When does harmonization backfire? Understanding the conditions that transformed the Family Reunification Directive into a tool that protects migrants and refugees' rights in the Netherlands

About the speaker:
Virginia Passalacqua is a Ph.D. researcher in the Law Department of the European University Institute. Her current research focuses on legal mobilization in support of migrants and refugees before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In particular, she studies how EU law and procedures have been used by social movements, NGOs and activist lawyers to defend and expand the rights of migrants and refugees. Through the comparison of three cases (the UK, the Netherlands, and Italy), she explores the circumstances that led migrants’ support groups to rely on the Court of Justice to achieve their political goals. Her research contributes to the studies on courts and politics in the field of migration, and sheds light on the limits and potential of litigation before the Court of Justice as an instrument to protect minorities and to increase migrants and refugees’ participation.

Virginia received her LL.M. from the European University Institute and from the University of Bologna, and she was a visiting Ph.D. at the London School of Economics in 2016. Being interested in bringing her research into practice, she is involved in different projects aiming at improving migrants’ situation. She served as pro-bono legal advisors for migrants, and she is a co-founder of the EUI Refugee Initiative, a researchers-led project consisting of the reception of six asylum seekers in the University’s premises, with the aim of offering them an innovative way of integrating into Florence. Her areas of academic interest are EU law, citizenship, migration and asylum law, constitutional law and law and society.