International congress

Shipwrecked. Rethinking migration and asylum in Europe

24-25 June 2024, Thessaloniki

We stand at a crossroads regarding migration and asylum policies in Europe: After years of unsuccessful negotiations, the EU co-legislators agreed to a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Based on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, as proposed by the Commission, the Council and the Parliament agreed to grave changes on all core regulations in the field of asylum and migration with severe negative consequences for people on the move. The Pact follows a trend which we saw unfolding the last years: member states have lowered their reception standards and increased border controls and all means to deter as many as possible from arriving in Europe, including illegal pushbacks. Anti-migration narratives and right-wing populists’ parties and movements are on the rise in many states across the continent, and migration, as well as those in solidarity with people on the move, are increasingly pressured and even criminalised.

However, people have not stopped trying to reach the EU in search of protection. In view of the ongoing and ever deepening global crises, they will not stop either. On the contrary, despite all attempts to curb migration, last year has seen a rise in the number of asylum seekers reaching the European Union to over 1 million people, in addition to over 5 million refugees under temporary protection from Ukraine, which is the highest number since the years which were widely framed as “migration-crisis” years in 2015-16.

In addition to the New Pact, we will soon be confronted with new political realities in the EU after the European Parliament elections in June.

In light of all these changes and challenges, we as Heinrich Böll Foundation would like to invite our partners and other civil society organisations, activists, lawyers, journalists, academics and politicians from all over Europe, particularly from the Balkans and the Mediterranean, to exchange on and rethink the state and future of migration and asylum in Europe. We aim at creating a space for joint analysis but also for strategies for action and ways ahead.


Monday, 24 June

  • 10:00-13:00 Workshops (Law to Impact, Kipos, Caravan hotel)               participation upon registration
  • 13:15-14:15 Lunch (Caravan hotel)                                                                 participation upon registration
  • 14:30-17:30 Workshops (Law to Impact, Kipos, Caravan hotel)               participation upon registration
  • 20:00 Photo exhibition – Opening (Toss Gallery)                                         open event - free entrance

Tuesday, 25 June

  • 09:00-13:00 Public conference (Olympion)               open event - free entrance
  • 14:00-15:00 Lunch (Ypsilon)                                          participation upon registration
  • 15:30-17:30 Agora of Ideas – An open space
    for networking and exchange (Ypsilon)                     
    participation upon registration
  • 20:00 Open-air concert (Mavili square)                     open event - free entrance