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From the ashes of Moria refugee camp to a new migration system?

SEESOX / 18 November 2020, Convened by Foteini Kalantzi, St Antony’s College, Oxford


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Time: 4pm (GMT)

On the 8th September 2020, Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesvos burned down. It is a humanitarian catastrophe in a camp designed to host around 3,000 people, but was hosting 13,000 people when the fire broke out. The immediate priorities for the Greek government are to find housing, water and food for the homeless migrants and refugees. The local community is reacting to reconstruction efforts. This catastrophe highlights the need for a coordinated and long-term plan from the EU to effectively manage the migration governance system. As the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson promised there should be "no more Morias”.

EU border states like Greece and Italy are forced to process the bulk of asylum claims and the Dublin Regulation has been criticised for absence of burden sharing between members states, and previous efforts to reform have failed. On the 23rd of September, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the Dublin Regulation will be abolished replacing it with a new European migration governance system, which will have ‘common structures on asylum and return and it will have a new strong solidarity mechanism’. In light of the present dire situation in the Greek refugee camps, the upcoming EU decisions, and also the pandemic crisis that further exacerbates the problems in the refugee camps, the webinar is an opportunity to discuss the prospects of the new migration pact.
According to the EU, the new pact aims to create faster border screening processes at the external borders, and better share the burden of relocating asylum seekers. Migration experts have already expressed their doubts about the proposal. They say that the Commission’s plan is unrealistic because of the inflexibility of Eastern and Central European countries. Also, critics point to the fact that the pact is an attempt to prevent, deter and return migrants, who reach European shores. Concurrently, human rights groups have condemned EU and Greek practices of pushbacks and a systemic denial of entry to asylum seekers.


Franck Düvell, IMIS-Osnabrück University, DeZim-Berlin

Elźbieta Goździak, Adam Mickiewicz University

Angeliki Dimitriadi, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

Some of the issues that will be addressed in the webinar are the following:

  • What are the main problems in the current migration governance system that need to be tackled?
  • As the new pact has been formulated, have the main issues concerning migration and asylum governance been addressed?
  • What are the obstacles posed by Visegrad countries and how can the EU overcome them?
  • Which policy ideas could work in order toward a fair burden-sharing?

Register to attend here. Registration is free and all are welcome.

Further details can be found on the St Antony's College website here.