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The story of Europe’s refugee crisis

12th May 2016 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 The story of Europe’s refugee crisis

Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of the second world war. The number of people seeking asylum in Europe doubled in 2015, reaching a record 1.26 million.

Patrick Kingsley, the Guardian’s migration correspondent, spent a year visiting 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making often perilous journeys across deserts, seas and mountains. His book, The New Odyssey, is an account of who those voyagers are, about why they keep coming, about the multi-million dollar smuggling industry that exploits them and about the politicians who need to do better.

Join him and a panel of Guardian writers and commentators to discuss the human stories behind the escalating crisis. As walls go up across Europe, leaving the Schengen agreement on the brink of collapse, can the EU come up with a coherent response to the biggest challenge the union has faced? Will the controversial new one-in-one out deal with Turkey stem the flow of migrants, or is it putting vulnerable asylum seekers at risk? With thousands stranded in dismal conditions in camps on the Greece-Macedonian border and in Calais, what are the obligations of the UK and the EU and how can our politicians come together to find a Europe-wide response to the crisis?

The panel will include Gulwali Passarlay, who arrived in Britain from Afghanistan as a refugee at the age of 13, Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP and chair of the foreign affairs select committee, and Gauri van Gulik, deputy Europe director at Amnesty International. Chaired by Guardian columnist Natalie Nougayrède.

Running time: 90 minutes, no interval.

Order your copy of The New Odyssey by Patrick Kingsley or The Lightless Sky by Gulwali Passarlay from the Guardian Bookshop today and save 20%. Copies of the book will also be available to purchase on the night.

Wheelchair users and visitors who require an assistant may bring a companion free of charge. To book a free companion ticket please email


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