Controlled or uncontrolled migration – a fortress EU or a global response?

13 Apr ‘16
Brand campus shot with Cottrell and Wallace monument

5.30PM - 7.15PM
Speaker: Professor Joseph Mifsud and Sir George Reid

Venue: Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

Join us for a public lecture on the most topical of subjects in current affairs:Controlled or uncontrolled migration – a fortress EU or a global response? with Professor Joseph Mifsud and The Right Honourable Sir George Reid.

The EU response to the Mediterranean tragedies during the last six years has continued but has been overshadowed by many thousands of refugees, many from Syria, arriving in Europe via the western Balkans. Various special summits and ordinary EU Council meetings appear to have for the moment been challenged by the determination and desperation of these 'forced' migrants and by the extraordinary feeling of unease among the national powers and ordinary EU Citizens across Europe. This pushed member states initially to respond by overturning the Dublin Regulation.

Germany (which was the most pro-active in hosting migrants) effectively suspended the Schengen agreement by closing its borders to more refugees. This underlines that, despite the extraordinary events of this year, the racist migration management agenda has not gone away. The idea of “regional resettlement “has become more pronounced. The epithet “economic migrant”, and issues of controlled or uncontrolled migration will no doubt be deployed more rigorously in an effort at future exclusion.

This does not alter the significance of what has happened in the past few months. Migrants and refugees—not just in central Europe and in the Mediterranean, but also in Calais—have acted collectively with increasing vigour, and have evoked solidarity right across Europe.  The presentation will focus on attempting to discuss what is the nature of this migration – and if this tide of desperate human beings has turned Europe to its pre-EU fortress mentality.  In conclusion, the lecture will offer suggestions on how the UN can intervene on its 70th anniversary to alleviate this human global catastrophe. 


Prof. Joseph Mifsud,  is a professorial fellow at the Division of History and Politics, University of Stirling and the Director, LONDON ACADEMY OF DIPLOMACY, UK. He is a former President of EMUNI. He was elected President of Emuni, the Euro-Mediterranean University by European and Mediterranean, Rectors and Presidents of Universities, in November of 2008 after the Paris Summit established Emuni and Euro-Mediterrranean higher education and research as one of the priority projects of the Union for the Mediterranean. He completed his education in Malta,  in Italy (Padova) and at the Queens University in Belfast. He has also been invited as a keynote speaker by the EU Parliament, the European Council, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the Union of the Mediterranean, the Committee of the Regions, ARLEM, the Organisation of American States in Washington and the major schools of  International Studies and Diplomacy in the world. Professor Mifsud has also served as the President of the Comité du Risque instituted by the Republic of France at the Elysée from 2009-2012, as Chef de Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta with briefs on the Mediterranean and the Commonwealth, and as one of the major coordinators for Malta's EU accession. He has served as Head of Department, and as a member of the Senate of the University of Malta. He was also Malta’s representative to the Bologna Follow Up Group, playing a major role on the development of the external dimension of harmonisation of higher education in Europe and beyond. Professor Mifsud is also a board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and a member of the Valdai Discussion Group.  

Sir George Reid is a Professorial Fellow of the University of Stirling, where he teaches an MSc module in Humanitarian Studies.  Between his time as an MP at Westminster and an MSP at Holyrood, he worked for 15 years in conflicts and disasters as Director of Public Affairs of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent in Geneva.  He has extensive field experience of programmes for refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East. 


From 5.30pm - Registration and reception

6.00pm - Lecture with Professor Joseph Mifsud and a response by Sir George Reid

6.45pm - Q & A

Please note that timings are approximate and may be subject to change.

How to book

This event is free to attend and is open to University of Stirling students, staff and members of the public. Places are limited so should be booked in advance via Eventbrite.

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