Aba Sil Session

The European Migrant Crisis – Is Europe Ready to Face One of its Greatest Challenges?


General reporter: Holger Bielesz, Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte, Austria

According to UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people has increased by 40 % since 2011. Following the outbreak of the civil war, Syrian refugees became the largest refugee group overall, followed by Afghan refugees and refugees from Africa. The development turned Europe into a migrant crisis constituting one of its greatest challenges. The crisis puts at risk the cohesion among European states. The fundamental right to asylum is at stake, when states like Austria announce
to limit the number of asylum applicants. Yet, even Germany bearing the main burden of asylum applications may soon reach the limits of what its society may possibly absorb. Most recently, Europe has again been shaken by tragic terrorist attacks and criminality is on the rise. How can these multiple challenges be tackled? What can the US contribute to handle the situation? The panel will undertake to address some of the most critical questions.


Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Austria Ministry for European and Division of Vocational, Austria
Rosa Lima, Rehabilitation, USA
Verena Eibensteiner, Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies, Austria
Sanja Sontor, Head of International Academics, Kir Munich, Germany
Elizabeth O’Brien, Refugee Appeals Tribunal, Ireland
Katie Newbury, Kingsley Napley LLP, Great Britain

Session Documents

General Report