In the course of two days of speeches, panel debates and discussions, participants agreed on the need for a more holistic approach to migration and asylum policy in the European Union and its Member States, as stated in the Conference Conclusions.
Speakers and participants stressed throughout the conference that a positive narrative, underlining the benefits both to migrants themselves and to the countries hosting them, is urgently needed to counter the currently negative image of migrants and migration. A number of practical steps were identified to promote equal treatment, increase the political participation of migrants, and mainstream fundamental rights into integration and inclusion policies throughout the EU.
Key speakers at the conference included EU Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, German Minister of State, Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration, Aydan Özoğuz, Swedish Minister for Public Administration at the Ministry of Finance, Ardalan Shekarabi, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Iliana Iotova, and FRA Director Morten Kjaerum.
The Conference Conclusions contain suggestions for measures relating to specific areas of migration, including border surveillance, combating smuggling, protection of children, and migrant integration. FRA will take forward many of the proposals made during the conference, for example in a new project that aims to develop tools such as fundamental rights indicators to examine the issue of social inclusion and democratic participation of migrants and their descendants in European societies.
Other FRA publications related to the topic of asylum, migration and borders are:
- Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the EU
- Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected EU border crossing points
- Criminalisation of migrants in an irregular situation and of persons engaging with them
- Fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation in the European Union
- Coping with a fundamental rights emergency - the situation of persons crossing the Greek land border in an irregular manner
- Migrants in an irregular situation employed in domestic work
- Racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism: learning from experiences in Greece and Hungary