The EU asylum system in the aftermath of the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis


07 - 08/10/2022
09:00 - 18:00
Villa Vigoni, Italy
The EU asylum system in the aftermath of the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis

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The European Union asylum system in the aftermath of the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis: lessons learnt and challenges ahead

Almost 6 million people have left Ukraine due to the Russian aggression launched on 24 February. It is the most significant displacement of people experienced in Europe since World War II. The previous large flow of refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East, in 2015-16, involved around 2.3 million people. There is a widespread agreement that, unlike in the case of the humanitarian emergency just a few years ago, the reaction of the European Union and the member states to the arrival of refugees from Ukraine has been very positive and supportive.

While the war is still going on with uncertain outcomes and the humanitarian crisis is still unfolding, one cannot but wonder about the EU member states and citizens’ willingness to provide protection for the Ukrainian people in the medium to long term. Questions arise on the impact that the crisis will have on the EU’s internal dynamics: between those countries that have in the past more forcefully adverse any progress in a common asylum and migration policy and the application of solidarity instruments – that now find themselves on the forefront of crisis – and those member states that have more consistently advocated from more responsibility-sharing. Finally, what will be the consequences for the EU asylum system, given the blatant double standards applied so far? Will the EU learn its lessons and try to build on the experiences acquired during the present crisis, which, one should remember, will not be the last one of this sort? And is the direction towards which the EU seems to be moving – following last June’s Council’s decision to support solidarity mechanisms for the (voluntary) relocation of people – satisfactory?

Against this backdrop, FEPS, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Italian Office, the Fondation Jean Jaurès and the Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI) have joined forces to organise, in cooperation with the German Italian Centre for the European Dialogue Villa Vigoni, an international closed-door seminar on the question of the future of the EU asylum policies after the war in Ukraine. At a critical time for the EU, the overall objective of this meeting is to promote an important and timely debate on the political pathways through which Europe can shape its asylum and migration policies, avoiding previous imbalances and injustice.

Fondation Jean-Jaurès
Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI)
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