Investigate Fortress Europe – How to Challenge European Migration Policies

Explore how Europe's policies are failing those fleeing conflict and human rights violations in this far-reaching discussion

Talk: Investigate Fortress Europe – How to Challenge European Migration Policies

29 June 2022
20:00 – 22:30
Bozar, Brussels

Register for the talk on Eventbrite

This is a satellite event for 30 Years of the Evens Foundation. Find out more here.

European governments described the 2015 increase in unauthorized border crossings as a “refugee crisis”. This framework continues to shape the bloc's policies, despite lower numbers of people making it to European shores and across land borders.

Although Central Europe is experiencing a wave of support and solidarity, what happens at the Southern borders still monopolises the debate on migration control, exposing a harsh double standard in the treatment of people on the move.

The aftermath of this self-proclaimed crisis – coinciding with the rise of ultranationalist and anti-immigration movements – has been the ultimate test of the EU’s migration management. So far, it has failed to meet the challenge on many fronts.

What impact does EU policy have on extra-European countries and global displacement? And how is Europe failing those who are fleeing conflict and the violation of human rights in Africa, Asia and beyond?

Giacomo Zandonini (multimedia journalist, Evens Journalism Prize | Geopolitics laureate), Jane Kilpatrick (Statewatch) and Mulueberhan Temelso (Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans) discuss the complexities and challenges of Europe’s migration crisis and policies.

Moderated by Francesca Spinelli.

Libya: No Escape from Hell

The conversation will be followed by the screening of the documentary Libya: No Escape from Hell by Sara Creta. This film reveals both the reality for migrants in Libya and the horrific machine that underlies it, shining a spotlight on those who take advantage of European policies and create a living hell for migrants.

While the West has lost influence in the long-running Libyan civil war, the conflict has exposed deep divides within the EU, leaving non-Western powers to fill the vacuum. Europe's short-sighted policy continues to empower Libyan Coast Guards to intercept migrants and asylum seekers and take them back to Libya – a fragmented country, which has been torn apart by warring political factions, local tribal leaders and militias.

The film looks at the entire detention system, the traffic beyond it, the role of the militias and the way they exert their control. It aims to pinpoint the responsibilities of those involved – first and foremost the European Union, which provides financing and then takes no responsibility.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director.