September 12, 2017


The Role of Think Tanks in Times of (Migration) Crisis: A Transatlantic Perspective

Migration Policy Institute – Renaissance Hotel, Rue du Parnasse 19, 1050 Brussels Belgium
start date: September 15, 2017 08:30

On both sides of the Atlantic, think tanks occupy a crucial position in informing and influencing policy ideas and decisions in a range of areas, including migration. Yet, paradoxically, as migration has become a more politically freighted topic on both national and EU agendas, migration policymaking is being pushed further under wraps, often emerging only as polished soundbites in political leaders’ public addresses. The result is an uncertain and episodic platform for external expertise, evidence, and critical analysis to guide the debate. Unlike other policy domains, migration policymaking can have life or death consequences, and long-term irreversible effects that transform the social fabric of communities across the globe. With the upcoming European Commission’s State of the Union address potentially foreshadowing key shifts in migration policy, it is a crucial time to critically reflect on the role, responsibility, and accountability of external experts in these politically sensitive debates. Are think tanks influencers, informers, advocates, or part of the problem?


  • Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute, and author of What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact
  • Corinna Horst, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Brussels Office, German Marshall Fund of the United States, and President, Brussels Chapter of Women in International Security
  • Raoul Ueberecken, Director, Home Affairs, Directorate-General D Justice and Home Affairs, Council of the European Union General Secretariat


  • Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne columnist, The Economist


  • Opening remarks: Elizabeth Collett, Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
  • Closing remarks: Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Senior Fellow, MPI, and President, MPI Europe