Too many closed doors to regular migration

  • 2018•07•05     Barcelona, Spain

    Prof. Rainer Baubock delivers keynote lecture at IMISCOE Conference in Barcelona

    Rainer Bauböck, Professor of Social and Political Theory at the European University Institute, delivered the keynote lecture on Monday 2nd July at the opening plenary of the International Migration, Integration And Social Cohesion (IMISCOE) network’s 15th Annual Conference in Barcelona.

    Exploring the moral and political conundrums that result from indiscriminate migrant policies in the Mediterranean, Professor Bauböck argued for better categorisation of various types of migrants and the opening of legal entry channels for all.

    We need to distinguish different categories of migrants, with different claims to be admitted in destination societies. Family members, refugees, economic migrants, free movers: all have claims to be admitted. This is what theory tells us. But this cannot be figured out in terms of theory – it needs good policies,” said Professor Bauböck, speaking at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    The theme of the 2018 IMISCOE conference is Europe, Migrations and the Mediterranean: Human Mobilities and Intercultural Challenges. In the wake of reports that more than 200 migrants drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean in the three days prior to the conference, Professor Bauböck put forward suggested solutions.

    Europe is facing the problem that it has closed so many of the main doors to regular migration that all the people are now rushing towards the few remaining doors that are still available; family reunification, asylum, and of course, the back door of irregular migration.

    The best way is to provide separate channels for the different categories of migrants, and this is what the EU ought to do if it was serious about the problem.”

    Professor Parvati Nair, Director of the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM) who hosted the keynote lecture, introduced Professor Bauböck and emphasised the need for academic research to provide evidence-based solutions to the world’s most pressing and divisive problems.

    The Mediterranean is a microcosm for global migration issues. As researchers, our study must inform sound policy-making at international, regional and local levels. While we pioneer and progress transformative theories, it is important to keep human rights and dignity at the heart of everything we do.”

    Professor Bauböck’s insight at the opening plenary paved the way for ongoing discussions and debate amongst the hundreds of leading researchers gathered in Barcelona. Organised by the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration at the department of political and social sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (GRITM-UPF), the IMISCOE Conference provided opportunity for knowledge-sharing and cross-disciplinary dialogue for academics in the field of migration and integration.