Copenhagen – ESI at the Copenhagen Migration Conference on the future of EU migration policy

6 May 2024
Gerald at the panel on the future of EU migration
Gerald at the panel on the future of EU migration, Photo: Danish ministry of foreign affairs

Gerald Knaus attended the Copenhagen Migration Conference at the invitation of the Danish foreign ministry. At the conference, Gerald participated in a panel on “The future of EU’s migration policy framework – new ways to address irregular migration and ensure a fairer, more humane and sustainable asylum system”.

The panellists discussed the need for coordination and innovation in overhauling Europe’s asylum system. The goal of any such overhaul must be making this system more humane, sustainable, and efficient. The panellists further emphasized the need for more opportunities and better security in refugees’ regions of origin, with the aim of eliminating incentives for the dangerous journey to Europe. The panellists also explored how to transform new ideas on migration into successful policy and then scale these policies in the face of political and social challenges.

Gerald highlighted that, even today, Europe has the opportunity to prove that Safe Third Country Agreements– in which refugees are returned to a safe third country – can work. In particular, France, the Benelux countries and Germany could agree with the UK to take back any refugees who make the dangerous journey over the English Channel. In return, the UK would agree to accept a substantial number of refugees directly from France, Germany, and the Benelux countries in an orderly, legal fashion.

Success here would prove that safe third country proposals are humane and workable, providing an opening for the EU as a whole to work with Rwanda on a similar plan with the ultimate goal of discouraging the deadly trip across the Mediterranean.

The audience in Copenhagen

The audience in Copenhagen, Photo: ESI