to Content

17: The EU’s Cooperation with Southern Neighbours in Response to the Refugee Crisis

Breakout / Foreign Policy
english language

While there are many initiatives and obstacles mounted by the EU and its member states, the roots of migration towards Europe from across the Mediterranean have not been addressed accurately so far. How can the EU and its southern neighbours cooperate better in order to effectively respond to the problems causing and caused by the refugee crisis?


Ph.D. Candidate in Political Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Representative of the Netherlands, PSC - EU Political and Security Committee, Brussels
Managing Director Middle East and North Africa, EEAS - European External Action Service, Brussels
Senior Research Fellow and Head, EU Foreign Policy, CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels Chair

Katharina NATTER

Ph.D. Candidate in Political Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam

1994-2007 French Baccalauréat and Austrian Matura (Summa Cum Laude) Lycée Français de Vienne / Vienna, Austria
2007-2010 Bachelor in Political Science, Minor  European studies (Cum Laude) Undergraduate campus of SciencesPo Paris / Nancy, France
2009-2010 Year abroad in Cairo, Egypt
2010 Intern at Daily News Egypt, International Herald Tribune / Cairo, EG
2010-2012 Master in Political Science, Minor  Middle East-North African studies (Cum Laude), SciencesPo Paris / Paris, France
2011 Intern at Migration and Integration in Europe, Bertelsmann Foundation / Berlin, DE
2011Intern at Center for Migrations and Citizenship, French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) / Paris, FR
2012 Intern,International Center on Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) / Vienna, AT
2012-2013 Trainee at European Commission, Unit SG.D.3 / Brussels, BE
2013-2014 Consultant at Inter-Governmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees, International Organization for Migration (IOM) / Geneva, CH
2013-2015 Research Assistant, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford / Oxford, UK
2015-2019 Doctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam / Amsterdam, NL
 Provisional thesis title:  Immigration policy-making in Morocco and Tunisia (2000-2015): Politics and policies beyond the Western liberal-democratic polity.
 Thesis title:  The formation of Morocco s policy towards irregular migration (2000-2007).
2015-2019 (expected) PhD in Political Sociology, University of Amsterdam, Department of Sociology / Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Representative of the Netherlands, PSC - EU Political and Security Committee, Brussels

1996-1999 Policy Advisor Surinam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
1999-2001 Trade Secretary, Dutch Embassy, Moscow
2001-2005 Senior Policy Advisor EU Enlargement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
2005-2009 Deputy head Economic Section (EU and international economic affairs, bilateral economic cooperation and trade and investment promotion), Dutch Embassy, Berlin
2009-2013 Head Political Affairs Section (Cabinet of the Political Director) and European Correspondent, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
since 2013 Ambassador, Representative to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union, Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the European Union, Brussels


Managing Director Middle East and North Africa, EEAS - European External Action Service, Brussels

 Nick Westcott has been Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the European External Action Service, since September 2015. From February 2011 to September 2015 he was the Managing Director Africa in the EEAS. Prior to that he served as British High Commissioner to Ghana and non-resident Ambassador to the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo from January 2008 to January 2011, Chief Information Officer and Head of IT Strategy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2002- 2007, Minister-Counsellor at the British Embassy, Washington (1999-2002), Deputy High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1993-6); and First Secretary Economic at the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels (1984-9). He has also held a number of jobs at the FCO in London, including Head of the Economic Relations Dept, in which role he was responsible for managing the Birmingham G8 Summit in 1998. He has a PhD in African studies from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in December 1998.


Senior Research Fellow and Head, EU Foreign Policy, CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels

 Steven Blockmans is Head of EU Foreign Policy at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), a Brussels-based think tank which has been consistently ranked among the 10 best in the world. He is also Professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam. His latest book deals with "The Obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy" (Rowman & Littlefield 2017). Steven is the (co-)editor of 15 academic volumes, including "The EU's Role in Global Governance" (Oxford University Press 2013). He served as the leading author of Task Forces on "More Union in European Defence" chaired by Javier Solana (2015) and "Regroup and Reform: Towards a More Responsive and Effective European Union" chaired by Danuta Hübner MEP (2017). For the past 20 years, he has advised governments of countries in wider Europe and in Asia on their relations with the European Union. Blockmans holds a PhD in international law from Leiden University.

Political Symposium

show timetable


15:00 - 16:00OpeningPlenary
16:30 - 18:30The EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy: Can It Deliver?Plenary
17:00 - 21:00Resilience: A "Situation Room" ExperimentPartner
19:00 - 20:30Democracy Gone Astray?Plenary
20:30 - 21:30Europe State Award CeremonyPartner


08:00 - 09:00Editors' BreakfastPlenary
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 01: Digitalisation and PoliticsBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 02: Resilience: Leadership in Crisis SituationsBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 03: Act Digital, Think Real: Is the Internet a Democratic Space for Everyone?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 04: Promoting the Entrepreneurial SpiritBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 05: Liberté - Égalité - Solidarité: Changing Value Systems in the 21st CenturyBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 06: Impact & Collaboration: New Paradigms of GovernanceBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 07: Stuck in the Middle: Eastern European States and their Relations with the EU and RussiaBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 08: Enlightenment in Europe: A New Social Contract for the Digital Age?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 09: Why Do We Need a Common European Cultural Diplomacy?Breakout
12:00 - 13:30Lunch ReceptionSocial
12:30 - 13:30Fireside Talk with Hanan AshrawiPartner
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 12: Towards a Circular Economy: Saving Raw Materials for the Planet's Global FutureBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 13: The Future City: Inclusive, Connected, ResilientBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 14: Climate Change, Disasters, Migration: Preparing for Emerging RisksBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 15: Innovative Solutions to the "New" Challenge of IntegrationBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 16: Redesigning European Welfare States: Rebalancing the Roles of EU and Member StatesBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 17: The EU's Cooperation with Southern Neighbours in Response to the Refugee CrisisBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 18: And what do WE get out of it? Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in EuropeBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 19: Overcoming the Credibility GapBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 22: Together or Torn Apart: Which Values Will Build our Future?Breakout
16:00 - 18:00ReceptionSocial
18:00 - 19:30Turkey between Regional Aspirations and ChallengesPlenary
20:00 - 21:00Brexit and the Future of EuropePlenary


08:00 - 09:00Breakfast Club: Strategies of InfluencePlenary
08:30 - 09:30Sustainable Development Goals: What Big Companies Must Do to Get Things GoingPlenary
09:30 - 10:00COURAGE in Times of Multiple Interconnected Crises: A Bold Attempt to Integrate Art and SciencePlenary
10:30 - 12:30Sustainable Development Goals: Which Social Entrepreneurs Are Already One Step Ahead?Plenary