FEPS Newsletter 15 Dec 2023 – 🧳 International Migration Day

📅 FEPS Newsletter: 🧳 International Migration Day
Migration, Next Left and more!
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Upcoming Events
Every year, on 18 December, the world celebrates migrants. But fewer topics are more contentious in Europe (and beyond) than human mobility. Migrants are, more often than not, portrayed as a threat to our ‘way of life’, our economy, our welfare states and our communities. Migrants are often used as scapegoats for deep-rooted economic and societal problems, while simplistic and inadequate migration policies serve as a smokescreen to hide politics’ shortcomings.

By contrast, migrants’ contributions to our societies, our countries’ development and our social systems are regularly disregarded, when not utterly denied.

The result of such a distorted view of migration is, of course, deficient policy solutions, which may exacerbate the mismanagement of migration and its consequences rather than improve them. This awareness informed FEPS’ work on migration in 2023.
By Steffen Angenendt, Nadine Biehler, Ottilia A. Maunganidze and Felicity Okoth

Migration continues to be at the top of the EU’s political agenda, but the simplistic policy responses policymakers provide can only exacerbate the consequences of mismanagement. The Progressive Migration Group, established by FEPS in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Fondation Jean-Jaurès (FJJ), has addressed several aspects of European migration management in the context of relations with the African countries of origin and transit. The result of this cycle of work is a new series of policy briefs. Read more.
Communicating on migration
By Rob McNeil

In Europe, media, policy and public debates about migration are extremely polarised and negative. Against this background, engaging in discussion on this topic is very risky for EU policymakers, because their arguments – if not correctly handled – could backfire.

With these three policy briefs by Rob McNeil, FEPS and FES aim to provide concrete suggestions to lower the volume of the debate, reduce polarisation and improve terminology. Read more.

By Smaïn Laacher, Victoria Rietig, Andrea De Petris and Sara Bojarczuk

We must debunk anti-immigration ‘myths’ across the EU to understand whether and how migration can represent an opportunity for sustainable social and economic development.

FEPS, in cooperation with FES Italy, FJJ, the Centre for European Policy Network and the Università per gli Stranieri di Perugia aimed to assess the phenomenon from both a political and an economic angle, using four countries as case studies: France, Germany, Italy and Poland. Read more.
Towards a humane refugee policy for the EU
Reflections on the state of the EU’s migration and asylum policy
By Gesine Schwan

This innovative book suggests a humane approach to receiving refugees in Europe based on the strengthening of the role of municipalities and their civil society in the relocation and reception of people in need of protection. While this proposal may not be a panacea for the complex EU migration and refugee policy, the strategies outlined in this book could benefit the hosting communities as much as the newcomers. Read more.

8 November – EP – Hybrid

After meetings in Barcelona and Addis Abada, this third meeting of the Progressive Migration Group (PMG) was the occasion to unveil the results of its reflections on the relations and cooperation between the EU and the countries of origin and transit. During the event, we discussed the coherence of EU policies towards Africa, development aid, the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, externalisation of migration management, labour migration and remittances, among other topics.

FEPS, FES EU Office and FJJ established together the PMG, a group composed of African and European migration experts. Its objective is to explore the relations and cooperation between the European Union and the countries of origin and transit, with the aspiration of abandoning the prevailing stagnant narratives surrounding migration, and above all with the ambition of formulating innovative recommendations and policy proposals for progressive forces. Read more.
By Pietro Bartolo

Read the article by Pietro Bartolo, a doctor who provided aid to the victims of the Lampedusa shipwreck and countless other migrants arriving via the Mediterranean route, now MEP in the S&D Group. Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Enrique Alaez Perez
Migration: Moving away from containment

The approach of the EU and its member states to migration and asylum is increasingly focusing on the externalisation of their management and on the returns of all those people who do not qualify for protection. This approach based on containment is not only morally questionable, but it is also short-sighted and doomed to fail.

With this dossier, the Progressive Post wants to look at the shortcomings of current European and national policies.
📚 Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Alessio Tricani
Presentation of the report and the outcomes of a survey

The four sessions, organised with the collaboration of FES and IBRiS, aim to provide valuable insights into the outcomes of the studySocial democracy without people‘, which delves into the intricate analysis of long-term trends shaping the electoral outcomes of the former SLD, now Nowa Lewica.

The focal point is understanding how Poland’s centre-left aligns with Western European trends on a demographic level, emphasising strategies to re-establish connections with various groups.

This study serves as a crucial analytical lens for understanding the results of recent Polish elections, particularly when assessing the strategies of Nowa Lewica and Razem. It’s particularly significant in the context of the process leading to the formation of the new government and preparations towards both local/regional and European elections in 2024.
These two online events marked the launch of the first two Next Left Country Case Studies, a new series inaugurated in 2023. These sessions served as platforms for in-depth discussions on the current status and future trajectories of the centre-left in Australia and France.

Each event featured an insightful presentation by the authors, Rob Manwaring for the case studies on Australia and Philippe Marlière for the one on France, followed by an engaging discussion involving academics from the Next Left High-Level Conversations and Next Left Focus Group.
13 December – FEPS HQ

The fourth workshop of the initiative ‘Living up to, not leaving aside’ organised by FEPS and FES Brussels, aimed to engage in a dialogue with civil society to enhance the European public sphere. This workshop delved into ensuring a more significant role for transnational parties as a transition belt for citizens, civil society, and trade union’ proposals for the Future of Europe. The discussion revolved around key themes such as evolving EU institutional reforms, the #CoFoE legacy, and the formulation of new regulations for European parties.

This was the last event of a series that has already included seminars involving academics (31/01), politicians (10/11), and youth leaders (30/11) and which will be contributing to the final report.
4-5 December – Brussels

How do we promote democracy in the workplace? Are there lessons in Biden’s economics for the European Progressives? What are the benchmarks of progress?

Those questions, among many others, were at the centre of this two-day seminar, which was an integral part of the Next Left Research Programme launched in 2009, with the support of the Karl-Renner-Institut. This fourth and final session of the year discussed the articles that will feed into vol. 15 of the Next Left book series.

The call for participants is now open for the 9th cycle of the FEPS Young Academic Network 2024!

The FEPS Young Academics Network
(YAN), established in 2010 with the support of Karl-Renner-Institut, aims to gather promising PhD candidates and young PhD researchers with a social democratic political orientation, ready to use their academic experience in a debate about the future progressive Europe.

With more than 340 past members – many of whom are today renowned Professors of leading universities, prominent experts in their respective fields and front bench politicians, FEPS YAN presents a unique opportunity to learn, to gain experience in a Europe-wide network, and contribute to a joint paper in your area of interest.

Ready to be a part of this intellectual adventure? Submit your CV, motivation letter, and an abstract of 600-800 words by 4 February 2024.


We met in Madrid to present and discuss the finding of our latest
report ‘Youth support for democracy in Spain: Democracy in the face of disadvantage‘, which analyses the attitudes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds towards democracy.

This report was produced by FEPS in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Felipe González Foundation. It is part of the FEPS series ‘Builders of Progress‘, which analyses young Europeans’ main concerns and aspirations. Read more.

For those who couldn’t join us in Madrid, don’t worry! We’ll present the full policy study in Brussels on 23 January.

On the occasion of the Western Balkan Summit, which took place this week in Brussels, the Friends of the Western Balkans would like to reiterate their commitment to the European perspective of the Western Balkans and their pledge to stand closer than ever to democratic and civil societies’ forces of the region.
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