Failte Refugee Group

Ref-EU-gee event series

Uncovering the role of the European Union in the lives of Refugees.

‘REF-EU-GEE’ was an event series created to highlight the challenges and constraints of refugees and migrants trying to enter the European Union.

This event series comprised a month-long fundraising and awareness campaign, and several key events. A conversation panel was hosted every Wednesday for the first three weeks of November 2021, each of which focused on a different aspect of EU-Refugee relations.

Graphic: Ref-EU-gee event series poster announcing the activities during November 2021.


Conversation with Refugee Rescue

Refugee Rescue is an NGO based in Greece which works tirelessly saving lives of migrants and refugees at sea. It was explained what it is like to work in the world’s deadliest migration route. Since 2014, over 22,000 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean. Due to the systematic omission of governmental assistance at sea, the work of Refugee Rescue is more important than ever.

Medicine on the borders of Europe

This event focused on the right to health and the experiences of medical practitioners. It gave insight into how “Médecins Sans Frontières” responds, protects and provides assistance to refugees in their emergency missions and projects. They provide vital medical care and relief in many countries where relief needs are denied by authorities, such as shelter, water, sanitation, informal settlements, and transit camps. A short documentary was screened as well.

A panel discussion – Should Frontex be abolished?

The event informed attendees on the increasing militarisation of EU borders and the treatment of Migrants and Refugees.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, established in 2004 and headquartered in Warsaw, has now secured a €5.6 billion budget until 2027. By then, it will have its own army of 10,000 armed border guards; it will also have more power than ever in coordinating government EU-wide deportations.

Activists and NGOs worldwide have called for the defunding and abolishment of this highly militarised border control. Dr Claire Dorrity, a UCC lecturer in Social Policy and Dr Andrew Cottey, a UCC lecturer in Government and Politics, were the panel speakers who were presented with the question, ‘Should Frontex be banned?’

Debate: Should the EU be charged for crimes against humanity?

This event gave students the opportunity to look at this topic of crimes against humanity through the lens of the Refugee Crisis at the EU borders. This motion is based on the work of lawyers; Juan Branco and Omer Shatz, who have accused the EU of causing the needless deaths of thousands of Libyans attempting to cross EU borders and also the overall broad issue of our Ref-EU-Gee event series which is to highlight the challenges and constraints that refugees and migrants face attempting to enter the European Union.

Collaboration: Philosophy Society, Law Society, Government and Politics Society, Europa Society, International Relations Society, Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières Society, International Development Society.

GCDE theme: Population and migration, Politics and geopolitics.


Other events organised by the Failte Refugee Group under the global citizenship theme:

Graphic: Posters and social media post about Understanding Islamophobia from October 2021.

Graphic: Posters and social media post about Refugees who changed the world from January 2022, and Traditional music concert for Ukraine from March 2022