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Fresh Eyes on the Refugee Crisis: an Interdisciplinary Approach

8 December 2015

Expert meeting on 10 and 11 December 2015 in Amsterdam.

In his State of the Union address in September, European Commission President Juncker called for a “bold, determined and concerted action by the European Union, by its institutions and by all its Member States” to take in significantly more refugees from Syria and Iraq, sparking a heated public and polictical debate that continues to rage. The tension between taking in refugees and managing migration is a major challenge for policymakers and currently one of the biggest concerns voiced by European citizens. It looks set to be a highly controversial policy area for many years to come.

With the UNCHR, the UN Refugee Agency, describing the current refugee crisis as the biggest since the Second World War, the ethical, social, economic, health, legal, and cultural dimensions of this issue need to be considered in an integrated way. Addressing these developments requires an open discussion of challenges and opportunities – in both the short and long term.

To this end, the Dutch Young Academy, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Global Young Academy will host a two-day workshop (10-11 December 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands) of 20 academic experts and practitioners drawn from different disciplines and from over 10 countries across three continents. The meeting will also engage the wider community of young scientists and scientists who are themselves refugees.

The participants will endeavour to provide a fresh and innovative perspective on the refugee crisis, focusing in particular on societal integration. They will identify gaps in current understanding, and explore how research and policy communities might work together more effectively to address this complex, politically charged and highly emotive issue. The outcomes of the workshop will be made publicly available through conventional and social media, together with a summary document for policymakers.

This expert meeting is organised with generous support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, and an anonymous donor.

Contact persons for the media:
Florian Wiencek, GYA Media Officer; Tel: +49 30 20370-653
For more information on the GYA:
Eva Alisic, GYA Co-Chair (Australia);;
Orakanoke Phanraksa, GYA Co-Chair (Thailand);
Heidi Wedel, GYA Managing Director (Germany);,
Tel: +49 30 20370-631

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