Between 2009 and 2016, some 2 million irregular migrants and refugees have reached the shores and borders of EU member states – Greece and Italy in particular, Spain and Bulgaria to a smaller extent with subsequent movements from Southern to Northern Europe. Following the EU deal with Turkey and the closure of borders in the Western Balkans, irregular arrivals are now concentrated in the Central Mediterranean. While practical solidarity with most affected countries remains scarce, Europeans also do not have a common position on how to deal with those crossing the Sahara and arriving via the high seas. The panel will debate the nature of recent flows and policy responses ranging from the initial German, Austrian or Swedish ‘welcoming culture’ of 2015 to the ‘fortress Europe’ approach that seems to be the most popular answer in 2017.
Bernhard Knoll-Tudor, Director, SPP Global Policy Academy – opening remarks
Rainer Muenz, Senior Adviser on Migration, European Commission
Celine Cantat, Center for Policy Studies, CEU
Boldizsar Nagy, Department of International Relations, CEU