Presentation of the doctoral thesis of Mrs Alix Loubeyre

After working on the eurexpertise project for the Institute in 2012, I devoted myself to writing my doctoral thesis in law, which I defended last June, at the University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. Entitled “Mutual trust and European migration law“, my thesis is obviously far from the Institute’s fields of reflection. Nevertheless, my time at the IEEE influenced my research ; it showed me the richness of the meticulous comparison of European judicial systems and the multiple forms that “horizontal cooperation” between them could take. Even if my thesis focuses on the Union’s migration policy, it has been informed by what I have learned about judicial cooperation in civil matters at the Institute. Exploring the links between these two objects of study could now be an interesting development for my research and I would of course contact the members of the Institute if such a project were to come to fruition.

In the meantime, here is a short summary of my thesis. (Readers who are interested can write to me at the following address:

The question of the existence and preservation of mutual trust is essential in understanding the current dysfunctions of the European migration policy and the significant difficulties in implementing EU law in this area. EU migration law requires direct cooperation between the national authorities responsible for asylum, border control, entry, stay, and return of migrants in the European Union. These national authorities need to have confidence in each other’s ability and willingness to meet their European obligations in the field of migration. This kind of mutual trust between the authorities has important consequences for the situation of migrants at the Union’s borders, and within its territory.

Mutual trust is defined in the thesis as a combination of two presumptions. First, that national systems are equivalent to each other, and second, that they are all in conformity with Union law and in particular with its fundamental values as referred to in Article 2 TFEU. This thesis analyses the dysfunctions of the common migration policy under the prism of mutual trust and aims to demonstrate that EU law has so far been unable to build the ‘systemic convergence’ necessary to ensure it. This systemic convergence is based on the convergence of national legal systems, the unfinished nature of which is the subject of the first part of the thesis. However, this lack of legal convergence does not explain all the dysfunctions of the migration policy. In the second part of this thesis I set out how the lack of ‘convergence of national interests’ hampers mutual trust between member States and the functionning of the whole European migration policy.