On May 13rd 2016 I had to opportunity to take part as a speaker to the international conference Schengen at Risk: Can We Keep the Freedom of Movement? in Bratislava, Slovakia.
With the European Union facing the unprecedented crisis of human beings – migrants and refugees – reaching its borders via the Mediterranean and the Aegean route, a comprehensive response must be urgently developed. If not, the values which are the backbone of the EU – human rights, solidarity and responsibility – and some important achievements of such as Schengen and our integration will be at risk.
Against this backdrop, the Institute of European Democrats (IED) in collaboration with Young Europeans (Mladí Európania) organised an International Conference in Bratislava on the 13th May. Civil servants, politicians, university professors as well as young researchers are going to discuss the topic from different perspectives (Visegrad countries, challenges of the migration crisis, case-studies) in order to fill the gap of the lack of awareness and with the aim of finding possible solutions.
The Conference was addressed to students, civil servants, NGOs, public authorities and the general public interested in the issue.
My presentation focused upon the general background of the refugee crisis seen as a result of the EU indecision to act as a single actor in foreign affairs and to get more actively involved in its neighborhood, a crisis that cannot be solved trough technocratic discussions. The key of integration is represented by the creation of jobs. I also emphasized the need to “insert” refugees in local cultural and social environments. In the end we can have three developments for the EU: 1. the Union weaker after a possible Brexit; 2. a constellation of states (with variable integration) or 3. a revival of the Schengen (desirable).
The full speech is available online here.
For more details and the rest of the presentation please visit the conference page here