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Prominent Global Leaders to Tackle Immigration and Integration Challenges in the EU and U.S.
Press Release
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prominent Global Leaders to Tackle Immigration and Integration Challenges in the EU and U.S.

Launch of Transatlantic Task Force Marks 50th Anniversary of the EU

BERLIN  -- The Migration Policy Institute and Bertelsmann Stiftung are marking the 50th anniversary of the European Union with the launch of a transatlantic task force of prominent leaders to promote new thinking on immigration and integration.

“Europe has changed dramatically since the signing of the Treaty of Rome, not least due to large-scale migration,” said Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Task Force co-convener and president of the Migration Policy Institute, the leading global think tank on migration. He continued, “Our aim is to assess and respond to the profound challenges of integrating immigrants and building stronger communities on both sides of the Atlantic for the next 50 years.”

“We need a coherent strategy to address the challenge of integration and, thereby, contribute to the sustainability of the EU,” declared Werner Weidenfeld, Task Force co-convener and member of the Executive Board of the German Bertelsmann Stiftung, one of the leading European foundations.

The Task Force is composed of the following senior figures:

  • Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator, Tennessee, and former U.S. Secretary of Education;
  • Xavier Becerra, U.S. Congressman, Los Angeles, California;
  • Mel Cappe, President of the Institute of Research on Public Policy, Canada;
  • Bill Emmott, former Editor of the Economist;
  • Michael Haupl, Mayor, City of Vienna, Austria;
  • Halleh Ghorashi, Chair of Diversity, University of Amsterdam;
  • Aleksandr Kwasniewski, former President of Poland;
  • Ana Palacio, Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, World Bank;
  • George Papandreou, leader of the Greek opposition party (PASOK);
  • Solomon Passy, Member of Parliament, Bulgaria, and former chair of the OSCE;
  • Trevor Phillips, Chair, United Kingdom Commission for Equality and Human Rights;
  • Louis Schweitzer, Chairman of Renault;
  • Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Bundestag (Parliament); and
  • Antonio Vitorino, former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs.

In its initial stages, the Task Force is focusing on the political and civic participation of immigrants; intercultural dialogue, particularly with Muslim communities; and education.  It will address its recommendations to European Union institutions and Member State governments, the governments of the United States and Canada, and state and local governments and civil society everywhere.

The Task Force’s first meeting is being held in Berlin on March 23, the day after the high-level conference on “Integration and Islam,” co-hosted by the Migration Policy Institute, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Weidenfeld Strategic Institute. The day-long conference includes such notable attendees as Bertel Haarder, Minister for Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Denmark; Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Emine Bozkurt, Member of the European Parliament; Karen Volker, Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, U.S. State Department; and Zeyno Baran, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy, Hudson Institute. The event will conclude with a dinner address from Germany’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

In addition to the co-convening organizations, the Task Force is also receiving substantial support from the Luso-American Foundation, a strategic partner in parts of MPI’s European work; the Stavros Niarchos Foundation; the Hellenic Institute for Migration Policy; the Government of Canada; the Government of the Netherlands; and other funders.

For more information about the Task Force, please click here.




The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung, a private operating foundation, is dedicated to serving the common good keeping with the longstanding commitment of its founder, Reinhard Mohn. The foundation aims to identify social problems and challenges at an early stage and develop exemplary solutions to address them.