Press Release

Vienna Migration Conference hosting African Union Commissioner El Fadil and ministers from BiH, Greece, Hungary and Tajikistan

14 October 2021

Vienna, 14 October 2021 – The sixth Vienna Migration Conference (VMC) on 19-20 October will bring together top-level decision-makers to discuss game-changing trends that could alter the landscape of negotiations around migration to Europe. Titled “Reimagining migration partnerships: Challenges, opportunities and strategies”.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, and fresh migratory challenges forcing countries to reassess their strategies, the conference seeks to answer how we can reimagine cooperation between partners on the key migration routes to Europe.

The VMC 2021 will open with a high-level political panel to address displacement from Afghanistan and the need for Europe to strengthen partnerships with regional neighbours. Panellists will include Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan and Sharaf Sheralizoda, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tajikistan.

Subsequent sessions will address the need for sustainable African-European migration partnerships and explore the realities on the ground across key routes. Confirmed speakers include: Amira El Fadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Notis Mitarachi, Minister for Migration and Asylum, Greece, Selmo Cikotic, Minister of Security, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary.

ICMPD's Director General, Michael Spindelegger, states that: “Events in Afghanistan and COVID-19’s acceleration of pre-existing issues have reignited the conversation about Europe’s approach towards migration and the prospect of another 2015. To avoid similar crises, Europe must continue to strengthen its migration diplomacy and demonstrate its commitment to solve migration challenges through partnerships.”

The conference will take place in a hybrid format, with 150 stakeholders joining in-person at Palais Niederoesterreich and all sessions streamed online. COVID-19 regulations and precautionary measures required a significantly reduced number of participants. ICMPD looks forward to return to a full-capacity VMC in 2022.

The VMC will retain its core focus: to assess the geo-politics of partnerships, including major challenges negotiated between key players, and explore how a holistic approach can deliver better results.

Upon registration, guests can access the live stream at: