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ResearchGlobalisation Studies Groningen (GSG)Conference on Migration and Development

Speakers and discussants

Elements of Common Agenda: Regulating Migration Flows

Francesco Mascini is the regional coordinator for migration in North Africa (the Maghreb and the Sahel) at the Dutch Embassy in Tunis. He will discuss the most important African migration routes and the ways to enhance international co-operation in order to regulate these migratory flows.

Discussant– Joost Herman
Mascini will also lead a seminar on these issues with Joost Herman, Professor of Globalisation Studies and Humanitarian Action at the University of Groningen. Beside directing the Humanitarian Action Program (NOHA), he is also the director of the Globalisation Studies Groningen institute. His expertise lies in humanitarian action, human rights law and globalization and he is especially interested in the place minority groups hold in society.


Elements of Common Agenda: Development cooperation and Civil Society Action

Bram van Ojik is a Member of Parliament for GreenLeft, for which he is the spokesperson on foreign affairs and migration. He also worked as a migration envoy and Director for Social Development for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He will examine how civil society and other instruments could stimulate inclusive social development in Africa and the EU.

Discussant– Jacques Zeelen
Van Ojik will further discuss this in a seminar with Jacques Zeelen, Professor of Lifelong Learning and Social Intervention in the context of Globalisation at the University of Groningen. Zeelen was one of the initiators of the international research and development project Early School Leaving in Africa (ESLA) and also holds the UNESCO Chair on Lifelong Learning, Youth and Work, at Gulu University in Uganda.


Elements of Common Agenda: Migration and Labour Markets

Bernard Wientjes is the former chair of the Dutch employers’ federation VNO-NCW and Emeritus Professor of Enterprise and Leadership at Utrecht University. He will take a look at the relation between migration and labour markets. How can regulated labour migration, through measures such as a ‘green card’, improve the economy of African and EU countries?

Discussant– Ronald Skeldon
Wientjes will be joined by Ronald Skeldon. Skeldon is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Sussex and Professor of Human Geography in the Graduate School of Governance at the United Nations university UNU-MERIT in Maastricht. His other activities have included a secondment to the Department for International Development (DfID) and he has broad experience acting as a consultant to many international organizations including several divisions at the United Nations, for example the International Organization for Migration.


Elements of Common Agenda: Desertification and Environmental Degradation

Pradeep Monga is Deputy Executive Secretary at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. He will examine the impact of desertification and other types of environmental degradation in relation to migration, as well as possible forms of local and international action to tackle these problems. Monga will also lead a seminar on sustainable economic development in Africa and Europe.

Discussant– Andreas Backhaus
In the seminar session, Monga will be joined by Andreas Backhaus, research fellow of economy and finance. Backhaus holds a PhD in Economics and his research focuses on the nexus of climate change and migration and the historical persistence of human capital. He is furthermore interested in the political economy of developing countries and in novel remote sensing technologies. Backhaus is currently working at CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies).


The conference will end with a plenary reflection, in which all speakers will participate and aim to formulate elements of a common agenda for Africa and Europe. During this session, the speakers will be sure to make use of the input which participants gave during the seminar meetings. This concluding discussion will be directed by Max van den Berg, Honorary Professor of Global Governance and Sustainable Livelihood at the University of Groningen.

Last modified:11 December 2018 4.39 p.m.