Event highlight

Current opportunities and challenges of migration and integration politics in Germany

The Centre for Fundamental Rights welcomed Minister of State Reem Alabali-Radovan for a keynote speech hosted in association with WZB and the RefMig project.

Over 100 students, faculty members and guests gathered at the Hertie School on 13 October 2022 for a public talk by Reem Alabali-Radovan, Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration and Federal Government Commissioner for Anti-Racism. 

Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School, welcomed the minister by thanking her for her willingness to share her front-row perspective on migration, asylum, and integration policy in Germany. “The issue of migration and refugee protection, especially in Europe and Germany, is among the most acute,” said President Woll. 

In her talk, Minister of State Alabali-Radovan reflected on multiple opportunities and challenges in the fields of migration, asylum, and integration today, saying that European support for refugees from Ukraine should serve as a blueprint for the treatment of all refugees. “Integration from the very start has to be an ideal example for our country,” she argued. 

Comparing the European solidarity with refugees from Ukraine with the treatment that displaced persons from other countries receive, Alabali-Radovan said: “We in Germany need to be aware of the fact that sometimes people must leave their own countries and seek protection in another. In Iran and Afghanistan, for example, people are persecuted, killed and tortured for voicing their opinion or fighting for their rights and forced to leave. No one leaves home for the sake of it. Those who flee should be able to request asylum. There must be no first and second-class refugees: solidarity should also be given to people who flee across the Mediterranean Sea. We have a duty to offer a safe home to people in need of protection.”  

The event, hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights, emerged out of the collaboration between the RefMig project and the Model International Mobility Convention initiative, led by Prof. Michael Doyle. 

The RefMig project is an ERC project led by Cathryn Costello, Professor of Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School and Co-director of the School’s Centre for Fundamental Rights. It aims to examine the global refugee and mobility regimes by looking at the institutions and practices that institutionalise the refugee-migrant binary. The Model International Mobility Convention is a blueprint for reform, initially drafted by a group of over 40 experts in migration and refugee protection, which sets out international standards for global mobility for the varying statuses under which people move across borders. 

Following Alabali-Radovan’s talk, Professors Costello and Doyle moderated a lively discussion between the minister and students and researchers from the Hertie School. 

Watch the talk by Minister of State Reem Alabali-Radovan here: 

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