On Wednesday 27 February at 10.00 in House Europe, the Croatian Radio held its second event under the project titled “Eurotribina”. The event held a panel of academics and experts to speak on the subject of security and migration. It was organised in cooperation with the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) as a part of the implementation of the Jean Monnet project EULEAD; which is aimed at raising the level of awareness in Croatia of the EU, strengthening the EU agenda in Croatia and aligning Croatian policies with the EU.
In the spirit of the upcoming 2019 EU Elections, the panel discussed the policies of the EU towards migration and the effects of migration on national security. The panel was chaired by HRT commentator Jasima Popović and it hosted the Minister of Interior Affairs Davor Božinović, Senada Šelo Šabic from IRMO and Siniša Tatalović from the Faculty of Political Science. The panel members were asked to talk on the subject of the ‘future of the European Union – the perspectives and challenges of migration, national security and Schengen’. The compelling discussion brought to light the differences of perspectives of the expert, ministry and academic panellists.
As a part of the discussion, the panellists expanded on the perspectives and challenges of migration for the European Union and globally. The importance of international cooperation was discussed at length with regards to Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, and the North Africa region. Furthermore, the response of the EU towards the migrations flows was assessed in terms of harmonisation and unity. The approach to the securitisation phenomena of migration was also discussed at length. This is a topic of particular concern for Croatia, which sits at the border of the EU into the Schengen territory and has the longest border of the EU. Croatia, as the final frontier into the EU from the Balkan route, has overseen the flow of migrants passing through and continues to find ways to sustainable manage the number of migrants that remain in the country. National mechanisms and perspectives on migration were assessed, as well as the government’s narratives and policies towards the migration.
The panel identified the importance of open dialogue on the subject of migration and the need for constructive action to be taken on the subject. The increasing demographic concerns in Croatia, with a decreasing population due to emigration and low birth rates, was identified as yet another perspective of viewing and approaching the challenges of migration. Senada Šelo Šabić identified that migration must not only be approached as a security issue, but rather as an inevitable outcome of the dynamic globalised world system we live in – surrounded by constant development and change – it is better to embrace this than to fight against it. The spread of fear and growth of popularity of right leaning politics in Europe, and globally, is a concern that was also further discussed by the panellists.
There was a large audience attending the event. This included representatives of the parliament, representatives from the Mayor’s Office, members of the diplomatic corps and members of the academic community. At the end of the panel discussion, the audience was given to opportunity to ask questions. The questions were directed towards the members of the panel, all of whom gave compelling replies from their varying perspectives.
The event was broadcasted live at 10.00 on the First Channel of the Croatian Radio and HRT Fourth Channel on television. The Croatian evening news, Dnevnik, on HRT reported on the event, which is available online here.
In addition, you can listen to a shorter version of the event here.
The summary of the event is also available in Croatian at the site of the Ministry of Interior.