Refugee Crisis and Contemporary Challenges in Migration Management in Europe

Course leader: Prof. Dr. Ketevan Khutsishvili
Home Institution: Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University


Course pre-requisite(s): general Law, Social Sciences

Course Overview

The course on Refugee Crisis and Contemporary Challenges in Migration Management in Europe is designed to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of refugee protection and migration management in the European context. The course will develop the knowledge and skills base of students to enhance their employability, the ability to think critically and contribute efficiently in their academic and professional environments. The course will therefore provide students with an exhaustive framework on a wider Justice, Freedom and Security part of the EU policy, within which migration management and refugee protection are undertaken. At the end of the training process, students will be able to not only understand the actual functioning of migration and refugee (asylum) systems in Europe within a wider Justice, freedom, Security area, but also to evaluate and interpret consciously the future scenarios in Europe. To this end, the course will provide students with a solid legal, theoretical and practical understanding of refugee protection and migration management, with expertise developed through class discussions, reading and practical assignments during the course. The course will also develop students’ self-reliance in dealing with – and critiquing – law, policy and practice in the refugee and migration fields. The programme will advance and refine students’ analytical skills through conducting independent legal and social science research and fact-based problem-solving for the class assignment (e.g. imitation of the decision making at the European Council level or Moot Court with the European Court of Human Rights framework on cases of asylum seekers, claiming rights violations against EU Member States). The course will provide students with a range of knowledge and transferrable skills necessary for working in positions across the refugee and human rights field. To attain all these, the course will cover basic concepts of EU’s Justice, Freedom Security Policy; main conceptual directions in International Migration Law and migration management in Europe; Basic elements related to the Integrated Border Management in the EU, Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements of the EU with the third countries, Mobility Partnership Political Declarations of the EU, as well as visa dialogues in the context of implementation of the EU Visa Liberalisation Action Plans by third countries. Against this wider context the students will learn the basic characteristics of International Protection of Refugees, based on the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 1967. The course will deal with the international mechanisms of protection of asylum seekers and refugees, the main concepts, international legal framework of protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons. Issues such as refugee law sources, complexities related to Refugee Status Determination, the principle of non-refoulement, basic principles of international protection will be discussed. The course will integrate EU’s regulations on managing refugee flows inside the EU (e.g. Dublin Regulations) and provide overall analysis of the EU’s migration management, handling of refugee crisis and undertaking this with the due protection of basic human rights and security interests of the EU. The course will therefore promote correct and informed knowledge about migration, refugees and pertaining processes in Europe, in the loop of the security concerns and interests, which is often times severely lacking.

Learning Outcomes

Students are aware of complexities of managing migration, security and freedom of movement with due respect of human rights, needs of asylum policies and balance to be kept between protection of refugees and state sovereignty within the EU and the dimension of this policy in EU’s external relations. This course will enable students to develop a sound understanding of the field, required to function effectively at a professional level in a variety of roles in dealing with asylum seekers and refugees, migration management in Europe. More specifically, by the end of the International Summer School, students will be expected to be able to: Describe and appraise basic and advanced concepts, theories and debates in the field of refugee and migration studies; Critique these theoretical concepts by reference to contemporary and historical refugee situations and policy from across Europe; Explain and analyse foundational and complex international law concepts, standards and mechanisms relating to refugees and displaced persons; Apply these legal concepts and standards to interpret, evaluate and critique examples of real-life protection policy and practice in Europe, based on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights; Demonstrate special theoretical and/or legal expertise in selected areas of the fields of asylum and refugee protection, as well as migration management, by (i) analyzing the reading assigned for class, and (ii) participating in imitated decision making on migration management and refugees within the Council of the European Union or Moot Court on refugee and asylum case in a format of the European Court of Human Rights on a topic relating to the EU Member States’ policies in refugee protection and migration management; Develop a range of transferable skills such as research, analysis and argumentation in law and social sciences, problem-solving, autonomous and peer-to-peer working, and report writing.

Course Content

1. Migration: The European context; Migration Trends in Contemporary International Relations; History and sources of immigration law; Immigration law and human rights;

2. EUÂ’s Justice, Freedom and Security Policy; Fight against transnational crime in the EU: crisis and terrorism;

3. Cooperation in criminal matters in general and police cooperation in the EU and with the EU, Europol, CEPOL, Personal Data Protection

4. Integrated Border Management in the EU: the Concept and its relevance to the EU relations with third countries and migration management, FRONTEX - the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and its role in refugee crisis management in EU member states;

5. UN 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees; UNHCR; Principle of Non-Refoulement; Right to seek asylum; Refugee Process Determination; Definition of a Refugee; “Persecution” and grounds thereof; “International Protection”, “Humanitarian Status”; Granting a Refugee Status; Cancellation of a Refugee Status;

6. Rights and Obligations of States, Asylum Seekers and Refugees; Safe Third Country Resettlement; Integration of Refugees; Repatriation;

7. EU Asylum Policy, European Asylum Support Office - EASO

8. Burden Sharing within the EU – Dublin Regulations;

9. EUÂ’s Visa Facilitation Agreements and Readmission Agreements with third countries;

10. EUÂ’s Mobility Partnership Political Declarations and Circular Labour Migration Schemes; Linking migration with the development and the respective instruments provided within EU; EUÂ’s Visa Liberalization Action Plans with third countries;

11. Case studies: EU, Turkey and Refugees from Syria;

12. Case studies: European Court of Human Rights cases on migration, asylum and refugees in respect of EU Member States.

Instructional Method

Apart from providing the concepts from problematic lens the class will be primarily based on problem-based approach. The students will have to do the preliminary basic research particularly on the topical matters within the course and be ready for the active participation in the explanation of the topic as an introduction. Case studies will be efficiently used alongside the course reading material to combine the different perspectives from theory and practice. The course, apart from introducing concepts and complex interrelations between managing security and allowing freedom of movement, also draws links to the most topical issues of the field, such as freedom of movement to EU, visa facilitation, readmission agreements, linkage of migration to development, trends in the field of visa liberalization dialogue, as well as asylum and refugee flows. Students, during the learning of the topics of the module, will have to work in groups for either simulated decision making on the EU’s refugee and migration policy at the EU’s Council, or to consider a simulated case in a Moot Court, following the European Court of Human Rights procedure on the issue of asylum/refugee protection in one of the EU Member States. The simulation of the Council of the European Union is selected as it is often the arena for the decision making over the issues of concern of the course. The students will be required to present the positions of the EU Member States respectively for the summit. The preparations to that end target the academic and practical skills development at once.

Required Course Materials

European Court of Human Rights (2017) “Dublin” cases: the Factsheet European Parliament (2010), Directorate-General for Internal Policies, What System of Burden-Sharing Between member States for the Reception of Asylum Seekers? European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2016), Fundamental Rights: Challenges and Achievements Luxemburg: Publications Office of the European Union Betts, A., Loescher, G., (eds.) (2011) Refugees in International Relations Tomescu, L., (2012) European space of freedom, security and justice – changes to the Treaty of Lisbon, 2012 Revista de Dept Public pp.120-129 Clayton, G., (2010) Textbook on Immigration and Asylum Law, 4th ed., Oxford University Press Baldwin-Edwards M., Kraler, A. (eds.) (2009) Regularisations in Europe, European Commission/Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam Jandl, M., Stacher, I.(eds.) (2004) Towards A Multilateral Migration Regime, ICMPD, Vienna Lenaerts, K., (2010), The Contribution of the European Court of Justice to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, International and Comparative Law Quarterly Vol. 59, April 2010, pp. 255-301 Centre for European Policy Studies (2010) The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice Ten Years on – Successes and Future Challenges under the Stockholm Programme ISBN 978-94-6138-034-0 Zimmermann, A. (ed.) (2011) The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol - A Commentary , Oxford University Press


The assessment consist in two short tests with open questions. The first test will be held at the end of the first 4 chapters and will provide students a feed-back on the general issues of taxation as corporate planning tool, while giving the teacher an understanding on how well students master tax issues in order to better design and adapt the next chapters. The last test will be held at the end of course from the remaining chapters and is meant to evaluate the overall progress and advance of students. The test will comprise both theory and applications.