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RSC Public Seminar Series, Hilary Term: 'Destination: Europe'

Convenors: Cathryn Costello and Stephanie Motz

In the absence of safe and legal routes to claim asylum, refugees currently make their own way to Europe, risking their lives in the process. They face many European crises: humanitarian ones at their places of arrival and border crossings; legal ones as some states flout their international and EU obligations, and security ones as rational fears become unduly associated with refugees. There are, of course, many Europes: the EU (with its elaborate Common European Asylum System); the wider Europe of the Council of Europe and pan-European human rights protection, encompassing Turkey; and the Europe of the Mediterranean, Mare Nostrum. Faced with the arrival of refugees in large numbers, the reactions and responsibilities of these various Europes will be considered. Reactions range from small scale offers of relocation and resettlement; to military responses to human smuggling in Libya; to border closures of the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe; and moves to accommodate large new refugee populations in Germany, Sweden and the other main destination states. The series will examine the implications for European integration, European values and the global refugee protection regime, taking a long and broad view.  Legal, historical and political perspectives will be explored.

This seminar series complements Issue 51 of Forced Migration Review, published on 5 January 2016 and also titled 'Destination: Europe'.

About this seminar

The current asylum crisis underlines the limits of European unity that have been made visible by the diversity and evolution of European responses to this crisis since the beginning of 2014. First indifferent, the European Union is now attempting  to set up a coordinated response and to define a common position on asylum and refugee protection. Though these are part of a system of European core values, they have been challenged lately by the context of political, economic and identity uncertainty currently prevailing in Europe.

about the speaker

Pascal Brice is a graduate of IEP Paris, holds a DEA in applied economics and is a former student of the National Administration School. He began his diplomatic career as first secretary to the Embassy of France in Morocco before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the direction of European Cooperation. He then served as technical adviser to Louis Le Pensec and Jean Glavany at the Ministry of Agriculture, and to Hubert Védrine at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. M. Brice became Deputy Director of the common policies of the European Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002, and served as Consul General of France in Barcelona from 2006 to 2010 before joining the Court of Auditors.  Brice coordinated the "International" division of Hollande's campaign team during the presidential election of 2012. He was Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister of Economy and Finance and the office of the Minister of Foreign Trade in 2012, and has served as an ad hoc Foreign Affairs Adviser since July 2012. In December 2012 he was appointed Director General of the 'French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons' (OFPRA).