Amsterdam – ESI at Duitsland Instituut debate on migration agreements and meetings at the MFA

8 December 2023
Gerald at discussion
Photo: ESI

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in a discussion on “Migration Deals: a Win-Win-Situation?” organised by the Duitsland Instituut.

Gerald argued that EU member states should conclude agreements with countries of origin on the readmission of rejected refugees and on regular labour migration. He also argued for agreements with third countries on implementing asylum procedures outside the EU, which would help reduce irregular crossings, reduce deaths and give way to regular migration. However, EU member states must have the determination to do so.

In addition, Gerald argued for a renewal of the EU-Turkey statement, to end pushbacks at the EU’s external borders, avoid deaths in the Aegean and to engage Turkey in the control of irregular migration. Gerald also spoke of the failure of the recent EU-Tunisia deal and how Germany, especially the state of Baden-Württemberg, has responded to the Ukrainian refugee crisis by taking in more refugees than The Netherlands and Austria.

Gerald cautioned mainstream politicians against adopting populist rhetoric in discussions about migration. He warned that doing so will normalize such extreme rhetoric. He pointed to the United States, where it has become increasingly difficult to advocate for migration agreements and compassionate policies.

The discussion was moderated by Hanco Jürgens (historian and research associate at the Duitsland Instituut).

During his visit to The Netherlands, Gerald also had meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the migration policy, especially safe third country agreements. Gerald met with the new Special Envoy on Migration, Peter Schuurman; Director-General for International Cooperation, Pascalle Grotenhuis; and the Director of Stabilisation and Humanitarian Aid, Nathalie Olijslager.

Gerald at discussion
Gerald Knaus at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: ESI
Gerald at discussion
Gerald Knaus with Caspar Veldkamp (Member of the Dutch Parliament). Photo: ESI