Vienna – ESI at podium discussion on migration and right-wing populism

24 November 2023
Vienna University
Vienna Univeristy. Photo: flickr / Franz Jachim

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in a podium discussion on “Migration and right-wing populism. Perspectives from Austria and Germany” at Vienna University organised by the Ustinov Institute.

In his presentation, Gerald discussed the dangerous language, narratives and strategies influencing the current discourse on migration. He highlighted the situation in Hungary, where Viktor Orban has portrayed migration issues using warlike terminology. Furthermore, Gerald cautioned about the possible outcomes, like widespread deportations, should Donald Trump’s immigration policies be re-implemented if he regains office in 2025.

Gerald emphasised the immediate need for a paradigm shift: establishing migration agreements with safe third countries, setting specific cut-off dates, and offering incentives to receiving nations. The goal of this shift is to ultimately achieve zero fatalities in both the Mediterranean and the English Channel. He emphasised the need to push forward with the Germany-Gambia plan and advocate for a renewed EU-Turkey statement. He also suggested considering options like the Rwanda safe third country proposal as strategies to drastically reduce deaths and help regularise migration.

Gerald debated with Judith Kohlenberger (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Philipp Ther (University of Vienna/ RECET) and Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University/Peter Ustinov Institute). The panel was moderated by Irene Brickner (Der Standard).