Martin Kahanec delivers a keynote speech at EPPC 2011 conference

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Martin Kahanec delivers a keynote speech at EPPC 2011 conference

Published on April 18, 2011


Organized in turn by students from some of the world’s leading public policy schools, the EPPC provides an interactive platform for challenging debates and valuable networking between political leaders, scholars and students. Aiming to create strong links between future leaders studying at the participating institutions, the concept of the EPPC is to have the conference organized each year in a different European city, discussing some of today’s most important public policy issues.After two successful editions, organized by the London School of Economics in 2009 and Sciences Po (Paris) in 2010, the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) is taking the lead this year. Aside from the host, the Central European University (Budapest), students attending the three organizing universities are invited to attend, as well as students at the National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore) and the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (NewYork).

Migration in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities

(Im)migration is generally perceived as a public concern in Europe: migration is considered a security issue, with migrants burdening the welfare system, stealing local jobs or even causing a ‘clash of civilizations’. Even though migration is challenging Western European states in many different ways, being an immigration state is less a choice than a fact. In reality, the EU often needs migration from an economic perspective since it can offer a solution to some of the current societal problems such as demographic change and an expected labour shortage. For migrants themselves and their families in turn, migration is foremost an important livelihood strategy. Nowadays many developing countries, national economies as well as households survive thanks to remittances being sent ‘home’. Despite the possibility of a win-win-win-situation for sending and receiving countries as well as migrants and their families, numerous challenges remain. On the one hand, the right to mobility is often heavily violated. Not only irregular migration and human trafficking are associated with physical risks, psychological distress and high economic costs, but also regular, high-skilled migrants face multiple obstacles. On the other hand, European nation-states are still struggling to deal with societies that grow increasingly heterogeneous. How can Europe overcome the current obstacles to create a triple-win-situation for sending and receiving countries as well as migrants themselves? The 2011 EPPC conference will try to find an answer to this question by looking at three key topics:

  1. Labour migration to and within Europe

The central question aris ing in this regard is: Wh at are the specific chall enges of labour migration ?

How can these be resolved?

  1. Refugees and asylum see kers / Human trafficking

What are the implications of the rise of traffickin g and the stricter contro l of international border s it brings along?

Can migration be halted and to what extent is migration control effective?

  1. Identity, integration and diversity

Still it frequently renews societal debates on fundamental questions at the core of democracy:

Who is a citizen?

Which rights are linked to citizenship?

Should migrant workers be eligible? Is there a need for ‘integration’ of migrants into society?

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