A lecture on the challenges of EU migration was given by Dr Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for International Migration to which Dr Gideon Rachman, the Chief Foreign Affairs columnist for the Financial Times responded, at the Embassy of Ireland in London last week [June 12th]. The event formed part of the Trinity College Dublin Henry Grattan Lecture Series and the second in the series hosted outside Ireland. The Deputy Ambassador, John McCullagh and Professor of Economics, Professor John O’Hagan at Trinity College Dublin opened proceedings.
The issue of the free movement of people in the EU has come to the fore following recent elections to the European Parliament and the emergence of electorally strong anti-immigration parties in Britain and France in particular. While the free movements of goods, services, capital and people are core values of the European Union, it has to be recognised that the free movement of people raises very challenging socio-political issues that must be addressed if popular support for the EU is not to collapse and the whole project thereby undermined. The differing historical migration experiences of Ireland and Britain have led to very different responses in each country to this challenge. The talk will address these issues in their various dimensions.
The Henry Grattan Lecture Series − a flagship initiative of the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy – plays an important role in enabling Trinity College Dublin to engage with society and in ensuring that leading academics and policy makers from around the world are publicly accessible. Previous lectures have addressed topics such as ‘The End of the European Project?’ and ‘Iceland's Road to Recovery: What Lessons To Be Learned’. With former speakers including Joschka Fischer, former German Vice Chancellor, David O'Sullivan, Trinity Alumnus and Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service and Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Finance, Iceland.
About the Speakers:
Dr Peter Sutherland is currently UN Special Representative for International Migration and Chairman of the London School of Economics. He is a Consultor for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. He also serves on the Boards of Allianz SE, Koç Holding A.S. and BW Group Limited and is on the Advisor Board of Eli Lilly. He is Chairman of the International Advisory Board of BP plc. Prior to his current positions, he has served as Attorney General of Ireland (1981-1984); EC Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy (1985-1989); Chairman of Allied Irish Banks (1989-1993) and Director General of GATT and then of The World Trade Organisation (1993-1995). He was Chairman of BP plc (1997 – 2009).
Dr Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.