Minimalist Reflections on Europe, Refugees and Law

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Table of Contents: I. Stilo antico. – II. Perfect storm. – III. Tunnel. – IV. NATO. – V. Weakness. – VI. Deal. – VII. Womenandchildren.

Abstract: It is hard to understand the current developments in European refugee law without the benefit of hindsight. This paper refrains from trying to make a comprehensive analysis, and investigates fragments small enough to allow for analysis. We will look at the political and legal processes which turned the influx of a small number of people into the European Union (EU) into a crisis; at tunnel vision of European policy makers; at the legal aspects of the EU’s and NATO’s intervention in the Aegean Sea; and at the processes resulting in the acceptance of mass deaths as a daily routine.

Keywords: refugees – Syrians – EU-Turkey Agreement – border deaths – jurisdiction – Art. 216 TFEU.

European Papers, Vol. 1, 2016, No 2, pp. 533-558
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/49

* Professor of Migration Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,



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