Online Debates “The Struggle on Migration Policies in the Pandemic Era: What Future for Europe?”, September 28 and 29

September 28, 16h30-19h00 and September 29, 17h00-19h00 (WEST/Lisbon time)

“Migration is a European challenge, and the whole of Europe must do its part” – with these words, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the long expected plan to overhaul EU’s migration and asylum policy during her first speech on the state of the European Union. The pact will be unveiled next week and comes at a crucial time: The destruction by fire of the totally overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece, the biggest “reception centre” in EU, left thousands of refugees without a shelter and brought back to the public agenda the urgency of a European answer to the unbearable conditions in which migration to the EU has been happening.

Many refugees at Europe’s external borders have already found themselves in particularly vulnerable situations since the spread of the coronavirus. With the recognition of the pandemic situation by the World Health Organisation and the growing number of cases of COVID-19 around the world, EU Member States have re-established the control at their internal borders and increased surveillance at external borders. Even if this has had a direct impact on migration flows, it has not prevented first cases of COVID-19 at several refugee camps.

On September 28 e 29, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Portugal and the NOVA Refugee Legal Clinic from the NOVA University of Lisbon are organizing two online debates on the current struggle on European migration policies.

On the first day of the event, a discussion on the impact of the pandemic on recent migratory movements in the Mediterranean and on the situation at the EU borders will be followed by a debate on current political developments at the EU level.
Which answers does the new European Pact for Migration and Asylum bring, especially in the light of the EU Recovery Plan and the German and Portuguese EU Council Presidencies?
Is the whole of Europe really going to do its part?

On the second day of the event, an international roundtable of experts from academy and civil society will discuss expectations from different countries on European policies. Besides the perspectives towards the European level, also measures taken on a national level in different countries to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on migrants and refugees will be highlighted.

Join us for this debate on the future of Europe!

The event will take place on the online platform Zoom in English. Simultaneous translation to Portuguese will be provided. The access data will be sent after registration at

The event is also on Facebook.