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The European Union and Migration: An Interplay of National, Regional, and International Law

  • Iris Goldner Lang (a1)
Extract

If global migration law “includes all levels of the law,” then the European Union represents the most developed instance of the interplay of national, regional, and international law. Migration law in the European Union involves the interaction of EU Member States’ national laws, EU regional law, and international law. This complex interchange of different migratory legal regimes is the consequence of diverse, and sometimes conflicting, objectives and interests of the Union and its Member States, and the nature of EU law itself. This essay explores the impact of these three levels of the law on the four migratory regulatory categories—EU citizens, “desirable” third-country nationals, asylum seekers, and all other third-country nationals—and the three objectives associated with these categories. The predominance of one legal regime over another varies depending on the regulatory category of migrants and the objectives associated therewith. While describing the existing legal systems, the essay outlines their attributes and shortcomings, the most prominent being: a clear rift between the rights granted to EU citizens and to third-country nationals; EU Member States’ determination to reserve to their respective national territories a high level of national control over labor migration; and significant deficiencies of the EU asylum law which were brought to the surface by the recent refugee influx into the EU.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 Jaya Ramji-Nogales & Peter Spiro, Introduction to Symposium on Framing Global Migration Law, 111 AJIL Unbound 1(2017).

2 EU law is said to constitute a new legal order of international law, different from the legal orders of its Member States. See Case 26/62, Van Gend & Loos v. Neth., ECLI:EU:C1963:1.

3 Case 41/74, Van Duyn para. 18, ECLI:EU:C:1974:133; Case 67/74, Bonsignore para. 6, ECLI:EU:C:1975:34.

4 Case C-34/09, Ruiz Zambrano, ECLI:EU:C:2011:124; Case C-256/11, Dereci, ECLI:EU:C:2011:734.

5 For an account of the impact of the refugee influx on EU migration and asylum law, see Iris Goldner Lang, Human Rights and Legitimacy in the Implementation of EU Asylum and Migration Law, in Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy in a World of Disorder (Silja Vöneky & Gerald Neuman eds., forthcoming 2018).

7 M.S.S. v. Belg. & Greece, App. No. 30696/09 (Eur. Ct. H.R. 2011).

8 Joined cases C-411/10 and C-493/10, N. S. & M. E., ECLI:EU:C:2011:865.

10 Press Release: EU-Turkey statement, European Council, Council of the European Union (Mar. 18, 2016).

The author is grateful to Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Davor Petric for their valuable help.

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AJIL Unbound
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2398-7723
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
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