followed by a reception in this ‘Brussels City Campus’.