Stefan Gehrold: “Trapped in Its Incompetence(s): The European Union and the Migration Challenge”

Stefan Gehrold: “Trapped in Its Incompetence(s): The European Union and the Migration Challenge”

It’s the last week of classes before final exams, but the semester is still going strong. Stefan Gehrold, Head of the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, spoke to a classroom filled with students yesterday on the European Union and Migration. His lecture, “Trapped in Its Incompetence(s): The European Union and the Migration Challenge,” was sponsored by the Henkels Lecture Fund.

In his presentation, Gehrold began by laying out some of the various migration theories and legal principles (such as the Geneva Convention and the Schengen Area Agreement) that form the background to Europe’s current migration crisis. He went on to explore the developments in the regions of origin, specifically in Syria and Africa, that may account for the large-scale migration movements. In the third part of his presentation, Gehrold offered a closer look at the statistics surrounding the migration flows into Europe, such as which routes are being taken, how asylum-seekers are being processed, where the migrants concentrate, and the demographics of the migrants themselves. With this data in hand, Gehrold painted a picture of some of the consequence, both immediate and long-term, that Europe faces. He concluded by explaining how the migration crisis is merely a symbol of the imbalance in the European Union’s integration mechanism. Saying that the EU has been a disappointment in handling the migration crisis, Gehrold closed, is like sending a tennis player onto the court without a racket, and then blaming him when he loses.

Since 2011, Stefan Gehrold, Ph.D., has been the head of the European office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a German political foundation headquartered in St. Augustin & Berlin, Germany. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation has offices throughout the world promoting democracy, civic education and economic development. Dr. Gehrold has also headed Adenauer Foundation offices in Prague, Bratislava, Zagreb, and Dakar. In addition to his service to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, he has worked in international consulting, business administration and as a lawyer and journalist. He received his B.A. from Freiburg University, his M.A. in Hannover and his Ph.D. from Münster University.