About the Summer School

2019 Summer School on EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy

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Brussels, Belgium


The Summer School has been carefully designed and developed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the immigration and asylum policy of the EU from a legal perspective. The programme is organised by the Odysseus Network for Legal Studies on Immigration and Asylum in Europe, which was founded in 1999 with the support of the European Commission and is coordinated by the Institute for European Studies of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

In addition to the content of the taught classes, the course also provides an excellent opportunity to spend an intellectually stimulating fortnight among a group of around one hundred fellow participants specialised in the area of asylum and immigration from all over Europe.  The setting of the Summer School in Brussels, the home of the European institutions, creates a unique environment that facilitates participants’ deeper engagement with the institutions. Participants in the Summer School typically include PhD and graduate students, researchers, lecturers, EU and Member State officials, representatives from NGOs and International Organisations, lawyers, judges, social workers and more. The classes are taught by academics from the universities cooperating in the Odysseus Network, which is represented in all EU Member States, and by high-ranking officials from the European Institutions, particularly the European Commission. The Summer School programme is offered in English or in French. Classes are taught separately, with participants able to indicate their language preference in advance.


Participants can choose to follow either the English-language stream or the French-language stream of the Summer School. Participants will attend all classes in the language indicated in their application, with the exception of courses given by high officials of the EU which will be exclusively taught in English. Both streams cover the same set of class topics, and participants from both streams will be able to socialise together during the extracurricular activities.



Odysseus Network

The Odysseus Academic Network is a network of legal experts in immigration and asylum in Europe. It was founded in 1999 by Philippe de Bruycker, Professor and researcher at the Institute for European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), with the financial support of the European Commission. The network is 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 network has an administration team based in Brussels, and also brings together experts from all EU Members States (with the exception of Estonia), Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. Since 1999, the Odysseus Network has grown to include around 50 members. The 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.


The Odysseus Network has coordinated research projects on the EU Return Directive, alternatives to detention, and a comparative study on the transposition of ten EU directives by Member States, including directives on reception conditions, qualification, and family reunification. The network has also produced a number of publications on subjects such as vulnerability in EU law on asylum, subsidiary protection, and free movement of persons in the EU. Every year, a summer school is organised in Brussels on European immigration and asylum law and policy.

As part of the OMNIA project, which is funded by the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe, the Odysseus Network will expand its activities to include a blog analysing recent developments in the field of immigration and asylum law and policy, a series of three annual policy conferences to be held in Brussels, e-learning modules and a virtual platform giving access to several databases. This will enhance cooperation between the members of the network, and will strengthen the links between this community of experts and policy makers. The OMNIA project will therefore increase the impact of academic research in the area of migration and asylum.

For more information, look at our activities’ reports:

1999 Report
2000 Report
2001 Report
2002 Report
2003 Report
2004 Report
2005 Report
2006 – 2007 Report
2008 Report
2009 Report
2010 Report
2011 Report

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