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Migration Flows: Challenges and Perspectives under International and EU Law

Greece is at the forefront of an unprecedented refugee crisis in Europe: in 2015 more than 900,000 persons entered the country. Greece is called upon to face this mass influx of migrants in full compliance with the Common European Asylum System and the relevant EU legislation as well as international law, including human rights law and law of the sea.

Training for the practitioners involved in the everyday management of migratory flows and courses providing an advanced understanding of the relevant theoretical and policy debates becomes imperative. AthensPIL offers the perfect academic environment for this module, as it brings together experienced professionals specialized in international and EU law. Besides, the proposed Action is a follow-up of two research projects already carried out by AthensPIL members on irregular migration.

The Action includes the following, taught in English and in Greek:

Summer School

The core project of the Action to be delivered on an annual basis. It will serve as a strong grounding in the legal treatment of refugees and migrants and the management of migratory flows under international and EU law among lawyers, policy-makers, NGO workers, international agency staff, postgraduate students, and others working with refugees and migrants. It will be delivered by leading academic experts, primarily AthensPIL members and fellows and practitioners in refugee and migration law. It is organised as an intensive 5-day programme, which includes seminars, targeted tutorials and simulation exercises and a written examination at the end.

Short Intensive Course (Seminar taught in Greek)

Short Intensive Course on ‘Migration Flows: Challenges and Perspectives under International and EU Law’: Run on an annual basis, it is aimed exclusively at lawyers, policy-makers, NGO workers, international agency staff working in the field of international and EU migration and refugee law. It offers 12 sessions on both EU and international law aspects of the issue, such as rescue operations and the smuggling of migrants at sea; human rights protection at reception facilities, including hotspots; protection of vulnerable groups in transit; border controls and the Schengen acquis; the Dublin revision; return of migrants; integration of protected persons. The themes will be adjusted over the 3-year period, subject to developments in the field and the regulatory framework. The faculty includes academics specialised in migration studies and related topics and practitioners, coming from UN, EU and national institutions and reputable NGOs, who offer the benefit of their practical experience and expertise; indeed, at least 1/3 of our lecturers come from the field. The programme includes practical exercises, simulation sessions and specific assignments, supervised by tutors, who would also offer methodology classes, so that the group may derive maximum benefit from the Course. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance, formally certified by AthensPIL and the University of Athens.

Both actions aim to:

- Provide an academically challenging training in a research-active environment to practitioners;

- Provide post-graduate level education and training in the field of migration and refugee law to the highest academic standards;

- Facilitate collaboration among international and EU law scholars and practitioners.

The organization of both a Summer School and the Short Intensive Course on an annual basis purports to address a wider range of audience (student level for the first, early professional and practitioner for the second) than otherwise possible. The thrust of the proposed action will concentrate on merging the application of international and EU rules on the subject and bring a much-needed EU perspective in a traditional area of international law. The expected result will be a boost to the high level of EU studies at the Faculty of Law of the University of Athens and nationally. Such a multi-level teaching and research module is both academically innovative and urgently needed.