Rethinking migration management

29 January 2019 - 19:00 - 22:00

This by-invitation-only dinner debate is part of Friends of Europe’s Migration Action programme, which aims to examine the imperative of migration in the context of economic sustainability and demographics, as well as its impact on public services, communities and security. We will ask participants to identify the barriers to inclusive migration and integration systems and to engage in a collective reimagining of outdated systems, including by constructing a new, inclusion-based narrative. The discussions will help us to identify key issues to address in a subsequent publication.

Interested in learning more?
“Real people, true stories: refugees for more inclusive societies” by Friends of Europe
“Global flows: migration and security” by Friends of Europe


Migration is a global phenomenon which needs to be tackled on the international level but also by national governments, local authorities and an empowered civil society. In Europe, while the focus tends to be on migration and the political tensions it continues to provoke, governments are also responding to the longer term challenge of integrating migrants and refugees in order to build more inclusive and resilient societies. 


Welcome cocktail and registration of participants


It’s broke, let’s fix it: rethinking migration management

Despite two years of intense negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration, several European countries did not adopt the non-binding text in Marrakesh, forcefully illustrating Europe’s divisions over migration. Ever since the so-called ‘migration crisis’ in 2015, EU countries have failed to reconcile their support for multilateral policies with the realities of domestic politics, with public opinion deeply divided over the identities and numbers of migrants their countries should welcome – if they should welcome any at all. In many states – especially those in Central and Eastern Europe – leaders continue to espouse rhetoric which is increasingly anti-migration and focused on building barriers. Even in countries more open to migration, reforming systems to accommodate this reality has not proven to be an easy task. As the chasm between those for and against migration widens within Europe, it is time to scrap failing systems and to engage in a strategic rethink of international migration and ways to regulate it.  

  • How pertinent is the new Global Compact, given Europe’s divisions over its relevance?
  • Given existing divisions on the question but also Europe’s need for migrants, how should the EU rethink migration  management?
  • With European elections around the corner, how can we take the power back from the populists and anti-migration supporters who have hijacked the narrative?

Moderated by
Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe

Amanda Rohde, Programme Manager
t.: +32 2 893 98 11
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Event starts
29 January