Vienna - ESI at public debates on migration policy and EU enlargement

25 February 2020
Presentation by Gerald Knaus. Video: Idealism Prevails

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to speak at two public debates in Vienna.

The first debate was at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on 25 February under the title: "Fortress Europe: Current Migration trends and European Responses". Gerald focused on the European policy level towards the different regions, the main challenges and interests for EU member states and how the diverging African and European (EU plus Western Balkans) interests could be brought together for a win-win situation. He also referred to the EU-Turkey deal and ESI's Gambia Plan as models for a humane and fair policy to control migration movements between Africa and Europe.

The other speakers were Franz Schmidjell (Deputy Executive Director of the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation VIDC), Olivia Akumu (Mixed Migration Centre), and Alida Vračić (Director of the Think Tank "Populari" in Sarajevo/IWM Europe's Futures Fellow). The debate was moderated by IIP Director Stephanie Fenkart.

The second debate under the title "EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: one step forward, two steps back?" took place on 26 February at the House of the European Union in Vienna. Gerald focused on ESI's proposals for EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkans for a new and credible approach the EU should adopt.

The other speakers were Florian Bieber (Professor and Head of the Centre of South-East European Studies at the University of Graz), Milica Delevic (Director of the EU-Integrations Office in Serbia/ECFR), Martin Selmayr (Head of the European Commission in Austria), and Alida Vračić (Director of the Think Tank "Populari" in Sarajevo/IWM Europe's Futures Fellow). The debate was moderated by Vedran Dzihic (Senior Researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Politics). The introduction was given by Paul Schmidt, General Secretary of the Austrian Society for European Politics.

Gerald Knaus and Martin Selmayr. Photo: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik
Gerald Knaus and Martin Selmayr. Photo: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik

While in Vienna, Gerald also has several meetings with Austrian members of Parliament and senior civil servants to discuss migration policy.

In addition, he gave two video interviews to krone.tv and to Falter magazine:

Video: Falter
Video: krone.tv
Olivia Akumu, Stephanie Fenkart, Gerald Knaus, and Alida Vračić. Photo: International Institute for Peace
Olivia Akumu, Stephanie Fenkart, Gerald Knaus, and Alida Vračić. Photo: International Institute for Peace