Brussels – ESI at public debate on the Common European Asylum System and effective migration diplomacy

21 March 2023
Atomium in Brussels. Photo: flickr / Gilbert Sopakuwa
Atomium in Brussels. Photo: flickr / Gilbert Sopakuwa

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to a public debate at the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

The event aimed to provide an overview of the current state of play and the main challenges in the negotiations on the CEAS, as well as to discuss possible solutions and best practices for a fair and effective asylum system in Europe. The speakers agreed that there is a need for more solidarity and responsibility-sharing among member states, as well as for a common approach to prevent irregular migration and protect human rights at the external borders.

Gerald argued that the EU should focus on three main objectives: to disincentivize irregular migration which causes thousands of deaths every year, to ensure access to asylum for those who need it, and to foster integration and social cohesion for those who are granted protection. He suggested that the EU should adopt a model similar to the Canadian one, which combines resettlement of refugees from third countries with private sponsorship by civil society actors. He also stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and transit, such as Tunisia or Turkey, and of supporting their efforts to improve their asylum systems and respect human rights.

The other panellist were:

  • Beate Gminder, Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (HOME) of the European Commission
  • Marion Gentges MdL, Minister of Justice and for Migration of the State of Baden-Württemberg
  • Siegfried Lorek MdL, State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and for Migration Baden-Württemberg
  • Lena Düpont MEP, Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the EPP-Party in the European Parliament
  • Erik Marquardt MEP, Member of LIBE Committee and The Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament

The following day, Gerald met with Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations: