Alumni Meeting of German Chancellor Fellows on the topic of migration

At an alumni meeting of former German Chancellor Fellows in Washington in October, some eighty participants discussed the topic of migration. The alumni from Brasil, China, Russia and the United States shared ideas on the way migration flows are handled in various countries.

The meeting carried forward the notions of a lifelong connection to the Humboldt Network and cross-national dialogue. A committee of US alumni had chosen the topic of migration and organised the event together with the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. During the discussion rounds on the causes of migrant crises, the impacts of migration and potential future migration flows, speakers from Brasil, China, Russia and the United States presented their thoughts on the issues which were enthusiastically debated in a plenary session.

Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, at the alumni meeting of German Chancellor Fellows in Washington.
Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, also welcomed the participants to the alumni meeting in Washington. (Photo: Daniel Swartz)

Migration has many causes

One focus area was the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015 and 2016: it was explained how right-wing populist movements in Germany and Europe appropriated the issue for their own ends and how the media reported on the various groups of refugees. Citing examples from Brazil, China and Russia, the former fellows discussed the economic, social and environmental causes of migration flows. At a formal evening reception, the German Ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, also picked up on the topic of migration in his welcome address, emphasising that the European and global refugee crisis called for concerted action.

The German Chancellor Fellowship for tomorrow’s leaders

Through the German Chancellor Fellowship Programme, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsors prospective leaders from the United States, China, India and Brazil. The programme offers aspiring decision-makers in the fields of politics, administration, business, society and culture the opportunity to spend a year in Germany enhancing their professional qualifications and completing a project of their own choosing together with German hosts. The Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, is the patron of this fellowship programme, which is financed by the Federal Foreign Office.

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