belconlawblog.com
Belgium and the refugee crisis: the quest for solutions - Belgian Constitutional Law Blog
Yves Ballez, Ariadne Frangi, Thomas Ngeze and Dorien Surinx (master students Advanced Study Constitutional Law, Ghent University), Pieter Cannoot (assistant, Ghent University) and Juan Benjumea Moreno (assistant, Ghent University) See Dutch version below According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR the sad record of nearly 60 million forcibly displaced people has been reached. The conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have created a flow of refugees, which is more and more moving towards the EU. This influx obviously leads to significant challenges. International law after all dictates that states bear an important responsibility towards these refugees. Hence, the EU should also provide a powerful, common and effective answer to this crisis. The presence of refugees in Europe has certainly got governments thinking, especially with regard to social rights. “Either open borders and coordinated migration or a closed social security system” N-VA chairman Bart De Wever stated. Should the Geneva Convention indeed be updated? Can we tackle this problem structurally and on a European level, for example by guarding the external borders more severely and distributing asylum applications proportionally? Or should Belgium take its own precautions by implementing a separate social status for refugees?