Renaissance Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
Cooperation on Migration: The Role of the European Union in the Follow-Up to the UN Summit
Lukas Gehrke, Director, Southern Dimension, International Centre for Migration Policy Development
Ola Henrikson, Director General, Asylum and Migration Policy, Ministry of Justice, Sweden
Lotte Knudsen, Managing Director for Global Issues, European External Action Service
Gregory A. Maniatis, Advisor to Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for Migration, and MPI Senior European Policy Fellow
Elizabeth Collett, Director of MPI Europe and Senior Advisor to MPI Transatlantic Council on Migration
One month ago, world leaders gathered at the United Nations for a summit to discuss movements of refugees and migrants. This historic gathering, spurred in part by the growing migrant and refugee movements in the European neighborhood over the past five years, was intended to launch a strengthened global effort to coordinate responses to refugee and migration flows. The absence of concrete commitments in the resulting New York Declaration, however, disappointed many observers, who particularly criticized the removal of a UN proposal to resettle 10 percent of the world’s refugees annually.
The slow progress on multilateral cooperation around migration evidenced in New York has particular salience for the European Union. Since the arrival of more than 1 million asylum seekers to Europe in 2015, fissures have arisen between Member States calling for more solidarity and those seeking more autonomous and flexible responses. The result is an increasingly complex foreign policy situation: the European Union has been mandated to develop stronger cooperation with key third countries to manage (and stem) the mixed flow of people wishing to reach Europe, at the same time as a unified European voice is becoming increasingly difficult to find. As the European Union rethinks its own ability to cooperate— both internally and externally—what lessons does its experience offer for the prospect of multilateral cooperation on migration at the global level? What implications might better global coordination have for cooperation within the European Union? And finally, is there a role for EU institutions, and the EU-28, to play in ensuring that the UN effort to strengthen global collaboration is concrete and meaningful?
This panel brings officials together from a range of institutions mandated to consider the future of cooperation, whether bilaterally, regionally, or at the global level, and asks: What is possible, what is desirable, and what is likely?