Nuremberg – ESI at migration symposium of the Central Return Counselling Service for Northern Bavaria
ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in the symposium of the Central Return Counselling Service for Northern Bavaria (ZRB), where he gave a presentation on “The importance of voluntary return for a humane migration policy”. He then participated in a podium discussion on migration and chaired a workshop on voluntary returns.
He called for a paradigm shift in EU migration policy. To tackle the increasing numbers of asylum seekers and irregular sea arrivals, key measures involve supporting Ukraine, enhancing European solidarity with Ukrainian refugees, and disincentivizing irregular migration to the EU. These steps aim to manage migration flows effectively while upholding humanitarian principles.
Effective strategies for managing migration and asylum policy encompass renewed cooperation with Turkey, establishing strategic readmission agreements with countries of origin, and setting up asylum processes within safe third countries. This approach includes strategic deportations after cutoff dates, coupled with genuine opportunities for legal mobility, aiming to ensure a comprehensive and humane approach to migration management.
At the podium discussion Gerald debated with the following participants: Patrick Schmidtke, Head of Division, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees; Thomas Brechtel, Head of SG Voluntary Return, Bavarian State Office for Asylum and Returns; Martina Mittenhuber, Head of the Nuremberg Human Rights Office; Johannes Kloha, Nuremberg University of Technology Georg Simon Ohm; Dirk van den Boom, Managing Director Micado Migration gGmBH.
At the end of the symposium, Gerald led a workshop on voluntary return as an important component of humanitarian migration policy, and discussed the following questions: What role does voluntary return currently play in managing migration? What role could voluntary return play in the management of migration? How can voluntary return become more of a focus of public debate – as a positive alternative to deportations?
- ESI proposal: Safe Third Country Agreements
- ESI proposal: Humane Borders
- RND, „Die bisherigen Vorschläge reichen nicht“ ("The proposals to date are not enough"), Guest article by Gerald Knaus, 4 November 2023
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Mehr Regeln, mehr Humanität (More rules, more humanity), Op-ed by Gerald Knaus, 2 October 2023