Luzern – ESI at the aha Festival: how can migration be depoliticised?

27 January 2024
Gerald at discussion
Photo: aha Festival. 

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to give a presentation on how to depoliticise migration at the aha Festival. The aha Festival is a science festival that merges interactive events with contemporary scientific topics, aiming to spark curiosity. It addresses a non-specialist public.

Gerald debated with Rafaela Roth, a journalist for Neue Zürcher Zeitung, about the European Union’s shortcomings in handling migration and the consequent rise of right-wing populism. He highlighted widespread misconceptions about migration, which have inadvertently boosted the popularity of right-wing parties.

He emphasised the critical need for establishing human border policies and procedures, pointing out that current practices primarily “benefit” those who survive the perilous journey to Europe. Gerald also touched on Switzerland’s approach to migration and the potential for increased collaboration with EU countries.

Moreover, Gerald advocated for effective readmission agreements and the designation of safe third countries to reduce irregular migration and prevent deaths at sea, which would also undermine the business model of human smugglers.

Lastly, he discussed the future of the refugee, underlining the essential need to uphold migrants’ human rights at Europe’s external borders.

Gerald at discussion
Photo: aha Festival