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Open Lecture "Current challenges of migration – [social], legal and ethical perspectives”. Some reflections on Joseph H. Carens’ “The Ethics of Immigration” from an EU law perspective

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In times of multiple crises, the migration and refugee crisis is one that already has strongly affected Europe and will continue to do so also in the nearer future. Immigration and terrorism are seen to be the most important issues facing the EU, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey. Multiple perspectives need to be taken into account when dealing with this complex issue, amongst them also a legal as well as a policy perspective, to name but a few. However, taking into account the increasing role of ethics in EU law, this presentation strives to contrast some provisions of EU law with what has been called “the most impressive recent contribution to moral debate about immigration”, a book recently published by “the doyen of normative scholars writing on immigration”, i.e. Joseph Carens’ “The ethics of immigration”. The objective of this presentation is to see if EU law fulfils some selected demands as stated by Carens. In doing so, this contribution, similar as defined by Carens for his book, aims at generating discussion on this topic. Contrasting such a comprehensive book (more than 340 pages) with the EU’s acquis, it has to be emphasized, that only selected statements of Carens can be compared to selected provisions of EU law.
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OPEN LECTURE "CURRENT CHALLENGES OF MIGRATION
SOCIAL, LEGAL AND ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES”
Some reflections on Joseph H. Carens’ “The Ethics of Immigration”
from an EU law perspective
Picture source: The Economist, February 6th12th 2016 (cover)
How to manage the migrant crisis, and keep Europe from tearing itself apart
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The Ethics of Immigration
N.B. Updated version of a guest speech given at the “Conference on European Democracy (EuDEM) 2016. ‘Return to Politics - Is Europe
Prepared for It?'”, organized by the “Austrian Chancellery”, the “Diplomatic Academy Vienna”, and the “Austrian Institute for European
and Security Policy (AIES)”. Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Austria. 25 April 2016.
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
There is one general idea that plays an important role in
almost all of the chapters. It is that living within the
territorial boundaries of a state makes one a member of
society, that this social membership gives rise to moral
claims in relation to the political community, and that
these claims deepen over time. To put this idea in a four-
word slogan: social membership matters morally.
(p. 158)
residence and time are proxies for richer, deeper forms
of connection but that we have both practical and
principled reasons not to try to go beyond these proxies,
at lease under most circumstances.(p. 165)
“The main criterion for acquiring the status of
long-term resident should be the duration of
residence in the territory of a Member State.
Residence should be both legal and continuous in
order to show that the person has put down roots
in the country.”
Directive 2003/109/EC (long term TCN), 6th recital
The core idea can be traced in EU law as well.
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The MS’s ethics of immigration / citizenship
“In sum, birthright citizenship for the children of
resident citizens makes moral sense as a practice
because it acknowledges the realities of the child’s
relationship to the community […].” (p. 25)
It would be wrong to read citizenship in a
democracy as a sort of feudal title or property right
[…].(p. 30)
Emphasizing the principle of proportionality in this
context (p. 44)
Ius sanguinis is a perfectly legitimate mechanism for the
transmission of citizenship so long as it is limited in extent.
(p. 33)
“[…] according to established case-law, it is for each
Member State, having due regard to [EU] law, to lay down
the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality
[…].(Case C-135/08, Rottmann, paras. 39, 48)
Emphasizing the principle of proportionality in this context
(Case C-135/08, Rottmann, para. 55)
In the EU, Carens’ claim is addressed to the Member
States (MS), as it is their competence.
Similarities: e.g. proportionality.
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
“One obvious way to promote the inclusion of
immigrants is to establish rules that prohibit
discrimination on the basis of characteristics that
tend to distinguish citizens of immigrant origin from
other citizens.(p. 65)
Non-discrimination and reference to instruments of int. law
Directive 2001/55/EC (mass influx), 16th recital; Directive 2011/95/EU
(asylum qualification), 17th recital
No discrimination with regard to sex, race, colour, ethnic origin etc.
Directive 2008/115/EC (returning irregular TCN), 21st recital; Directive
2016/801 (research, studies etc.), 62nd recital; Directive 2003/109/EC
(long term TCN), 5th recital; Directive 2003/86/EC (family reunification),
5th recital; Directive 2011/98/EU (single permit), 29th recital
Same treatment as nationals
Directive 2001/55/EC (mass influx), art. 14 (minors and educ.)
Directive 2003/109/EC (long term TCN), art. 11
Directive 2016/801 (research, studies etc.), art. 22 (but restrictions)
Directive 2009/50/EC (blue card), art. 14
Directive 2011/98/EU (single permit), 19th, 20th, 24th recitals; art. 12
Directive 2011/95/EU (asylum qualification)
art. 26/2 (access to employment-related education)
art. 27/1 (access to education - minors)
art. 28/1 (recognition of qualifications)
art. 29 (social welfare); art. 30 (healthcare)
“The [EU]must ensure fair treatment of [TCNs] who reside legally [in the EU]”
(European Council Tampere, October 15th16th 1999)
Already fulfilling this claim to some extent
… referring not only to citizenship (also sex, etc.), …
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
“One obvious way to promote the inclusion of
immigrants is to establish rules that prohibit
discrimination on the basis of characteristics that
tend to distinguish citizens of immigrant origin from
other citizens.(p. 65)
… however, there is still room for improvement.
Rights “as closely as possible” to those enjoyed by EU citizens
Regulation 1231/2010/EU (social security), 1st recital
Cf. also the new: possibility of restrictions in Directive 2016/801
(research, studies etc.), art. 22/2
Same treatment as other TCN legally resident
Directive 2011/95/EU (asylum qualification)
art. 27/2 (access to education - adults)
art. 32/1 (access to accommodation)
art. 33 (freedom of movement within MS)
Less favourable treatment for TCN
Directive 2013/33/EU (asylum reception conditions), 24th recital,
art. 17/5
Priority treatment to EU citizens and EEA nationals
Directive 2013/33/EU (asylum reception conditions), art. 15/2
Directive 2001/55/EC (mass influx), art. 12
Principle of Union preference (2003 and 2005 Acts of Accession)
Directive 2011/98/EU (single permit), 17th recital
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The EU’s (MS’s) and ethics of immigration
Time spent in case of adults to bar deportation:
5 years (p. 104)
Public employment (pp. 106-8)
On criminals that have grown up in the country that
tries to expel them: “These people may be
problems, but they are our problems, not someone
else’s […]” (p. 105; no emphasis added)
Acknowledges improvement of treatment of TCN in the EU:
“This gap has narrowed considerably in recent years […]”
(p. 92)
5 years
EU citizens: Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 16
TCN (as family members): Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 18
TCN (as long term residents): Directive 2003/109/EC,
art. 4, art. 12 (protection against expulsion), etc.
Public-service exception:
TFEU art. 45/4, art. 51, art. 62; plus CJEU case-law
Cf. terrorism situation (Paris and Brussels)
Here too, we find some similarities (5 years in both
cases).
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
“[…] the right to enforce immigration laws is not a
moral carte blanche. The state is still constrained by
norms of proportionality and rationality […]
competence and fairness […]“ (p. 144)
“[…] the important point is that employer sanctions
provide a more legitimate option for restricting
irregular migration than most restrictions on the
legal rights of the irregular migrants themselves.
(p. 147)
Firewall argument (pp. 132ff;
cf. also Crépeau, 2013, pp. 30-1, 47)
Employer sanctions Directive 2009/52/EC
Outstanding remuneration, taxes etc. (14th recital)
However, no right to entry, stay, access to labour
market (15th recital)
Complaint mechanisms to facilitate enforcement
(26th recital)
Similar idea:
“[MS] free to grant residence permits of limited duration [to
TCN] who have been subjected to particularly exploitative
working conditions […] and who cooperate in criminal
proceedings against the employer(27th recital)
Likewise, here we find a similar idea (sanctioning
employers, not migrants)
… and possible room for improvement (firewall).
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Family ties: morally permissible (pp. 179-80)
Ethnicity: deeply problematic (pp. 181-2)
Knowledge of the official language: possible (pp. 182-3)
The EU’s ethics of immigration
Possible criteria of selection:
Potential economic contribution
morally permissible
but danger of possible brain drain (pp. 183-5)
Directive 2009/50/EC (blue card)
Brain drain argument:
No active recruitment in developing countries in sectors
suffering from a lack of personnel. Ethical recruitment
policies and principles […] should be developed in key
sectors, for example the health sector […] and the
education sector, as appropriate. […] in order to turn ‘brain
drain’ into ‘brain gain’.
Directive 2009/50/EC (blue card), 22nd recital; art. 8/4
not encourage a brain drain from emerging economies or
developing countries”
Directive 2016/801 (research, studies etc.), 13th recital
Similarities also exist in the context of the EU’s blue
card.
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
Relocation (MS -> MS) Resettlement (TC -> MS)
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
Moral obligation of resettlement:
If state causally responsible, why people become
refugees (p. 213)
Refugees’ needs (e.g. family ties) (p. 213)
Receiving states absorptive capacities (pp. 214-5)
Size of the existing population
Population density
Economic capacity (overall wealth, economic
dynamism)
Similarities
“It would serve no one’s interests to ignore the
question of fit. It is important, however, not to
elevate this consideration into something that
justifies exclusion or marginalization of refugees
on the basis of race, culture, or religion […].”
(pp. 214-5)
“40% of the size of the population, 40% of the GDP, 10% of
the average number of past asylum applications, 10% of the
unemployment rate(MEMO/15/5698; COM(2015) 240, Annex)
MS of relocation (MSR): “[…] specific account should be
given to the specific qualifications and characteristics of
the applicants concerned, such as their language skills
and other individual indications based on demonstrated
family, cultural or social ties which could facilitate their
integration into the [MSR]. In the case of particularly
vulnerable applicants, consideration should be given to
the capacity of the [MSR] to provide adequate support to
those applicants and to the necessity of ensuring a fair
distribution of those applicants among [MS]. With due
respect for the principle of non-discrimination, [MSR] may
indicate their preferences for applicants […]”
Council Dec. (EU) 2015/1601 (relocation), 34th recital
See also
Pending cases C-643/15 (Slovakia), C-647/15 (Hungary)
Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/408 (Austria)
Objective criteria conc. MSR; softer ones conc. TCN;
similar ideas, although disputed topic.
->
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The EU’s ethics of immigration
Refugees have a moral right to a safe place to live,
but they do not have a moral entitlement to choose
where that will be.(p. 216)
To be sure, even the commitments in the Geneva
Convention are constrained by the responsibility of
states to maintain public order. No one expects a
state to admit so many refugees that it can no longer
function. But this is a minimal constraint (p. 218)
“When is this limit [i.e. the ‘we have done
enough’ argument] reached? […] My own
answer is ‘almost never.’” (pp. 218-9); rejecting
Miller, National responsibility and global justice, 2007, p. 227
As Hume reminds us, one of the background
conditions of justice is limited scarcity.” (p. 220)
Asylum seekers do not have the right to choose the
Member State in which they seek asylum;” (p. 4)
European Council meeting [conclusions on Brexit] (February
18th19th 2016), EUCO 1/16; see also Council Decision (EU)
2015/1601 (relocation), 35th recital; COM(2015) 240, p. 20
(resettlement and residence requirement)
Cf. Obwexer & Funk, 29.3.2016
Again, similar ideas (no right to choose a country) …
… but challenging claim in the case of Carnes’ idea
concerning limits.
Picture source: http://www.endare.com/blog/endare-challenges/
Picture source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifeboat_ethics
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Concluding remarks and limitations
“[…] we cannot leap directly from analysis of principles
to prescriptions for policy(p. 61; cf. also p. 126, et passim)
EU migration policy: “fair, robust and realistic”; COM(2015) 240, p. 7
1. Important disclaimer: this presentation compared only some selected ideas of
Carens’ book with some selected parts of selected EU documents in this context.
2. In EU documents, we find a lot of similarities to Carens’ ideas. Of course this does not mean
that other parts of those documents could not be deemed unethical.
3. However, there is, of course, still possible room for improvement (e.g. firewall in case of
irregular migrants, non-discrimination).
4. This does not mean that certain factual situations (e.g. Idomeni) cannot be criticized from an
ethical perspective.
5. Interestingly enough, Carens plays with the idea of a supranational power when referring to
quantitative limits (on accepting refugees in the US); however, he does not claim it (p. 219).
6. Comparing the historic situation of Jews fleeing from Hitler with today’s
situation (p. 220, et passim), Carens is clearly challenging our views. As Sandel
also puts it, (political) philosophy can give shape to the arguments we have,
and bring moral clarity to the alternatives we confront” (2010, p. 19).
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Concluding remarks: pro fact, not post-truth
Picture source: The Economist, September 10th16th 2016, pp. 20-3 Source: Politico, November 16th 2016
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Jean Monnet blended learning course
jeanmonnet.mci.edu
Affirmative action
Surrogacy
Moral limits of markets
Migration & refugees
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Thank you for your attention!
MCI MANAGEMENT CENTER INNSBRUCK
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SCHOOL®
Dr. Markus Frischhut, LL.M.
Jean Monnet Professor “European Integration & Ethics
Professor & Study Coordinator European Union Law
Management & Law (BA)
Strategic Management & Law (MA)
Universitaetsstrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Phone: +43 512 2070 -3632, Fax: -3699
mailto:markus.frischhut@mci.edu, www.mci.edu
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European Agenda on migration relocation
Source: European Commission, A European Agenda on migration, COM(2015) 240 final 13 May 2015, p. 19. (Link)
->
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8th report relocation and resettlement relocation
Source: European Commission, Eighth report on relocation and resettlement, COM(2016) 791 final 8 December 2016, p. 5. (Link)
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Eurobarometer Public opinion in the EU
Source: Standard Eurobarometer 86, Autumn 2016, p. 4. (Link)
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Eurobarometer Public opinion in the EU
Source: Standard Eurobarometer 86, Autumn 2016, p. 5. (Link)
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EU-Turkey Statement
Source: European Commission, Fourth Report on the Progress made in the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement,
COM(2016) 792 final 8 December 2016, p. 3. (Link)
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Migration countries of origin & conflict intensity
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Frontex
Source: @Avramopoulos, https://twitter.com/Frontex/status/818383334728433666
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European Agenda on migration
Source: European Commission, A European Agenda on migration, COM(2015) 240 final 13 May 2015, p. 7. (Link)
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we find a lot of similarities to Carens' ideas. Of course this does not mean that other parts of those documents could not be deemed unethical
  • E U In
  • Documents
In EU documents, we find a lot of similarities to Carens' ideas. Of course this does not mean that other parts of those documents could not be deemed unethical.