European Civil Society, Rights and Non-Europeans: Thoughts Upon Reading Amsterdam—From the Market to the European Society by Francisco Lucas Pires
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The chapter aims to be a reflection on the state of European citizenship (in a wide sense of the word) and civil society. The reflection takes place, on the one hand, during a time of important dilemmas on the course of European integration, and on the other hand, approximately two decades after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty. Accordingly, it is inspired by one the most important achievements of Amsterdam: the reshaping of European law on immigration and asylum. The chapter takes as its starting point the last book of the Portuguese scholar Francisco Lucas Pires, in which he discussed the move, in the Amsterdam Treaty, from market to civil society. The chapter tries to frame the current conflict in the European civil society between those that advocate for future strengthening of European integration and at the same time agree with Europe’s moral and legal responsibilities towards the incoming refugees, and those that oppose them. It tries to provide an answer to these dilemmas by recognizing the role of rights, in part drawing upon the thought of Jürgen Habermas.
KeywordsAsylum European integration Civil society Public sphere Amsterdam Treaty Human rights Freedom of speech
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