Berlin – ESI presentations on refugee policy and EU-Turkey relations
ESI's Gerald Knaus participated in a public debate and gave two presenations on refugee policy in Berlin on 6 October.
At the German-African Business Association he spoke at the "Africa Insight" breakfast briefing on "The Merkel Plan" and whether it could be used as a model for migration agreement with African states. The event was attended by representatives from German ministries shaping German policy on Africa.
At the heart of the EU-Turkey agreement is the goal to discourage irregular crossings by returning most of those who arrive on Greek islands to Turkey following a credible assessment of their asylum claims. Gerald argued that a process of processing asylum applications rapidly through an EU asylum mission in Italy to allow the return of those who do not quality for asylum to countries of origin - though not to unsafe countries of transit in North Africa - could discourage migrants from their dangerous journey if it is done fast. The purpose of negotiating compacts with specific African countries to readmit their nationals should be to focus on those who arrive after a set moment, rather than on an unspecified number already in the EU. The primary objective should be to discourage further arrivals for those who have no strong claim to asylum, to reduce crossings and safe lives on the dangerous journey.
In the afternoon, Gerald spoke at a workshop and in the evening at a public debate on "Turkey revisited: a European foreign policy of migration" organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The event sought to discuss what policies the EU needs to develop to effectivly deal with migration and heightened euro-scepticism.
- Background paper: On solid ground? Eleven facts about the EU-Turkey Agreement (12 September 2016)
- Media reactions to ESI refugee proposals
- The Merkel-Samson Plan – www.esiweb.org/refugees