The Hague – ESI keynote speech on humane control and migration diplomacy

13 April 2023
Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to give the keynote speech at the internal "migration return days" event organised by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where more than 50 policy makers from different ministries and embassies gathered to discuss the current and future challenges of migration control in Europe and beyond.

Gerald outlined how to create humane and effective migration partnerships between European and non-European countries, based on various cases, such as the EU-Turkey statement, UK-France cooperation, and the UNHCR sponsored Rwanda-Libya agreement. He stressed the importance of building European coalitions for impact and avoiding a relapse to Heinrich Rothmund's era, a reference to a 1930s Swiss official who advocated for harsh measures against Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.

After his presentation, the participants engaged in a brainstorming session, where they were divided into groups and asked to design migration partnerships for different scenarios, such as UK-FR, Rwanda-Libya, Morocco, or Tunisia. The groups considered various aspects of such cooperation, such as the like-minded actors involved, the incentives and conditionality, the legal and operational frameworks, and the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The session aimed to stimulate creative thinking and generate concrete ideas for future policy development.

Participants at the event included:

  • Policy advisors on migration from Foreign Affairs, Justice & Security and Social Affairs and Labour in The Hague;
  • MFA diplomats responsible for migration file at embassies in European capitals (Rome, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Athens, Stockholm, Copenhagen);
  • MFA diplomats responsible for migration file at embassies in Africa and Middle East (Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, Cairo, Abuja, Niamey, Dakar, Baghdad, Ankara, Islamabad, Kabul)
  • MFA diplomats from perm reps (Brussels and Geneva).