Rethinking migration management

29 January 2019 - 19:00 - 22:00
Philippe De Bruycker, Anila Noor, Shada Islam

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to identify the barriers to inclusive migration and integration systems and to engage in a collective reimagining of outdated systems, including by constructing a new, inclusion-based narrative.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?


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?

Philippe De Bruycker, Jean Monnet Chair for European Immigration and Asylum Law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles
Anila Noor, Policy Advisor for Integration at the Amsterdam City Council & Member of the European Migrant Advisory Board

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

Philippe De Bruycker
Jean Monnet Chair for European Immigration and Asylum Law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles
An expert in European immigration and asylum law, Philippe De Bruycker is also the founder of the Academic Network for Legal Studies in Immigration and Asylum in Europe (ODYSSEUS network). In addition to his academic credentials, De Bruycker has a wealth of practical experience in the field: he previously served as the main administrator at the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs, where he drafted and negotiated draft directives on immigration, and also sat as a substitute judge on the Belgian Permanent Committee for Appeals for Refugees.
Anila Noor
Policy Advisor for Integration at the Amsterdam City Council & Member of the European Migrant Advisory Board
As a member of the European Migrant Advisory Board, an initiative of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, Anila Noor is responsible for providing advice on immigration and asylum-related policies. Having long worked in matters dealing with peacebuilding, refugee integration, and education of women and girls, she is an active advocate for refugee resettlement and socio-political engagement in Europe. Noor also founded New Women Connectors, a movement to give a voice to migrant and refugee women living across Europe.
Shada Islam
Director for Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for issues related to the Future of Europe, Migration, the Asia Programme and the Development Policy Forum. Shada is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) where she teaches Asia-Europe relations and has been selected as a fellow by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has been named as one of twenty most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian and Migration issues at the European Policy Centre. She is one of the authors of Friends of Europe’s much-read “Frankly Speaking” commentary and is sought after as a speaker, commentator, columnist and moderator at high-level European and global events. Shada also continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications and academic journals.
Amanda Rohde, Programme Manager
t.: +32 2 893 98 11
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Event starts
29 January