On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) organised a seminar on “Migration, refugees and European Security: Fostering co-operation, building coalitions”. The Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Nikos Xydakis, delivered the seminar’s welcome remarks emphasising Greece’s important role within the EU framework in managing the current migration crisis. Minister Xydakis also warned that the ongoing crisis will last for many years, and he highlighted the need for cohesion and co-operation among all EU member states in order to address the crisis successfully.

The OSCE Secretary General, Amb. Lamberto Zannier, who was the seminar’s keynote speaker, acknowledged that Greece is facing a wide array of challenges as a result of the migration crisis, while expressing his concern regarding the lack of solidarity in the EU.Amb. Zannier called for all the EU member states to bring down walls and build bridges of understanding and cooperation instead, arguing for the development of a European strategy that will address the long-term migration challenges in a proactive way. In addition, Amb. Zannier, underlined the need for effective border management and for a humane response to the migration crisis, yet without losing sight of reality. The seminar’s main panel consisted of Ms Monika Ekstrom, Head of Sector “Political Reporting & Policy Analysis” of the European Commission in Greece, Athens; Dr. Saban Kardas, Director, Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), Ankara; Amb. Nina Suomalainen, Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje; and Amb. Cluade Wild, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the OSCE, and Chair of the OSCE’s Informal Working Group on Migration. During the panel discussion, which was moderated by ELIAMEP’s Director General, Dr. Thanos Dokos, the speakers addressed the main challenges that stem from the ongoing migration crisis, agreeing on the need for Europe to address the immediate humanitarian crisis, while developing a long-term strategy to tackle with the phenomenon of migration in the years to come; in fact it was mentioned that what the EU is currently facing is not a migration crisis, but rather a migration governance crisis, due to the fact that Europe was unprepared to deal with such a massive influx of populations. Moreover, the panel discussed the conceptual differences between solidarity and responsibility, the EU – Turkey agreement, the areas of co-operation between the EU and the OSCE, and the impact of migration on European security.

You can find the programme here.

The final report is available here.