Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis

NoVaMigra has just released its final report Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis. See here for the full report.

Norms and Values
Migration Policy
Civil Society
Cosmopolitan Europe
Cosmopolitan Europe

Work Package 4: A Cosmopolitan Perspective for Europe

The European Union offers an original case of political entity that tends to go beyond the national basis of democratic legitimacy. As such, it has long been viewed as a model preparing a globally cosmopolitan structure where civic principles and universal values would replace ethnic and particularistic allegiances. However, the refugee and migrant crisis has recently cast doubt on this optimistic picture, reactivating nationalist feelings and fuelling the success of populist parties in various state-members. In many regards, this crisis seems to have provoked a moral uncertainty raising the following questions: can the European Union live up to its founding moral principles while facing the difficulties related to immigration policies? In such a predicament, should it give up its cosmopolitan impulse or rework it on new bases?

NovaMigra will assess the depth and consequences of such a value crisis. WP4 will draw on findings of WP2 and WP3 in order to examine if and to what extent the new political context has led to substantial changes in discourses and practices related to European norms and values, in public institutions as well as in civil society. These findings should also contribute to identify where there are potentials in norms and values in law, politics and society that could serve as starting points to rework the cosmopolitan idea at the European scale.

The WP4 will consist of three tasks:

The first task pursues a clarifying objective. It will be dedicated to the conceptual analysis of cosmopolitanism as such and in the European context.
- It will start by providing a synthetic overwiew of theoretical models of cosmopolitanism: originally elaborated by the Stoics, cosmopolitanism belongs to the most ancient forms of political ideals. Due to the growth of globalization, it has been largely reinvested by contemporary political theories in order to face new economic, ecological, political challenges. NovaMigra will examine how norms and values are conceptualized in available models of cosmopolitanism.
- The general approach of cosmopolitanism will be specified by a study of its expressions in the European context through a legal and philosophical analysis of the European Charter and acquis.

The second task has an investigating scope. It will exploit the findings of the empirical researches led in WP2 and WP3 to understand how official policies and agents in civil societies relate to the normative requirements of the European Charter and to the debate about European values.
- It will start by interpreting the norms and values that are used by official agents and civil society actors whether to justify or motivate their actions.
- It will identify the tensions between individuals’ interpretations and the official self-understanding of European institutions.
- It will offer some interpretations concerning the reasons of these tensions with the aim of outlining what kind of cosmopolitanism is feasible in the light of this context.

The third task adopts a reformative perspective. It will elaborate on the two previous ones to rework the cosmopolitan idea in a both legitimate and realistic way.
- It will develop a new idea of European cosmopolitanism that pays more attention to the implementation of political justice within and outside Europe. This should be achieved by rendering the reflection on European cosmopolitanism more sensitive to issues of cultural and moral pluralism and by taking the migrants’ perspectives into account.
- This last task aims at providing guidelines likely to transform the European cosmopolitan idea into an ideal, making it attracting enough through feasible considerations about institutional reforms.


NoVaMigra has just released its final report Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis. See here for the full report.

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