Berlin – ESI at debate on “Europe, Besieged Fortress or Democracy Promoter?”

23 February 2022
Video: Hertie School of Governance

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in a debate on “Europe, Besieged Fortress or Democracy Promoter?” The debate was organised by the Hertie School of Governance.

In his presentation, Gerald spoke about the situation at the EU’s borders and the challenges of irregular migration, in particular in Poland, Greece, Hungary, and Croatia. He said that these countries’ borders are inhumane as they push back migrants and deny them the possibility of lodging asylum claims.

Gerald also warned about the potential arrival of Ukrainian refugees to Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and that the EU member states need to be prepared to receive them. They should not consider the option of removing Ukraine’s visa free travel status.

Moreover, Gerald presented how Tunisia could become a partner country of the EU in disincentivising irregular migration from Africa by giving protection to migrants and thus stopping deaths in the Mediterranean. Gerald argued that offering the government in Tunis visa free travel to the EU would foster cooperation and trust.

Gerald debated with Radwan Masmoudi (Founder and President of the Center of the Study of Islam & Democracy). The debate was moderated by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (Professor of Democracy Studies, Hertie School).