The Odysseus Academic Network
The Odysseus Academic Network is a network of experts in immigration and asylum law in Europe. It was founded in 1999 by Philippe de Bruycker, Professor at the Institute for European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), with the financial support of the European Commission at the beginning. The network brings together legal experts from all EU Members States, including Schengen associated States (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland), as well as Turkey. Its coordination team is based in Brussels.
The Odysseus Academic Network has created a pan-European community of researchers and experts in the field of EU immigration and asylum, and through this strengthened cooperation, it provides a comprehensive analysis of migration issues, both at the European and national levels. In particular, it provides support to the training of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the studies of the European Migration Network (EMN) and makes research for the European Parliament and the European Commission under specific contracts. The network is equally a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between academics, policy-makers, practitioners and NGOs in the field of immigration and asylum law and policy.
The traditional activities of the network include European thematic conferences, publication of a collection of books, studies on EU migration and asylum law, including transposition of directives and their implementation (EU Return Directive, alternatives to detention, and a comparative study on the transposition of ten EU directives by Member States, among which directives on reception conditions, qualification, and family reunification), as well as comparative law analysis between the Member States. Odysseus also organizes a well-known yearly summer school in Brussels on EU Migration and Asylum Law and Policy that has trained during the last twenty years around 2.000 persons with very diverse backgrounds coming from all over Europe. Due to the support for Jean Monnet Networks provided by the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU, the Odysseus Network has recently enlarged its activities under the Omnia project that include the regular publication of a blog on recent developments of EU migration and asylum law in Europe and a virtual platform giving access to databases and E-learning courses.