Why the "Dialogues"

Launched jointly by the City of Strasbourg and the Council of Europe in 2009, the "Strasbourg dialogues" aim at involving Strasbourg citizens in discussions on matters of critical importance to our future as Europeans. Held on a regular basis, the "Dialogues" help both to strengthen the "citizens' Europe" and to develop further the Europe of Strasbourg.

 “Migrants: Europe can do better”  

with Nils Muižnieks
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

For many years now, European countries have been warned that their asylum and immigration systems were not up to the task. Now, with the increasing influx of refugees and the ever increasing number of tragedies, all of the weaknesses of this system are coming to light. But the arrival of refugees is not the real cause of the collapse of the system.  The real reason is political.

States are asking less of Europe when they should be asking more. If we want to ensure that Europe continues to be a continent of solidarity and human rights, we need to reconsider its approach to migration in the light of the European Human Rights Convention.

The first thing that needs to be done is to undertake a thorough review of the EU’s Dublin regulation and to put in place a system in which all European countries take their fair share of asylum-seekers.

European countries must also provide more legal possibilities for refugees to come to Europe, for example by relaxing the rules governing the granting of humanitarian visas and family reunion.

We have both a moral and a legal obligation to protect refugees. It is not an easy task but nor is it impossible. We need to step up our efforts to protect those who are fleeing from wars and persecution.

The eleventh edition of the Strasbourg Dialogues will take place on Tuesday 13 October 2015 from 6.30 to 8 p.m. in the Salle des mariages of the Strasbourg City Hall (entrance via 9 rue Brûlée).

The conference will be introduced by Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg, and moderated by Anja Vogel, Radio France journalist in charge of European current affairs.