Jean Monnet Network on enforcement of EU law (EULEN)

YRP Projects

The transformation of discretionary power in European migration law. From unregulated executive freedom to sophisticated decision-making processes and (underestimated) inroads for migrant protection (by Jonas Bornemann)

In several national legal systems in Europe, early efforts to regulate immigration relied heavily on discretionary powers. Whereas immigration laws in Europe have come a long way since, discretionary powers did not disappear from the European legal landscape entirely. Rather, European migration law continues to include discretionary decision making on several occasions. My research suggests that, despite this continuity, discretionary decision making has transformed, both in quantitative as well as in qualitative terms. Once a rather ubiquitous feature of rudimentary immigration laws, it nowadays features as a purposefully deployed element of specific deliberative moments in European migration law. In this vein, discretion gives rise to sophisticated assessments, informed by versatile influences of a multi-levelled system.


Jonas Bornemann –

University Konstanz