The conference paid an extra attention to the Nordic dimension by bringing in experts from each of the Nordic countries, to discuss what role the Nordic region can play in the future of the EU asylum system. The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, opend the conference. Presentations is available on the events website.
Four main sessions dealt with the following topics:
Europe as destination: How can the EU manage its borders, limit irregular migration, fight trafficking and live up to its international commitments?
Protection in Europe: What is the future of the Common European Asylum System? What are the potential solutions and are there ways to secure legal avenues to protection?
Return migration – policies and practices in the EU: What can be done to make more people opt for assisted return? How is the cooperation with third countries when it comes to readmission, and what can be done to secure safe returns without risking violations of human rights?
Comments to research: The day ends with comments from IOM, UNHCR and NOAS followed by a moderated debate between some of the foremost political commentators in the Nordic countries. Are the researchers' descriptions and perspectives relevant for those who work with these issues on a daily basis? And are the solutions lifted by the researchers feasible given the current political context in the Nordic countries?
The question of migration and asylum is at the top of the European agenda. Read more>>
The large increase of people crossing the Mediterranean last year to seek protection in Europe exposed severe challenges in the existing asylum system of the European countries. The responses to these developments have raised fundamental questions about how the EU can live up to its international commitments while maintaining a manageable level of migration. This conference will bring together academics from the Nordic countries to provide Nordic perspectives on these developments. The conference will serve as a platform for researchers, NGOs, government officials, representatives from the immigration administration, politicians and other stakeholders in the field.
The conference will focus on questions of border control, burden sharing and refugee protection, all central challenges for the EU that have raised considerable debate in most European countries, including the Nordic countries. The European Commission has responded to the challenge by launching an extensive process in the EU to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The commission have already put forward a proposal for new Dublin regulation and announced that other relevant regulations also will be subject for change.
08:30–09:00 Registration and coffee
Welcome by Tone Fløtten, Managing Director of Fafo
Opening speech by The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg
Keynote speech of the day: Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen: The End of the Deterrence Paradigm? Future Directions for Global Refugee Policy. Presentation (pdf)
Conference host: Jon Rogstad, Research Director, Fafo
Photo: Alf Tore Bergsli/Fafo
09:50–11:00 Europe as Destination – European Migration Management
Katja Franko: Policing the Borderlands of Europe: Humanitarian Ideals at the Crossroads. Presentation (pdf)
Anette Brunovskis: The Use and Abuse of the Human Trafficking Framework. Presentation (pdf)
Helgi Gunnlaugsson: Europeans as Migrants, Human Rights and Penal Policy. Presentation (pdf)
Chair: Brita Sydhoff
11:20–12:35 Protection in Europe – The Common European Asylum System for the Future
Jens Vedsted-Hansen: The Common European Asylum System version 3.0 – Next Stop towards Protection Solutions or Stop for Asylum Seekers? Presentation (pdf)
Vigdis Vevstad: From Dublin III to Dublin IV – A Shortsighted Improvement
Erna Blöndal: Managing Migration - Legal and Safe Pathways to Europe
Chair: Cecilia Bailliet
13:20–14:35 Return Policies
May-Len Skilbrei: The Role of Return in European Migration Management. Presentation (pdf)
Erlend Paasche: Assisted Return: Why not Trust a Host State? Presentation (pdf)
Kristian Takvam Kindt
Chair: Eeva Nykänen
14:55–16:00 The Nordic Perspective – What are the Realistic Political Solutions?
Pia Prytz Phiri, UNHCR
Martin Wyss, IOM
Ann-Magrit Austenå, NOAS
Moderated conversation with political commentators:
Norway: Magnus Takvam
Denmark: Amalie Kestler
Closing comment from today’s keynote speaker: Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen
Chair: Kjetil M. Larsen
16:00 The End
The conference is organised by Fafo, in cooperation with the Norwegian Center for Human Rights and the Nordic Institute for Migration and Refugee policy (NIM), , and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.