19 November 2015 - 14.00-15.30 - Room 11, Palais de l'Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN - Sponsored by the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies


As more people than ever are attempting to escape political violence, oppression, destitution and environmental changes in their countries, Europe faces major asylum and migration policy challenges, but lacks an explicit framework guaranteeing protection and addressing the fears stemming from growing ethnic and cultural diversity.

Initiative 1

Exploring effective and just migration policies

Against this background and the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe since the summer of 2015, the lab will explore migration processes and political options at hand for introducing effective and just migration policies and for linking their implementation to human rights and the rule of law, and to the future of Europe. It will also present specific initiatives for refugees in transit and destination countries and a perspective from Northern Africa.


Ms Denitsa BOEVA, Bulgaria, Alumna of the Bulgarian School of Political Studies

Denitsa Boeva is Project Management Expert for an electricity company in Bulgaria. Beforehand, she served for seven years as Chief Expert with the National Commission for Combating Trafficking of Human Beings. Denitsa is an alumna of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” (class 2015) and of the Summer Academy 2015 of Alumni of the Bulgarian, Tunisian and Moroccan Schools of Political Studies on ‘Culture and Security’.

Ms Houria ESSLAMI, Morocco, Member of the National Human Rights Commission and Chair of the National Human Rights Commission Working Group for International Relations

Houria Esslami was elected in 2011 President of the alternative forum Morocco-FMAS, after being a member of its Executive Secretariat. She is the Executive Director of Driss Benzekri Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy. Houria Esslami has held several positions of responsibility between 1996 and 2010, including that of head of translation division at the General Secretariat of the Government, translation department manager at ISESCO and head of office of the Director General at the “Caisse de dépôt et de gestion”. Houria Esslami is a founding member of the Moroccan Forum for Truth and Justice. She was elected President of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the UN Human Rights Council. Elected unanimously by the UN Working Group at its 107th session held from September 14 to 18, Ms. Es Slami joined this working group in March 2014.

Mr Ljubisa VRENCEV, Greece, Symβiosis, Head of Programmes

Ljubisa Vrencev is Programme Director at Symβiosis in Thessaloniki, Greece. Since 1997, he has been working with national and international NGOs on media, migration and anti-discrimination in Greece, as well as on development and forced migration in the Western Balkans. He consulted UNOPS, UNDP, Cooperazione Italiana and IOM on assessing conditions of refugees and on developing policies for sustainable returns. He holds a Masters degree on Local Development for the Balkans from the University of Trento and Free University of Bolzano/Bozen. He co-ordinated the emergency assessment on migration in the Aegean islands in August and September 2015.

Mr Gert WESTERVEEN, Netherlands, UNHCR Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg

Gert Westerveeen has more than two decades of experience in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), working on refugee issues in several locations in Europe, Western Balkans as well as Central and Eastern Africa. Before joining the UNHCR, he worked at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights and at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva. He has also been an active participant in public debates and conferences on refugee issues.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

Mr Ahmed DRISS, Tunisia, Director, Tunisian School of Politics

Ahmed Driss has been a professor of Law at the Faculties of Law and Economic Sciences and Management at Tunis University since 1998. As of 2000, he has been a member of the Governing Council of the Académie internationale de droit constitutionnel of Tunisia and, since 2005, President-Director of the Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies (CEMI) in Tunis. From 2012, he is the Director of the Tunisian School of Politics which forms part of the network of 21 Schools of Political Studies under the auspices of the Council of Europe.


Ms Irina ALEXIEVA, Director, Bulgarian School of Politics

Irina Alexieva is Executive Director of the Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitry Panitza", as well as a Member of the Board of the Bulgarian Civil Society House and of the Scientific Committee of the World Forum for Democracy. She is a well-known business journalist, having interviewed some of the most influential global leaders. Irina Alexieva has been involved in both TV and radio productions and is an author of several documentaries. She has a PhD in Public Communications and Information Studies.


Mr Aurélien CANTOU

Lab 13 - Protection for migrants
Palais de l'europe - Room 11 19 Nov., 14.00-15.30
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Challenges 2015