World leaders gathered at the United Nations in September 2016 for an unprecedented summit focused on discussing major movements of refugees and migrants. This historic gathering, spurred in part by the massive asylum seeker and migrant flows to Europe in 2015, was intended to launch a strengthened global effort to coordinate responses to refugee and migration flows. The absence of concrete commitments in the resulting New York Declaration disappointed many observers.
During this Migration Policy Institute Europe event in Brussels, leading experts discussed how the slow progress on multilateral cooperation around migration evidenced in New York has particular salience for the European Union. Speakers included the European External Action Service’s Managing Director for Global Issues, the Director General for Asylum and Migration Policy in Sweden’s Ministry of Justice, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development’s Southern Dimension Director, and a key advisor to the UN Special Representative for Migration, in a discussion moderated by the Director of MPI Europe.
The discussants examined what lessons the European Union’s experience offers for the prospect of multilateral cooperation on migration at the global level? What implications might better global coordination have for cooperation within the European Union? And finally, is there a role for EU institutions, and the EU-28, to play in ensuring that the UN effort to strengthen global collaboration is concrete and meaningful?