17 Nov 2010, 12.15 - 13.45, Anna Nussbaum, WTI, Bern

Navigation between Scylla and Charybdis: migration policy, state sovereignty and world migration order

Brown Bag seminar by Gottfried Zürcher, Director of the Directorate for Migration Policy - Switzerland, Federal Office for Migration


Managing migration is one of the main challenges on the national, regional and global level. The number of international migrants is increasing but is relatively stable at three per cent of the world's population living outside the country of birth or citizenship for more than one year. The cross border movement of people, unlike international trade, is not regulated by an international regime but rather is an expression of national sovereignty. Globalisation however leads increasingly to linkages to other policy areas, such as trade, development and security and has an impact on the sovereign right to determine who enters and stays on the territory.


Biography of the Speaker

Education: University of Berne Graduated in 1977 with a degree in Law and Economics. Legal traineeship at courts and the Recording Office in the Canton of Solothurn; examination and qualification as attorney-at-law and notary public.

Professional Experience: Since 1979 different posts held within the Federal Administration in the field of asylum, refugee and migration policy. Since 1991 Deputy Director of the Federal Office for Refugees (now:  Federal Office for  Migration, head of the strategy, policy and legal unit, responsible for the law-making on behalf of the Federal Council and the Federal Parliament, representation of the Office at court, Swiss representative in various ad hoc and permanent working groups and committees (Council of Europe, UN organizations), head of Swiss delegation in bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations on migration issues (co-operation, migration and readmission agreements).

April 2002 – December 2004: Deputy Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) with headquarters in Vienna

Present: Vice Director of the Federal Office for Migration, Director of the Directorate for Migration Policy – Switzerland