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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

In the first phase of our migration in Europe debate, Theo Veenkamp and his Demos colleagues launched the People Flow prototype offering a new way of thinking about how Europe could use people’s movement for the benefit both of migrants and of the societies that receive them. This provoked a wide range of responses from many of the key contestants in the migration debate today: restrictionists, such as Anthony Browne and Peter Brimelow; open border advocates like Nigel Harris and Franck Duvell, multiculturalists such as Cem Ozdemir or Ali Rattansi; those looking for a national solution, like Martin Kovats, a European solution, like Ash Amin, or a global solution, like Arthur Helton; those like Tony Curzon Price who say that asylum is in crisis and those, like Gil Loescher, who say it is not. Veenkamp wraps up part 1 with an invitation to take the arguments even further.

Phase two – the Challenge to People Flow – tackles one of the thorniest obstacles for any Europe-wide advance – the debates within the nation states, where politicians often face head on a growing desire for national boundary control. We start with Britain. Our roundtable – an edited extract from an event sponsored by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) at this year’s Labour Party conference – features Home Secretary David Blunkett – the architect of the UK’s controversial migration polices, in dialogue with economist Bob Rowthorn and the chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips. Ben Page from Mori provides a snapshot of British public opinion on this hot button political issue.

Dirk Jacobs, analysing the rise of the Arab European League, detects a similar policy quagmire in the Belgian response, while Liza Schuster, in an overview of European approaches to asylum, urges the People Flow authors to hold European governments to proper account.

Also: Ulf Hedetoft’s superb overview of the Danish debate.

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