Conference: “The EU Social Market Economy: Challenges and Opportunities”

Date: Friday September, 23th 2016

Time: 9.30 am-4 pm (registration at the venue from 8.30)

Venue: Renehan Hall, South Campus, Maynooth University


The Department of Law is pleased to announce the conference ‘The EU Social Market Economy: Challenges and Opportunities’, which will take place on Friday September, 23th 2016.


Speakers include: Prof. Sybe De Vries (University of Utrecht), Prof. Dagmar Schieck (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Egle Dagilyte (Anglia Ruskin University), Prof.  Blanaid Clarke (Trinity College Dublin), Dr David Mangan (City University London), Dr. Clemens Rieder (Lancaster University), Dr. J. Jorge Piernas Lopez (University of Murcia).

The full programme will also be available at

The conference will be convened by Prof. Michael Doherty and Dr Delia Ferri, and attendance is welcomed and encouraged from researchers, academics, practitioners and postgraduate students.

To express your interest or to RSVP please email Dr. Delia Ferri at

Find Programme Here 


‘Heading to Europe: Safe Haven or Graveyard?’ Panel discussion on migration by sea at Radboud University Nijmegen May 16

The Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law of the European Society of International Law, the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen and the Amsterdam Center for International Law of the University of Amsterdam are pleased to announce Heading to Europe: Safe Haven or Graveyard?, a panel discussion on migration by sea in the Mediterranean. The panel discussion will be held on 16 May 2014 at the Radboud University Nijmegen.

The year of 2013 has demonstrated that the tragedy of thousands of migrants and refugees drowning on the shores of Europe is now a common occurrence.  The fate of those who perished near the Italian island of Lampedusa has brought the urgency of the situation into focus. The aim of the panel discussion is to provide an overview of the legal rules and processes applicable to migration by sea in the Mediterranean and to reflect on their wider sociological implications.

The panel discussion consists of two panels, each followed by a plenary discussion. In the first panel, legal experts working in the field of academia and at stakeholder organizations (e.g. UN Refugee Agency, Council of Europe, European Union) focus on legal aspects of boat migration in the Mediterranean. The second panel brings together scholars and practitioners with first-hand experience from transit countries to discuss the sociological effects of the legal rules and processes. Click here for the complete program, and here for more information on the panelists.

The organizing partners cordially invite interested scholars, governments officials, practitioners and advanced students to join in the panel discussion ‘Heading to Europe: Safe Haven or Graveyard?’. Active participation in the discussion is strongly encouraged. Participation is free of charge. For participation, please register at the bottom of this page. For inquiries, please contact Lisa-Marie Komp at

Location is the CPO-zaal, Spinozagebouw at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (Montessorilaan 3).


Regularizing and Decriminalizing the Movement of People

130 people from Ghana, Eritrea, and Somalia, including pregnant women and children, drowned off the coast of Italy (October, 2013) when the boat in which they were traveling caught fire and capsized. The boat left from Tripoli, Libya with about 500 persons attempting to reach Italy and enter the European Union. This route each year claims thousands of lives.  The death toll from this latest incident will only rise as at least another 100 passengers are missing. These tragedies happen around the world because, as the barriers to the movement of goods and some services have fallen, those facing people who merely seek the opportunity for a decent life continue to go up.

Labor or Economic Migration          

Whether fleeing political persecution or economic instability, most migrants seek the opportunity to live a normal life, earn a decent wage and support their families. Economic or labor migrants are motivated primarily by the search for employment. The irony is that, if given the opportunity to come and go legally for work, many would do so. Instead, they are forced to become “illegal migrants”.

Whether its Africans trying to make it to Europe or Central Americans and Haitians trying to make it to the United States, the

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

barriers they face force hundreds of thousands of migrants to place themselves at physical risk. They rely on smugglers who provide passage using overcrowded leaky boats or airless trucks. Women and girls run the risk of being sold into prostitution and slavery. Those who make it to their destination may end up living and working in sub-standard conditions and in enforced separation from their families.

Yet, as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports:

. . . when properly managed, labour migration has far-reaching potential for the migrants, their communities, the countries of origin and destination, and for employers.

The IOM further reports that, in 2011, there were 105 million persons working in a country in which they were not born, generating income of US $440 billion. The money they sent back to support their families – remittances – was around US$ 350 billion.

Trade Rules & Migration

The WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) identifies four delivery modes for services trade; Mode 4 is the movement of natural persons as service suppliers. GATS and other trade agreements that provide for free movement of persons focus almost exclusively on the movement of professionals and skilled workers. Trade rules generally ignore and marginalize the low-skilled or unlicensed service providers. As a result, their migration is considered illegal.

Yet their services are no less in demand. They are the ones who migrate to pick fruit, mow lawns, clean homes, and care for children and the elderly. Until this discrepancy is addressed and policies and rules put in place to support the free movement of skilled and low-skilled service providers, tragedies like the ones in the Mediterranean will, unfortunately, continue to occur.