The Migration and Refugee Challenge in the European Union

A Conversation with Julian Lehmann

July 2018

Global Futures is a podcast about global politics and how rising powers like China and India are changing it. We discuss foreign policy, economics, war and peace, and how the world is changing with experts from across the world.

The migration and refugee challenge is probably the biggest challenge the European Union has faced in recent years. The EU is divided on how to handle the internal and external dimensions of the so-called migration crisis. And the issue has not only become a security challenge, but also a tool in the fight for political power and identity, which populist movements across Europe try to exploit for their own gains. What’s more, the question of how to handle asylum seekers also threatens the stability of governments within EU member states, as recently witnessed in Germany.

While some EU member states are seeking EU-wide agreement and coordinated action to address the migration and refugee challenge, others refuse to accept any obligations regarding the redistribution of migrants or the reform of the Dublin system, which stipulates that the asylum request by a third country national is to be presented in the first European country in which the person arrives and where he or she was identified by local authorities.

In this episode, Joel Sandhu talks to Julian Lehmann about the current situation, failures, and challenges in Europe when it comes to migration and refugees. Julian is a project manager at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin and was previously a protection consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Morocco.