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Event co-organised by the EESC, the Council of Europe and the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council Conference - Brussels, Belgium


9:30 | Opening session

chaired by Staffan Nilsson, President of the EESC

  • Welcoming address by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and Jean-Paul Delevoye, President of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council
  • Opening statement by Philippe Fargues, Director of the Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute
  • Personal life paths: examples of successful integration:
    • Melek Usta, director of Colourful people recruitment agency (Netherlands)
    • Peter Bossman, Mayor of  Piran (Slovenia)
    • Saddie Choua, director of the film "This is my home now"

Open debate

11:20 | Coffee break

11:35 | "Five minutes to convince": Immigration – risk or opportunity?

Chaired by Shada Islam (Friends of Europe)

  • Diane Schmitt, Acting director for Migration and Asylum, DG Home Affairs, European Commission
  • Dr Corrado Giulietti, Director of Research of the Institute for the Study of Labour
  • Claus Folden, Head of Operational Support, European Asylum Support Office
  • Staffan Nilsson, EESC President
  • Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Jean-Paul Delevoye, President of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council

Open debate

12:45 | Lunch

13:45 | Screening of a part of This is my home now, a documentary by Saddie Choua (room JDE62)

14:15 | Thematic session: The contribution of immigration: an opportunity, a source of wealth

chaired by Sergio Carrera, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Justice and Home Affairs Programme, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

  • Elizabeth Collett, Director of Migration Policy Institute - Europe and Senior Advisor to MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration
  • Peter Verhaeghe, Member of the Bureau of the European Integration Forum, Caritas Europa
  • Philip Claeys, Member of the European Parliament (Belgium/Non-attached members)
  • Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños, President of the EESC's Permanent study group on Immigration and Integration (IMI)

Open debate

15:15 | Thematic session: Respect for immigrants' fundamental rights: a duty

Chaired by Yves Pascouau, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

  • John Kellock, Policy Advisor, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Luis Jimena Quesada, European Committee of Social Rights, Council of Europe
  • Michael Diedring, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles
  • Emmanuelle Hauser-Phelizon, Lawyer specialised in the rights of migrants (France)

Open debate

16:15 | Conclusions

  • Staffan Nilsson, EESC President