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European borders and immigration to be debated at high-profile conference in East London

94Ansar Ahmed Ullah ::

Academics, activists, politicians, and representatives from the European Commission will gather in east London next month to discuss the hotly debated issue of European borders.
The conference could not be more topical, with hundreds of thousands of refugees and economic migrants arriving in Europe from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, tensions still running high between Ukraine and Russia and the United Kingdom committed to an in-out referendum over its membership of the European Union.
‘This conference is very timely, and should provide a lively and inclusive forum for people to debate and think through these issues,’ said University of East London Professor Nira Yuval-Davis, one of the principal organisers of the event.
‘East London and our University has a long history of welcoming different groups of people, so we’re trying to continue in that tradition.’
Among those contributing to the event will be Labour MP and Chair of the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz, who famously greeted newly arrived Romanian immigrants at Luton Airport on New Year’s Day 2014. Mr Vaz is himself an immigrant, having arrived in the UK aged nine. He has gone on record as saying, ‘Immigrants are first-class providers to this country.’
Also attending is Migrants’ Rights Network director, Don Flynn, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants programme officer, Maria Giovanna Manieri, and Principal Scientific and Policy Officer at the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise, Paolo Salieri.
Borderscapes: Borders and Bordering in Contemporary Europe will bring together experts to debate current issues alongside six  key subject areas of Immigration legislation, the entry of border regimes into everyday life, the role of the Mediterranean in European borderscapes, Cross-border peace building, Border crossing and its cultural effects and Europeanisation versus Euroscepticism.
The conference takes place from 10-12 November at the University of East London’s Docklands Campus.