Europe and the Other: multidisciplinary reflections on the refugee crisis

The flow of refugees towards Europe dominates the media and our minds these past months. The images of drowned men, women and children, and of the barbed wire that appears in ever more places in Europe, demand our attention and our compassion.

After the successful series of debates “Terrorism and the Rule of law” in the Spring of 2015, REBO researchers dr. Hanneke van Eijken and Pauline Phoa, in cooperation with the Utrecht research programs Institutions and RENFORCE, have organized a new series of public meetings, this time about the refugee crisis. The university, and more specifically the law faculty with a large curriculum in the area of EU and international (criminal) law and human rights, has a public responsibility to offer our students and staff a forum for debate. What aspects does this complex issue consist of, how can we participate in the public debate in a critical and well-informed way, and how can students and researchers contribute to finding a solution?

The discussion evenings will follow the format of “Terrorism and the Rule of law”: acclaimed scholars and experts from the field will present short introductions on a wide range of topics/a central them of the evening, after which they will enter into a discussion with the audience. After each session, there will be time to share a drink.

Given the interest in these debates, please register your attendance at:

Session 1: Kick off: 19.00-21.00, 22 October 2015, Achter Sint Pieter 200 (Raadzaal) [in Dutch]
Introduction of the discussion series by Prof Linda Senden, Dr. Hanneke van Eijken en Pauline Phoa LLM (Europees recht, UU).
Performance of ‘Vluchtverhaal’, a play by musician Monir Goran and poet Baban Kirkuki about their experience as refugees.

Session 2: Status is everything: refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants [in Dutch], 19.00-21.00, 11 November, Location: to be announced
Eduard Nazarsky (Amnesty Nederland)
Nora Stel (Utrecht University, Conflict Studies)
Karin Geuijen en Gijs Jan Brandsma (Utrecht University, USBO)

Session 3: Europa en de Ander [in Dutch], 19.00-21.00, 2 december 2015, Achter Sint Pieter 200 (Raadzaal)
Mathieu Segers (Utrecht University, International Relations)
Sander Terphuis (Iranian refugee, lawyer and prominent member of the Dutch political party PvdA) see also:
Ton van de Brink (European law, Universiteit Utrecht)

Session 4: The refugeecrisis and the external relations of the European Union (in English), 19.00-21.00, 7 januari, Achter Sint Pieter 200 (Raadzaal)
Steven Blockmans, Policy Studies, Professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam (part-time) and one of the founding members of the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER))
Kati Piri (European Parliament, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs)
Seline Trevisanut (International law, Utrecht University)
Beatrice de Graaf (History of International Relations & Global Governance, UU) (to be confirmed)

Session 5: Refugee crisis – international upheaval, local solutions? [in Dutch], February/March 2016, Location to be announced
Speakers, among others:
Hawar Mouhiddine (Vluchtelingenwerk and PvDA Raadslid Papendrecht) (to be confirmed)
Rodaan Al Galidi (refugee, writer of poetry collections and novels)