Appenzell – ESI on interest-based migration policy and humane border control

30 March 2023
Video: SP Appenzell Innerrhoden

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to speak at a public event organised by the social democratic party of Switzerland in Appenzell.

Gerald noted that, according to UNHCR figures, the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide has risen from 43 to 100 million between 2010 and 2022. However, he argued that these figures are misleading, as only a small proportion of these people ever cross a border. Most are internally displaced.

He then discussed the current situation in Europe, noting that the number of irregular migrants arriving in Europe has declined significantly since 2016. He argued that this is due to a number of factors, including the EU-Turkey Statement, the so-called closure of the Balkan route, and the economic slowdown in Europe.

Despite this decline, Gerald argued that the EU still needs to develop a more humane and effective migration policy. He proposed a number of concrete measures, including:

  • Creating a "Lake Constance Coalition for Humane Borders", i.e. a group of states that, through migration diplomacy and agreements – while respecting the rule of law at the borders – jointly create conditions so that those entitled to asylum are admitted and those refugees who have no claim to asylum are promptly taken returned to the countries of origin.
  • Requiring states to take back asylum seekers who have been denied asylum, and to provide compensation to states that are affected first and directly by irregular migration.
  • Investing in development aid and offering legal migration schemes.

Gerald concluded by arguing that the EU must develop a more humane and effective migration policy in order to protect the rights of refugees and to prevent the deaths of more people at sea.

Gerald Knaus. Photo: SP Appenzell Innerrhoden
Gerald Knaus. Photo: SP Appenzell Innerrhoden