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The Role of Think Tanks in Times of (Migration) Crisis: A Transatlantic Perspective
September 15, 2017

Renaissance Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

The Role of Think Tanks in Times of (Migration) Crisis: A Transatlantic Perspective

flickr UNHCR UNHCR News Story Number of displaced inside Ukraine more than doubles since early August to 260,000

Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute, and author of What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact

Corinna Horst, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Brussels Office, German Marshall Fund of the United States, and President, Brussels Chapter of Women in International Security

Raoul Ueberecken, Director, Home Affairs, Directorate-General D Justice and Home Affairs, Council of the European Union General Secretariat 


Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne columnist, The Economist


Opening remarks: Elizabeth Collett, Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe

Closing remarks: Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Senior Fellow, MPI, and President, MPI Europe

On both sides of the Atlantic, think tanks occupy a crucial position in informing and influencing policy ideas and decisions in a range of areas, including migration. Yet, paradoxically, as migration has become a more politically freighted topic on both national and EU agendas, migration policymaking is being pushed further under wraps, often emerging only as polished soundbites in political leaders' public addresses. The result is an uncertain and episodic platform for external expertise, evidence, and critical analysis to guide the debate. Unlike other policy domains, migration policymaking can have life or death consequences, and long-term irreversible effects that transform the social fabric of communities across the globe. With the upcoming European Commission's State of the Union address potentially foreshadowing key shifts in migration policy, it is a crucial time to critically reflect on the role, responsibility, and accountability of external experts in these politically sensitive debates. Are think tanks influencers, informers, advocates, or part of the problem?

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