ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to present a joint concept for a new approach for a common European asylum and refugee policy together with Gesine Schwan, the head of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform. They spoke at a closed workshop organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Brussels ("Unblocking the refugee relocation impasse: EU funding for local authorities in the next MFF?") and attended by Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources.
As discussions about the structure and size of the EU's next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) starting in 2021 get underway, a window of opportunity to move away from existing Dublin rules while improving EU regional cohesion may be opening up. Under the next MFF, EU funding could be provided directly to cities and municipalities to help cover the costs of accepting refugees – as well as to improve their own infrastructure and development. Such a decentralised approach could be combined with a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin system, as proposed by ESI. The workshop aimed to evaluate the feasibility of such a plan, both in the next MFF as well as a prior demonstration project, and discuss political and technical considerations.