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Moritz Jesse on Social Integration of Third-Country Nationals – Lecture at Turin Winter School

Moritz Jesse, associate professor European Law at the Europa Institute Leiden, delivered a lecture on the Social integration of third-country nationals.

The three hour intervention on 2 December 2019 was part of the Jean Monnet Module ‘EU Mobility and Migration Law’ and the Winter School ‘Mobility and Migration in  Europe: National Restrictive Policies in the EU Legal Framework’ organized by Professor Francesco Costamagna and his team at the University of Turin, Italy.

In his lecture, Moritz Jesse stressed the role of law in creating the necessary room within which integration of immigrants can occur. As such, the law creates a potential for integration which must allow immigrants to develop. Such potential is, from a theoretical perspective, maximized when immigrants have equal rights with the receiving population. For more on the concept of Legal Potential for Integration in the EU, see here. EU Citizens have an advantage vis-à-vis third-country nationals in this regard given that they derive directly applicable rights from primary EU Law, i.e. the founding Treaties itself. In the lecture, the dubious nature of integration conditions was also dealt with. The argument was that more often than not, integration condition, especially when they apply pre-departure in the country of origin, are not measures to facilitate the inclusion of immigrants but are immigration control measures in disguise. The Court of Justice of the European Union not so long ago has limited the discretion of the Member States to apply such measures to a large extent, though (see here).

The Turin Winter School was open to advanced degree students and PhD candidates and drew participants from all over the European Union. The discussion with the students about integration, the limits of law to influence inclusion processes, and the way legislation is used increasingly in the field of immigration and free movement in the EU to push the political paradigm of civic integration was fruitful.

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