HIA Denmark and RÆSON Host Conference Titled "EU and the Refugees – A Crisis of Human Rights or Security?

Humanity in Action Denmark and RÆSON are honored to invite the public to an important conference about how the EU deals with refugees and human rights in the light of recent events in North Africa, the Middle East and Greece - the conference is titled "EU and the refugees – A Crisis of Human Rights or Security?"

European states are right now in a balancing act between human rights, security and protection of national borders.

  • Are human rights being undermined?
  • How will the refugee influx affect the prospects for European integration?
  • Is the refugee situation creating a security threat?

These and many other key questions will be discussed in depth by key human rights, security and refugee experts from Denmark and abroad.

TIME: Thursday 23rd of June at 14 - 17 hours

VENUE: The auditorium, Danish Institute for International Studies, Strandgade 71, Christianshavn, Copenhagen K

REGISTRATION: Send an e-mail to: m.ostervang@humanityinaction.org

The conference will be held in English.

The conference is supported by EU-Nævnet.

 

PROGRAM:

14.00-14.10

“Welcome” by Clement Kjersgaard, editor RÆSON and Morten Østervang, director, Humanity in Action

14.10-14.35

“Learning lessons from Greece’s broken asylum and migration system” By Benjamin Ward, Deputy Director, Europe and Asia Division for Human Rights Watch.

14.35-15.00

"European Judicial Review of the Greek Asylum System - What now Europe?" by Jonas Christoffersen, Dr. jur. Director of the Danish Institute of Human Rights

15.00-15.15

Break

15.15-15.40

“The future of common EU refugee and asylum policies in the wake of the Greek asylum system break down, the influx of North African refugees on Lampedusa and the recent Schengen disturbances” by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, PhD International Law; MSc, Refugee Studies; MA, Honours Political Science and project researcher at the Danish Institute of International Studies.

15.40-16.05

“The Recent Wave of Refugees from North Africa to Europe - A legitimate security threat or political opportunism?” Daniel Korski, Senior Policy Fellow of The European Council on Foreign Relations and Senior, former adviser to the US State Department and now Senior Advisor to the British Government.

16.05-17.00

Panel debate moderated by Clement Kjersgaard

 

BACKGROUND:

Since 9/11 (the 2001 terrorist attack in the US) European governments have implemented more strict immigration, asylum and integration laws. The financial crises have brought more attention to welfare costs related thus exacerbating negative perceptions of refugees and immigrants as societal burden.

All of this has become central to national political debates, leaving almost no incentive for the national governments of the EU to unite or to transfer power to the EU with regards to these issues and challenges.

However, the breakdown of the Greek asylum system, the humanitarian crises on the Italian island Lampedusa and the border frictions between Italy and France call(s) for political action one way or the other.

This conference will analyze in depth the challenges to fundamental human rights in the cases of the recent refugee wave to Lampedusa in Italy from North Africa and the breakdown of the Greek asylum system.

We will debate whether or not the EU is neglecting its Human Rights commitment by not implementing appropriate measures and by restraining itself from helping the countries and refugees in question.

Furthermore, the conference will address the question of whether these issues ought to be handled individually by the sovereign member states or by the EU as a unified entity and what the future of EU asylum and refugee law entails.

Finally, we will consider whether these waves of refugees pose a security threat to the 27 EU member states.

 

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