To all the participants and partners!
We would like to thank all the participants of the conference for their presence, their effort and their well-formed discussions during The Golden Wall conference in Subotica. It gives us the courage and the strength to continue with this kind of projects. Special thanks to all the partners that helped and contributed to making this conference a fabulous success. We look forward seeing everyone again at the exposition in BOZAR were the recorded discussions and outcomes will be presented to the public. With the highest regards, The Golden Wall team.
'The Golden Wall' is a conference with ‘the wall’ as its subject; both literally and figuratively; the wall which Europe has developed in its mind; the walls which it builds on its outer borders. Following the recent European decision to strengthen Frontex, individual EU members are now also taking initiatives in order to, in their eyes at any rate, defend Fortress Europe against the invasion of refugees. Europe is ruled by fear. Now that Hungary has finished building a wall on its border with Serbia, which just so happens to be a candidate EU member, the total humiliation of European thought doesn’t feel far away. During the First World War 500,000 Belgian refugees found shelter in the Netherlands, while, shockingly, the EU is disagreeing about the spread of 66,000 refugees from war zones throughout the whole of Europe. Yet a wind of change is blowing through intellectual Europe. Many people, including prominent economists, are in favour of an ‘open borders’ policy.
The EU Open Borders Student Conference, Subotica 2016
We wanted to confront European students with this extreme opposite outlook and ask them how they envisage a future European ‘union’, therefore we organised an ‘OPEN BORDERS’ ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE between students representing every EU member state. Over 4 hours the 28 participants were involved in several discussions chaired by Philippe Legrain. The conference took place in Subotica (Serbia), literally on the border with Hungary (Morahalom/Horgos), with the constructed wall in the background. The organisation of the conference was carried out in collaboration with ESN Serbia. Recruitment of the students was carried out in collaboration with UNICA, a Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe.
Philippe Legrain, President of the Conference
Philippe Legrain chaired the conference. He is a British political economist and writer and specializes in global and European economic issues, notably globalisation, migration, the post-crisis world and the euro. A visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics' European Institute and adviser to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso from 2011 to 2014. He published different books amongst which Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007). Economist Philippe Legrain wants to throw open the borders.
‘Our migration is a form of global apartheid’ While Belgian and other European politicians are complaining that their countries have to take in too many migrants travelling by boat from the Mediterranean, the British economist Philippe Legrain, advisor to the World Trade Organisation and the European Commission, is in favour of free worldwide migration.
Read the full interview here: ‘They contribute more to the economy through taxes than they take back through benefits.’ - by MARCO VISSCHER / Knack 17.06.2015