The High Level Conference on Migration Management at the EU Parliament
On the 21st of June I attended together with Elena Schigirev (also a member of Issues Without Borders) the “High Level Conference on Migration Management” organized by the EU Parliament.
The conference was aimed at finding solutions to the migration crisis and deliver on the expectations of EU citizens.
The participants at the conference were: political leaders, policymakers, stakeholders and practitioners.
The speakers included important figures such as : Antonio Tajani (President of the European Parliament); Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission); Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission); Dario Scannapieco (Vice-president of the European Investment Bank); Markku Markkula (President of the European Committee of the Regions); Dimitris Avramopoulos (European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship); Julian King (European Commissioner for Security Union); Johannes Hahn (European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations); Louise Arbour (United Nations Special Representative for International Migration); William Lacy Swing ( Director General of the International Organisation for Migration).
The discussions were around strengthening the EU`s internal security, discussing on the root causes of migration and ensuring a stable social and economic environment in non-EU countries as well.
The conference was divided in the following way:
There was first an introduction section, furthermore there were two round tables at the same time, the participants could choose the one that they wanted to attend:
The first round table was on “Managing asylum and migration” , with included presentations related to: “Better sharing responsibility for asylum seekers, accelerating asylum procedure”; Addressing legal migration gaps; Promoting integration; Addressing irregular migration; Implementing return decisions; „Ensuring coherence with the Union’s human rights policy”.
The second round table which took place in parallel was on “Promoting stability and prosperity in third countries” which included presentations related to : “Fostering economic and cultural diplomacy to ensure prosperity, tackling root causes”; „Addressing humanitarian needs”; „Helping partners prevent or manage crises on their own”; „Enhancing third countries’ capacity building in border management and asylum”; „Ensuring coherence with the Union’s human rights policy; Ensuring democratic scrutiny of international cooperation tools”.
I chose to attend the first round table because it was more related to the work Issues Without Borders is conducting now, while Elena attended the second one because it is more related to her job. This was anyway a wise decision since we spent time after the conference and shared our thoughts from both rounds tables.
The conference continued with another round table “Strengthening the EU internal security” and lastly there was a closing session with the leaders of the political groups.
Even though there were many interesting and viable solutions raised, they have no binding force. So there are some solutions to the problem but without a political will, without consensus change is very hard to implement.
Even so, I was very happy to attend this conference, because I heard many important figures discuss about a topic that I am highly interesting in, I got the chance to exchange ideas with some of the NGOs that were given the opportunity to offer their opinion at the conference and I spend a great day in the European Parliament, an amazing building, with an amazing history.
Hopefully if next year there will be another conference on migration management Issues Without Borders will also be given the opportunity to make it`s voice heard and offer it`s expertise on this topic.