Round table discussion on 30 April Saturday at 14:00, Amsterdam, Does EU Really Welcome Refugees?

Refugee crisis and Europe’s trial with human rights

Netherlands Gezi Solidarity organizes a round table discussion on 30 April Saturday at 14:00 to the discuss the situation of the refugees in the Netherlands, the Dutch refugee policy and the recently signed agreement between EU and Turkey that enables sending refugees back to Turkey. In this meeting we will try to answer the following questions.

Thousands of refugees under severe conditions are waiting on the Macedonian border of Greece for the openning of the border. In many countries of Europe, Schengen agreement is being put on hold, doors are being closed, barbed wires and walls are being build around borders. This stands in stark contrast to the Universal Human Rights and Refugee Rights that the Europe once pioneered after the WW II. The questions of how the EU now hopes to solve this contradiction and what kind of its humanitarian policies she may still pursue under these circumstances remain unanswered.

There are over 2 million Syrians with temporary protection status in Turkey. However, according to offical records, the available camps can only cover 15% of this population. The remaining 85% try to survive in various cities of Turkey, under uncertainty of their status while facing economical, social and sexual abuse as well as the risk of deportation to Syria. Turkey has lost its status as a safe country even for its own citizens. Even though Turkey violates the most basic right to life and wages a war against the right of expression of Turkish citizens, the EU still sees Turkey as the key country to manage Europe’s “refugee crisis.”

What does the refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey mean? How does the EU still see Turkey as a safe country where the Syrian refugees can be sent back to? How does this deal hold in terms of human rights law? What are the political and human consequences of the application of such a deal? How should we read the increasing criticism on this deal that is rising at some circles of the European Parlement? What is and should be the stance of the European sivil society and public under these circumstances?

Can refugees find the protection they hope for upon their arrival in Europe after a long and risky journey? How does the asylum application process work in the Netherlands for them? What awaits them on the condition that their application is accepted and/or rejected?
Together with our guest speakers, we will try to answer all these questions.

Marietje Schaake (European Parlementer D66 MP)
Engin Arslan (Lawyer)
Jasper Kuipers (adjunct-directeur & woordvoerder VluchtelingenWerk Nederland, vice-chair European Council on Refugees & Exiles)
Abulhassan Al-Jaberi (Researcher)
Ahmed Pouri (PRIME Participating Refugees in Multicultural Europe)
Moderator: Hulya Elmas (Lawyer)

The discussion will be in Dutch, however we would like to translate it to English and currently in search of a translator. Please check here for updates.

UPDATE: We have arranged English translation possibility for the event so feel free to join!

If you would like to join, please e-mail:

So we can see whether we need extra space.


Saturday, April 30 at 2 PM – 4 PM
International Institute for Research and Education
Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands

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