“Modern Migration Types – Historical Background and Causes” 29/10/2018

The 1st session titled “The refugee crisis of 2015 and its European management”, was successfully held on October 29th, 2018, in the context of the Training Seminar “The European Migration Management in the Eastern Mediterranean: The EU, Turkey and Greece”. Coordinator was Professor Yannis Valinakis,President of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence and speakers Mr. Angelos Tramountanis, EKKE Researcher, Mr. Alexandros Zavos, President of the Institute for Immigration Policy, Mr. Petros Mastakas, UNHCR representative, and Mr. Ioannis Stribis, Associate Professor of the University Aegean Sea.

Mr Aggelos Tramountanis provided an overview of the historical context and forms of immigration from the 18th century onwards to the modern forms of migration. Some of the issues raised were the “coolie” – form of employment, the concept of the proletariat, the decolonization which led to the return to the concept of metropoli. Moreover, in his presentation Mr Tramountanis referred to the creation of the EU which was a leading cause for the free move of workers’ for economic reasons, and completed his speech with the example of Greece’s transformation from a country of immigration to a host country.

Then, Mr Zavos, referred to G. Kennedy’s words, that the immigration crisis is, at the same time, creating both risks and opportunities. He also provided some figures indicating how important migration flows will be in the coming years worldwide. Finally, he referred to two very important categories of modern immigration: the brain-drain and climate migrants and refugees.

The third speaker Mr Mastakas, who overturned the data by saying that we can not talk about a 2015 humanitarian crisis but only a political one, noting that at least one of the internationally-established indicators must be met in order to talk about a humanitarian crisis. Next, referring to the EU-Turkey Agreement of 2016 and the European Directive (33/2013) on the requirements for the reception of applicants for international protection, he raised the key question that guided this 1st module “How much is enough?” – How many asylum applications should be accepted by a country, how many officials in the Competent Authorities should be employed, and finally, how many immigrants can Europe eventually accept?

Finally, Mr. Strimbis, academic coordinator of the Educational Programme, pointed out the discretion of each state to determine immigrant reception rules, while taking into account its sovereignty. He went on to report on international UN texts focusing on the category of migrant workers, as well as, on the report on the Trafficking Protocol and Protocol against smuggling. He also talked about the out-of-court examination of asylum applications by giving the example of Australia.

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