19 September 2017
Munich – ESI lecture: EU, border protection, and asylum: plea for a moral refugee policy
Munich. Photo: flickr/Renate Dodell
Munich. Photo: flickr/Renate Dodell

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.

Bavarian State Chancellery. Photo: ESI
Bavarian State Chancellery. Photo: ESI
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Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com