On 19 September, ESI's Gerald Knaus gave a presentation (in German) at the Southeast Europe Association in Munich where he will outline how to square the circle between effective border control and the right to asylum.
The richest continent in the world has an interest to support the refugee convention and the right to asylum, and to take a leading role in resettling those in need of protection. It is equally imperative, however, to discourage those without protection needs from embarking on the murderous Russian roulette in dinghies off the Libyan coast. The key is to reconcile the interests of those who defend the right to protection and those who insist on control: to bring together refugee and human rights groups with interior and justice ministers and show that one cannot work without the other. Discouraging irregular arrivals, while respecting core principles, is not only a response to the legitimate expectations of voters in European democracies. It is a moral, life-saving alternative to the current inaction. The EU can reduce the number of arrivals – and deaths – in the Central Mediterranean by investing in efforts to process asylum applications quickly and fairly and on the ability to return those whose claims are rejected to their home countries without delay. Such a policy can win majorities in democracies while upholding the right to asylum.
While in Munich, Gerald also had meetings on migration and asylum policy at the Bavarian State Chancellery.