Press Release

Vienna Migration Conference 2020

12 November 2020

"Schengen, asylum reform and Europe’s migration diplomacy: Has COVID-19 changed everything?" Now in its fifth year, the Vienna Migration Conference organised by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), will for the first time take place online, in a production adapted specially for the pandemic on 16-19 November 2020.

The Vienna Migration Conference is the key platform for top-level political discussion on migration in Europe and beyond. The conference will present high level politicians such as Mr Eduardo Cabrita, Minister for Home Affairs, Portugal, Ms Amira El Fadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Ms Karin Keller-Sutter, Federal Councillor, Federal Department of Justice and Police, Switzerland, and Mr Amrullah Saleh, First Vice President, Afghanistan.

The Vienna Migration Conference (VMC) 2020 takes place in a unique and dramatic year, heralding the both the arrival of a new Commission with bold ideas for the future of European migration policy as well as the shock of COVID-19 that threatens to alter fundamental policy questions that in recent years have become almost intractable. "The conference offers an indispensable opportunity to take stock of the latest developments in the migration sphere and dive deeply into the most relevant issues affecting mobility from a policy and strategic viewpoint", states ICMPD Director General Dr Michael Spindelegger.

The four-day conference will kick off on 16 November with Mr Eduardo Cabrita, Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Portugal and Ms Karin Keller-Sutter, Federal Councillor, Federal Department of Justice and Police, Switzerland. It will be followed by a debate between two well-known European figures with very different backgrounds and perspectives: Mr Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies and Mr Martin Selmayr, Head of the Representation, Representation of the European Commission in Austria.

Over the course of four days, a series of dedicated senior panels and focus sessions on a wide variety of topics, will examine the prospects for the reform of the Common European Asylum System and ask whether the Schengen area is robust enough to return to full functioning at a time of heightened migration, security and public health concerns. As ever, and in line with our core focus, the VMC will also discuss new designs for Europe’s external action in migration policy as we see the geo-political context changing as never before.

Panellists during the four days include, among others: H.E. Amrullah Saleh, First Vice President, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Amira El Fadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Mr Henrik Ankerstjerne, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Immigration and Integration, Denmark, Ms Nina Gregori, Executive Director, European Asylum Support Office, Mr Markos Karavias, Head, Asylum Service, Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Hellenic Republic, and Ms Ivan Faiek Yaqub Jabru, Minister, Ministry of Migration and Displaced, Iraq.

The Vienna Migration Conference 2020 will take place via live stream, accessible only to registered participants.

For more information, please contact:

Bernhard Schragl
Spokesman, Communication and Media Coordinator, ICMPD
Tel: +43 1 504 4677 2444