5 March 2016
Athens Meetings, interviews and conference: Europe facing the migration challenge
Statements by Vassilis Kikilias, Daniel Esdras, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Gerald Knaus.
Video: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

ESI's Gerald Knaus participated in a conference organized by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy in Athens.

EU-Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos was the keynote speaker, other speakers were Vassilis Kikilias, parliamentary coordinator for migration policy of Nea Dimokratia, and Daniel Esdras, head of the Greece office of IOM.

Gerald doubted the effectiveness of the EU relocation policy which has produced poor results so far. He said that resettlement would be more efficient in terms of security, controlling the migration flows and protecting migrants from trafficking and dangerous routes. This would need to be combined with the readmission of migrants from Greece to Turkey.

ESI has argued since September that Turkey, Germany and Greece hold the key to any solution. This crisis will either destroy the international asylum system as we know it or mark a step forward towards a more just a regime to deal with asylum. It may mark the decline of human rights values in the EU or see them reaffirmed in the face of resistance.

While in Athens, Gerald also spoke at ELIAMEP on "Houdini Greece? Reflections on Greek options – seen from Berlin, Vienna and Ankara" and met with Greek Alternate Minister for Migration Policy, Ioannis Mouzalas.

Ioannis Mouzalas and Gerald Knaus. Photo: ESI
Ioannis Mouzalas and Gerald Knaus. Photo: ESI

He gave several interviews, among others to TRT World, the main German public broadcaster ARD, and the Dutch news show EenVandaag:

Interview with Gerald Knaus from European Stability Initiative on refugee crisis. Video: TRT World
Gerald Knaus on main German news show
Gerald Knaus on main German news show "Tagesschau". Photo: ARD
Gerald Knaus on EenVandaag. Photo: EenVandaag

Full list of all international media reactions

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Photo credits
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