New obstacles to migration, new tactics among migrants

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The economic crisis started in 2008 and the increase in xenophobic political positions have contributed to the emergence of new obstacles to migration in Europe. The important arrivals of refugees in Europe in the 2010s have shown the limits of the asylum systems of several European states, and the refugees have been the object of limitations to their asylum rights and of the rise of xenophobic movements explicitly targeting refugees. Reduction in rights of asylum across Europe have added to previous tendencies of exclusion from social rights, conditionality of residence and citizenship on the basis of income and cultural conformity, detention and deportation. Intra-EU migrants have more recently seen limits in access to welfare, the rise of expulsions in certain EU-member states and, in the UK, the process of Brexit.

At the same time different categories of migrants have been developing new tactics in answer to the new obstacles, including new migratory practices and migratory circuits, political mobilisations, forms of solidarity, and practices of access to rights.

This conference, bringing together researchers from the GERME (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and CEDEM (Université de Liège) laboratories and from the University of Manchester, explores the transformations in the access to territory, mobility and rights. It explores how the public image of refugees is transformed by xenophobic discourse and the everyday management of asylum rights, including the role of the private sector and the subsequent mobility of refugees. It further explores the functioning of the access to rights of EU-migrants and the everyday functioning of other migration policies, including the access to healthcare, the detention of migrants and the access to citizenship. Finally, it explores the political and electoral mobilisations of and in solidarity to migrants and minorities, including artistic expression, developed in answer to the new obstacles to migration.

International conference organised by the GERME laboratory together with the University of Manchester and the CEDEM laboratory – We will be exploring different obstacles (legal, bureaucratic and social) to migration in Europe, as well as the new mobility tactics and the new mobilisations of migrants.

Organisation and scientific committee: Djordje Sredanovic, Federica Infantino, Dirk Jacobs, Daniela Vintila, Andrea Rea, Jean-Michel Lafleur.

Funded by FNRS, Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences Sociales ULB, ABSP.

Registration is free but mandatory.


9:00 – Introduction

9:15-10:45 Panel 1: Solidarity and mobilisation

Tanja R. Müller (University of Manchester): Remaking citizenship? German Business sector engagement and refugee integration

Maria Sobolewska (University of Manchester): The BAME vote in the Brexit Referendum

Elsa Mescoli (CEDEM): Between invisibility and visibility. Speaking out through art by undocumented migrants in Liege (Belgium)

10:45-11:00 – coffee break

11:00-12:30 Panel 2: The access to rights in Europe

Daniela Vintila and Jean-Michel Lefleur (CEDEM): Migration and social protection in Europe

Angeliki Konstantinidou (CEDEM): The external dimension of social protection: EU nationals’ access to social protection in third countries

Bridget Byrne (University of Manchester): School choice among minority and migrant parents in Manchester

12:30-14:00 – lunch break

14:00-16:00 Panel 3: Migration controls and their implementation

Andrew Crosby (GERME): Immigration detention and the autonomy of immigration policy in Belgium

Morgane Giladi (GERME): The management of the urgent health assistance by the Public Welfare Centre of Brussels

Léa Lemaire (Université du Luxembourg/GERME): A market of refugees? Relocation and resettlement from Malta

Djordje Sredanovic (University of Manchester/GERME): Variable filters: local bureaucracies in citizenship and nationality procedures in the UK and Belgium



Université libre de Bruxelles Campus du Solbosch

Room DC2.223, Batiment D

Avenue Depage 30

1000 Brussels

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