Press Release

Vienna Migration Conference 2016 opened

10 November 2016

Sessions on future perspectives of European migration policy under way

The Vienna Migration Conference 2016, organised by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), was opened yesterday in the celebration hall of the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. ICMPD Director General, Michael Spindelegger, describes the aim of the conference against the background of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants that took place in New York on 19 September: “We want to discuss and break down the results of the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants to a European level, and develop possible scenarios for implementation that would bring better solutions for both migrants and all States involved”.

At the opening session, high-level politicians, such as Nikola Poposki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Johannes Hahn, the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner, George W. Vella, the upcoming chair of the EU Council Presidency and Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary General, delivered their statements. Alongside experts including Demetrios Papademetriou, Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute, innovative perspectives for a new European migration policy will be illustrated.

Following the opening remarks by the Austrian Minister of Internal Affairs, Wolfgang Sobotka, and the keynote speech delivered by Oxford-Economist and advisor to the German Federal Government, Paul Collier, more than 200 international participants will discuss the two key questions at the Vienna Hofburg Palace: refugee protection in Europe and its necessary foundation, and international cooperation in the context of a common European migration policy. Led by ICMPD, experts from academia, politics, civil society and international organisations will share their views and analyses.

ICMPD’s Director General highlights that it is fundamentally necessary for the future to “create new comprehensive models that will guarantee safe and orderly migration”. Apart from that, he points to the importance of “establishing perspectives in the sending countries through sustainable partnerships”. Finally, he emphasises that Europe can only perform well “if it acts firmly united both on the inside and the outside with regard to the neighbouring and origin countries.” Spindelegger views ICMPD as a “platform that acts as an intermediary between theory and practice, experts and politicians who will pave the way to create conditions that will allow for actual improvement”.