Janet Napolitano on the Refugee Crisis

On February 25, 2016, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, gave a talk about the current refugee crisis at Atlantik-Bruecke in Berlin. Napolitano, who headed the Department of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, can also look back on a wide experience in dealing with the issues of border security, migration and refugees as former Governor of Arizona.

At the event in Berlin, she emphasized the importance of careful, far-sighted planning and international cooperation in managing migration and refugee flows. Closing the borders and building higher walls would only play into the hands of human traffickers. Napolitano underlined that Germany is currently taking on a courageous leadership role in handling the crisis and that it has chosen the right path by relying on a longer range, multinational approach. She also sees the refugee crisis as a test for the institutions of the European Union. It remains to be seen whether the structures of the EU will be sufficient to arrive at a unified response.

Prof. Dr. Friedbert Pflüger, Director of the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security at King’s College London, moderated the discussion.

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