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14:00 – 14:30 | Registration

14:30 – 15:45 | Welcome statement and First panel

Welcome statement

  • Maureen O’NEILL, President of the EESC Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship
  • Niels THØGERSEN, President of the ETTW

First panel: Clarifying the Political Agenda

Moderator: Niels THØGERSEN, President of the ETTW

  • Zanda KALNIŅA-LUKAŠEVICA, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia
  • Marie-Hélène BOULANGER, Head of Unit, DG JUST, European Commission
  • Jörg TAGGER, Acting Head of Unit, DG EMPL, European Commission

This panel will take the form of a question-and-answer session with the EU institutions. What is on their agenda, both for defending free movement rights and for promoting common policies on migration? What are the priorities as seen from the perspective of migrant and diaspora organisations?

15:45 – 16:30 |  Second panel: Collating the Evidence

Moderator: Andris GOBIŅŠ, member of the EESC

  • Laurent AUJEAN, Project/Process Officer Statistics, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Raymond XERRI, ETTW
  • Tony VENABLES, Expert

Questions for debate:

  • What is the evidence from recent studies regarding the extent and benefits of free movement and migration? What are the disadvantages?
  • How accurate are the statistics, such as those needed to manage flows and to design policies at local level?

16:30 – 16-45 | Coffee Break

16:45 – 18:00 | Third panel: Combatting Scaremongering about Free Movement and Migration

Moderator: Peteris ELFERTS, Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

  • François BAUR, Delegate of the Swiss Abroad
  • Sybe DE VRIES, coordinator bEUcitizen, University of Utrecht
  • Jean-Michel LAFLEUR, researcher, University of Liège
  • Anthony VALCKE, Legal Consultant, European Citizen Action Service, EU Rights clinic/ECAS
  • Georgia GEORGIADOU, Deputy Head of Unit, DG JUST, European Commission

How can public support be increased for free movement on the one hand, and migration on the other? Is it a matter of finding a new discourse, or should it involve action on the ground? The panel will explore such questions, using examples of specific areas of tension over free movement, from Switzerland, Belgium and the UK.

18:00 – 18.30 | Conclusions

What conclusions can we take from this event to the high level conference in Riga on 11-12 May 2015?

  • Andris GOBIŅŠ, Member of the EESC
  • MEP Krišjanis KARIŅŠ
  • Niels THØGERSEN, President of the ETTW


Practical information

Participants can speak: German, English, French, Dutch and Latvian
Participants can listen to: English, French and Latvian


Only the persons registered can participate