An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mrs Kassandra Petersen, Vice-President of the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE).

Kassandra Petersen

Being the Head of Public Affairs of a European Confederation of Junior Enterprises and being out at major events in Brussels, has not been easy in the last months. Whenever the question regarding my nationality came up, I quickly mumbled: “I am German”. You can imagine where the small talks were usually going, especially the weeks after the incident in Cologne. But I am also a graduate with a Master’s in International Business Law (and Management): One of the very first things you learn in any European Law course is that the European Single Market guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people. These “four freedoms” – between the EU’s member states in the Schengen Agreement, is part of the acquis communautaire. With the main provision of the freedom of movement of persons in Art. 45 of the TFEU that prohibits restrictions on the basis of nationality, the free movement of persons is therefore a fundamental right promised to all EU citizens.

So what would the abolishment of Schengen mean? At this point we should rather see it as a rhetorical question: What is the advantage then to live in Europe?

It doesn’t only imply future timely and costly effects on getting visas, but more pressing: most of our Junior Entrepreneurs grew up living the advantage of the Schengen area, having never experienced a pre-Schengen Europe, facing a situation of which they cannot estimate yet the impact on their lives (and business activities). The insecurity of what it would mean for their future, makes them not only nervous, but worried.

Even if Forbes stated in “The World’s Best Entrepreneur Visas” (2015) that the Schengen area made it unintentionally more difficult for foreign entrepreneurs to qualify for and receive a visa to start and grow new businesses in Europe, one thing is clear to us: if border controls and closure remain for more than short periods, we risk reversing decades of European integration. Various studies over the years have proven that the Schengen Agreement led its members to attract tourists, form closer trading partnerships, and increased both imports and exports, being the backbone of economic growth. Schengen is among the most visible indices of the European unity and its loss would send a powerful (unwanted) signal to the rest of the world.

We must ask furthermore, wouldn’t the re-establishment of internal borders, also affect the other promised fundamental rights: namely the free movement of goods, services and capitals?

What would convince businesses to stay in Europe rather than flee to the US? – Europe is already almost invisible compared to the Silicon Valley and the United States in general, with the latter providing a more favourite entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Going one step further: Remember the demographic problem with a rapidly ageing society especially European countries are facing, putting the social scheme of most of the EU member states at risk?  Well here is one possible solution: As most of the migrants are in between the age range of 14 to 35 – they are the (soon to be) labour force, we desperately need to secure the existing social schemes for our future generations. Furthermore, we should let mirgrants take part in the “European dream”, helping them building up their own business: it is an efficient and faster way to integrate migrants and ensure their contribution to the local economy. On a separate note, those do not only contribute by paying taxes, but we give them the opportunity to learn the business rules of their host country, which they do faster than any other worker.

Moreover, what about catching the problem at its root?

Not all migrants are here to stay. By investing in the Middle East, we could avoid future unbearable refugee streams of people fleeing chaos at home by creating safe zones in Syria, Libya and other “failed” states.

In addition, we need to stop fostering the growth of the far-right political rise in Europe, caused by the fear of the unknown and insecure outcome of this crisis and of the incidents in Paris and Cologne, masqueraded as allegedly a problem of the refugee crisis.

Last but not least, Europe needs to strengthen its external borders rather than building up internal borders. JADE, as a pan-European (!) association and its Junior Enterprises stand for sharing knowledge and learning by doing through transnational cooperation and exchange, how can we keep fulfilling our task with the burden of internal borders?

About the author

Kassandra PetersenMs. Kassandra Petersen is Vice President and Head of Public Affairs of JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises, a pan-European organization fostering youth and especially student entrepreneurship. She is responsible for JADE’s external presence, promoting the Junior Enterprise-concept as a best practice to tackle skill mismatch and youth unemployment.

Before becoming JADE’s Vice President, she worked for a Junior Enterprise herself as a Quality Manager while graduating from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany with a Master’s in International Business Law and Management. She has extensive working experience in advisory, legal and public diplomacy. Furthermore, she was a mentee of various firms, had in-depth speech, negotiation and intercultural management training, and was an international observer for the OAS during presidential elections in Mexico while studying at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) as well as an intern for the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

The 28 EU leaders don’t touch the thorny issues

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

This start-up has developed a way for businesses to quickly compost food waste

EU seems to fail its moderate migration promises postponing them for end 2015

Globalization is changing. Here’s how your business can adapt

11 innovations protecting life below water – and above it

6 ways to future-proof universities

In 2019, ‘reasons for hope’ in a world still on ‘red alert’: UN chief Guterres

How to make your business thrive by doing good

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

Rule of law: MEPs travel to Malta to meet with government, NGOs and journalists

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

Latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) briefing from the World Health Organisation – key takeaways

Why good cybersecurity in business is everyone’s responsibility

Google’s hot summer never ends: EC to launch ANOTHER antitrust inquiry against the American giant

Supply chains have been upended. Here’s how to make them more resilient

One Day in Beijing

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

Few countries are pricing carbon high enough to meet climate targets

How to save the world’s forests with carbon credits

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

Reject passivity and embrace ‘responsibility for our future,’ Lithuania’s President tells UN Assembly

Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment

The European Parliament wants to stay in one place

A day in the life of a Venezuelan migrant in Boa Vista, Brazil

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

Preparing for developing countries the ‘Greek cure’

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

Coronavirus: Commission holds first meeting of EU COVID-19 national scientific advice platform

The European Parliament floating over the South China Sea

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

European Border and Coast Guard: Council adopts revised regulation

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

10 reasons why today’s cyber leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

Humanitarian aid: EU allocates €54.5 million to Africa’s Great Lakes region

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

Can cybersecurity offer value for money?

These are India’s cleanest cities

COVID-19 vaccine campaigns: how far are the anti-vaccine movements going online? How can pro-vaxxers be part of their change?

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

Health challenges need predictable healthcare investment policies. Japan’s example shows why

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

3 pressing urban problems Indian cities must solve in the post-COVID recovery

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

Cutting money transfer fees could unlock $15bn for developing countries. Here’s how

Cape Town almost ran out of water. Here’s how it averted the crisis

The world’s supercomputers joined forces against COVID-19 – why such collaborations are critical for tackling future emergencies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s