No Solidarity without Loyalty: Why Do Member States Violate EU Migration and Asylum Law and What Can Be Done?

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Iris Goldner Lang Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and Holder of the UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, University of Zagreb

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The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it will display an ever-increasing phenomenon of Member States’ infringements of EU migration and asylum law as an instance of the violation of the principle of solidarity and discuss the reasons behind it. It will be suggested that EU inter-state solidarity is just as much about respecting EU law, as it is about helping each other, as the latter cannot subsist without the former. Second, the paper will consider whether the existing mechanisms of reducing the number of violations are sufficient and discuss the new mechanisms that are being developed—particularly the rule of law conditionality and other conditionality instruments. When addressing the reasons behind the frequent violations, the text will identify two groups of reasons, the first group being applicable to the whole of EU law, and the second one specifically to EU migration and asylum law. In this context, Member States’ violations will be construed as the process of political withdrawal or retrenchment from certain parts of the commonly adopted EU migration and asylum law. This will be explained by relying on the notion of “spillback” or disintegration (as opposed to further European integration based on the neofunctionalist concept of “spillover” effect into more policy areas) and on the concepts of “exit” and “voice” conceived by Albert Hirschman and developed further by Joseph Weiler in his seminal work “The Transformation of Europe”.

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