The Role of Schools in Motivating EU Citizens to Act in Accordance With the Fundamental Rights of Non-EU Citizens

Schools may be especially promising avenues, argue Tommaso Colombo and Jos Philips, to motivate individual EU citizens to act as needed for realising a central EU ideal: the ideal of a Union where fundamental rights are guaranteed, not only those of EU citizens, but also those of non-EU citizens.

Tommaso Colombo and Jos Philips, University of Utrecht

In an earlier blog post, we argued in favour of a right-based reconstruction of the EU ideal to guarantee fundamental rights. According to this reconstruction, the EU has moral reasons to guarantee the fundamental rights also of non-EU citizens, among whom non-EU citizens who are fleeing their homes. However, can this ideal be realised? As will soon become clear, a direct answer to this question is not the purpose of this post. Rather, our purpose is to suggest that schools could play a role in realising this ideal within the Union, and that, thus, further research should be pursued in that direction. In this blog post, we will focus both on non-EU citizens whose habitual residence is outside the EU and on non-EU citizens who live within the EU’s borders (meaning to leave it open whether they have the citizenship of a non-EU state or are stateless). We are primarily thinking of non-EU citizens in need, and not so much of, for example, affluent immigrant communities; but the points we make are applicable to all non-EU citizens.

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Searching for ‘European Values’: Quality Newspapers and Immigration

European quality newspapers identify, interpret and defend ‘European values’. But there is no consensus on what these values actually mean. Volker Heins reports on a recent NoVaMigra roundtable discussion and argues that the value language conceals differences within the EU that should be addressed head-on.

Volker M. Heins, University of Duisburg-Essen / Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI)

On 22 February 2021, NoVaMigra held an online event on the recently published policy paper ‘Quality Newspapers vs. Populism’ which was followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Martin Deleixhe (Paris). Participants were Volker Heins, the editor of the policy paper, Laura Bérard (Press Officer Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship), Christoph Dreyer (Media Relations Officer, Reporters Without Borders), Sándor Zsiros (European Affairs Correspondent, Euronews Brussels) and Rebecca Harms (Executive Board European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and former Member of the European Parliament).

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Measuring Well-Being, While Treating Autonomy as a Value: A Literature Review

What are values and how can they be operationalized for the empirical social sciences? The University of Malmö’s graduate student Irina Widmer traces debates on how to measure well-being. In her blog post, she focusses specifically on the value of autonomy. How relevant has it been for measurements of well-being?

Irina A. Widmer, University of Malmö/ University of Neuchâtel

Do conceptions of well-being vary across societies – and, if yes, how seriously should we take these variations? Felicia Huppert and Timothy So’s social psychology article on “Flourishing” points to the need to analyse well-being in a specific context and to pay attention to “cultural differences in well-being”. Alex Linley et al. came to the challenging conclusion that well-being might be measured with the same tool in different groups (gender, ethnicity, age), the context having little influence on the outcome of the study. Due to a missing common definition of well-being, the range of values which are included to measure well-being varies greatly from one study to another. Huppert and So attempt to build an objective definition of well-being, based on positive mental health criteria, defined as the opposite of internationally accepted symptoms for depression and anxiety. This “medical diagnosis” seems promising; nevertheless, some values considered central in many other methodologies are left out, notably autonomy.

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Are Human Rights a European Value?

Europe’s commitments in the context of its migration policy are often framed in terms of promoting or protecting ‘European values’. Marie Göbel dissects the grammar of ‘European values’ – and argues that we should drop the value language if we are really committed to protecting migrants’ human rights.

Marie Göbel, University of Utrecht

The idea of European values has seen a revival recently in EU politics. It was mainstreamed when Ursula von der Leyen introduced a Vice Presidency for “Promoting our European Way of Life” after becoming European Commission president. Responding to criticism, von der Leyen was quick to point out that the idea behind this was simply to reaffirm Europe’s commitment to the basic values laid out in the EU’s founding treaties: freedom, equality, democracy, the rule of law, human dignity and human rights. But what do we mean when we speak of human rights, for example, as a European value? And what practical difference does this make?

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Pathways to Europe: Who we are

Pathways to Europe.Migration and Democracy is a forum of debate on migration in and to Europe, aimed at drawing together philosophical perspectives with political, legal and sociological analyses. The blog is edited by a group of researchers working together within the intra-European research Project Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis (NoVaMigra), but aims to provide a platform for a variety of authors and views. We welcome contributions from relevant disciplines on current issues and developments in the field of migration, asylum and European integration.

We encourage perspectives from different locations in Europe and are glad to publish reflections on national events pertaining to wider European developments. Literature reviews and conference reports are also welcome, as are requests to advertise relevant public events or calls for papers.

How to write for us

Submissions may be made in English or in another European language. If a language other than English is used, please include a two to three sentence teaser of your article in English. Blog posts are aimed at a wider political public and should not normally exceed 2000 words in length.

Please generally use hyperlinks for referencing and avoid footnotes or endnotes for citations and bibliographic references. Where literature references are necessary, please use in-text-citations as follows:

  • One author: (Crawley 2015)
  • Two authors: (Sigona and Zetter 2014)
  • More than two authors: (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh et al. 2014)
  • Multiple citations: (Gibney 1999; Miller 2008)

Blog posts will be edited before submission, changes will be submitted to the author‘s consent before publication. Articles are published under a Creative Commons licence. Authors are welcome to republish their articles elsewhere, given that  crossposting is referenced.

To submit a blog post, please send an e-mail to Therese Herrmann at therese.herrmann@uni-due.de . The proposal should be sent as an attachment in a Microsoft Word file.

 

Pathways to Europe.Migration and Democracy

Pathways to Europe.Migration and Democracy is a forum of debate on migration in and to Europe, aimed at drawing together philosophical perspectives with political, legal and sociological analyses. The blog is edited by a group of researchers working together within the intra-European research Project Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis (NoVaMigra), but aims to provide a platform for a variety of authors and views. We welcome contributions from relevant disciplines on current issues and developments in the field of migration, asylum and European integration.

We encourage perspectives from different locations in Europe and are glad to publish reflections on national events pertaining to wider European developments. Literature reviews and conference reports are also welcome, as are requests to advertise relevant public events or calls for papers.