Berlin – ESI at Bundestag hearing on the reform of the Common European Asylum System and effective migration diplomacy

27 March 2023
Gerald Knaus. Screenshot: Bundestag
Photo: ESI

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to speak at a hearing at the German Bundestag on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The hearing was organized by the Committee on Internal Affairs and Community and involved experts from various fields and organizations.

In his testimony, Gerald argued that the current approach to irregular migration is not working. He said that the focus should be on disincentivizing irregular migration and providing safe and legal pathways to Europe. He pointed out the paradox that the number of people leaving the EU irregularly from France to the UK with smugglers is greater than the number of people coming to Spain from all over Africa. Still, the EU has spent hundreds of millions of euros on border controls in Southern Europe. Gerald argued that these measures have not been effective, and that they will not be effective at the English Channel either. He said that the real dividing line in the current debate is between member states that want to reduce irregular migration but still adhere to the rule of law, and those that have abandoned the rule of law. He argued that has set a dangerous precedent.

Gerald emphasized that there is no alternative to cooperation with third countries in all deliberations on reforming the European asylum system.

The other experts at the hearing were:

  • Raphael Bossong, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP
  • Beate Gminder, Task Force Migration Management of the European Commission
  • Roman Lehner, Institute for Public Law at the University of Göttingen
  • Daniel Thym, Chair for Public Law, European Law and International Law at the University of Konstanz
  • Felix Braunsdorf, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
  • Wiebke Judith, PRO ASYL
  • Josephine Liebl, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
  • Zeynep Yanaşmayan, Deutsches Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung