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Ebbs and Flows of EU Migration Law and Governance: A Critical Assessment of the Evolution of Migration Legislation and Policy in Europe

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
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  • 1 PhD Researcher in EU Migration Law, Équipe droits européens et migrations (EDEM), Centre Charles De Visscher pour le droit international et européen (CeDIE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • | 2 Research Fellow, Équipe droits européens et migrations (EDEM), Centre Charles De Visscher pour le droit international et européen (CeDIE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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Abstract

This Article summarises the complex ebbs and flows of EU migration law and policy. It is the result of an interdisciplinary research project called GLOBMIG, which includes a legal inventory that can be used by any reader or researcher. In the Article, we focus on the main outcomes observable from the inventory by taking several examples from EU legislation and case law that try to capture the evolution of migration law and governance in Europe during the last four decades. Key issues and their underlying dynamics are explored under three major trends: 1) State sovereignty vs migrants’ individual rights; 2) traditional law-making vs informal pragmatic governance; 3) unilateral vs multilateral migration governance. Each trend confirms the tension, but also the positive interaction, between competing interests as well as period of fluctuations between them. Two earmarks of EU migration law are taken into account: the internal and external dimension layout of migration and asylum law and the relationship between free movement of EU citizens and third country national immigration.

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