155 Rue de la Loi 5th Floor
Phone: +32 (2) 235 2113 www.MPIEurope.org
Migration Policy Institute Europe
Migration Policy Institute Europe, established in Brussels in 2011, is a nonprofit, independent research institute that aims to provide a better understanding of migration in Europe and thus promote effective policymaking. Building upon the experience and resources of the Migration Policy Institute, which operates internationally, MPI Europe provides authoritative research and practical policy design to governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders who seek more effective management of immigration, immigrant integration, and asylum systems as well as successful outcomes for newcomers, families of immigrant background, and receiving communities throughout Europe. MPI Europe also provides a forum for the exchange of information on migration and immigrant integration practices within the European Union and Europe more generally.
LATEST MPI EUROPE RESEARCH
Reaping the Benefits? Social Security Coordination for Mobile EU Citizens By Meghan Benton
One of the pillars of the European project, free movement has engendered consternation as some policymakers and publics question the costs of benefits for newcomers — jeopardizing support both for free movement and for the welfare state. Public understanding of social security rules, especially on residence-based benefits, are neither well understood nor well liked. And EU Member State implementation has been patchy. Improving fairness, clarity, and public support is a tall order. Download Brief
Migration and Environmental Change: Assessing the Developing European Approach By Andrew Geddes and Will Somerville
Migration resulting from environmental change has been a topic of preoccupation since the 1990s, but in practice there has been very little policy development within the European Union on this topic. This brief finds that while such migration is likely to be largely concentrated in areas outside of Europe, there are far-reaching implications for policy. Download Brief
The Integration Needs of Mobile EU Citizens: Impediments and Opportunities By Elizabeth Collett
The right to free movement granted to all European Union citizens represents a unique experiment in the contemporary history of global migration systems. To date, however, the integration of mobile EU citizens as a specific target group has not been widely discussed, either at EU or national levels, and EU-level integration policies focus on the integration of legally residing third-country nationals. This report investigates the broad range of integration needs that exist in Europe and the role different actors can play in meeting them. Download Report| Press Release
How Free Is Free Movement? Dynamics and Drivers of Mobility within the European Union By Meghan Benton and Milica Petrovic
While free movement is at the heart of the European project, the merits and impacts of intra-EU mobility have come under significant scrutiny recently amid public anxiety about competition for jobs and exploitation of welfare systems. This report provides a detailed assessment of free movement, motivations for migration, and challenges countries may need to address as intra-EU mobility enters its next phase. Download Report | Press Release
Facing 2020: Developing a new European agenda for immigration and asylum policy By Elizabeth Collett
As the European Commission looks ahead to the next strategic programme for immigration in 2014, this policy brief sketches the challenges in developing a strategic, long-term agenda on migration at a time when Europe remains beset by fiscal uncertainty and a jobs crisis that is particularly acute for the young. Against such a backdrop, few governments are willing to have a serious conversation about anything but skilled immigration. This brief marks the launch of a new policy brief series from MPI Europe that will examine top European migration challenges and opportunities. Download Brief | Press Release
RELATED RESEARCH: IMMIGRATION AND NATIONAL IDENTITY
The Netherlands: From National Identity to Plural Identifications By Monique Kremer
National identity has become a highly politicized issue in the Netherlands in the past decade, with many public figures voicing different opinions on what it means to be “Dutch.” Both right-wing and mainstream parties have adopted political rhetoric that appeals to the public’s growing anxiety about immigrants and their effect on local communities, and many have proposed policies designed to mitigate these fears. This new dialogue has marked a turn away from multiculturalism and a turn toward “culturalized citizenship” — the idea that being Dutch means adhering to a certain set of cultural and social norms and practices. Download Report
Immigration and National Identity in Norway By Thomas Hylland Eriksen
The number of immigrants and their descendants in Norway almost tripled between 1995 and 2011, resulting in increased debates about integration, immigration policy, multiculturalism, and national identity in recent years. The atrocities of July 2011 revealed an active, militantly anti-immigrant (particularly anti-Muslim) fringe that sees government’s acceptance of cultural pluralism as treacherous. This report assesses the connection between the recent rise of resentment against immigration and broader trends in Norwegian nationalism, and proposes a few policy recommendations with the aim of minimizing this rift in Norwegian society. Download Report
Exceptional in Europe? Spain’s Experience with Immigration and Integration By Joaquín Arango
Spain’s immigrant population increased from less than 4 percent of the country’s overall population to almost 14 percent in the span of one short decade. Unlike other European countries, however, Spain has not experienced a significant backlash against immigration, even amid an economic crisis that has hit the country hard and led to high levels of unemployment. This country case study from MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration explains Spain’s enduring openness to immigration and immigrants. Download Report
French National Identity and Integration: Who Belongs to the National Community? By Patrick Simon
Since the mid-1980s, France has faced a contentious debate of crucial importance for immigrants and their descendents — defining what it means to be French. Though countries with rich histories of immigration have long accepted “dual belonging,” this concept has been criticized and perceived as at odds with a person’s commitment to French identity. A recent s
The Relationship Between Immigration and Nativism in Europe and North America
By Cas Mudde
Far-right parties across Europe are gaining momentum, as witnessed by their recent successes at the ballot box in Greece, France, and elsewhere. While immigration is thought to be a major factor fueling the parties’ rise, this report finds that although there is clearly a relationship, the connection is not as straightforward as is often assumed. The report examines the electoral performance of far-right parties in Europe and North America since 1980, finding that high levels of immigration do not automatically lead to more votes for radical-right parties. Download Report | Press Release
Building a British Model of Integration in an Era of Immigration: Policy Lessons for Government
By Shamit Saggar and Will Somerville
Despite experiencing large-scale immigration flows and settlement over the past half century, the United Kingdom has not developed a formal integration program. Few public policies have specifically sought to advance immigrant integration, and the political debates surrounding immigrant integration have often been fraught and destabilizing, reflecting deep-seated ambivalence in British society about immigrants and immigration. The authors offer a menu of policy options and actions the government should consider to achieve a well-thought-out approach.
Rethinking National Identity in the Age of Migration By Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Large-scale immigration has led to unprecedented levels of diversity and demographic change, transforming communities across the Atlantic in fundamental ways and challenging closely held notions of national identity, particularly amid heightened economic insecurity. The Transatlantic Council on Migration convened to consider these issues of national identity, social cohesion, and the backlash against multiculturalism; this Council Statement examines the roots of society’s anxiety over immigration and outlines ten steps for fostering greater cohesiveness.
Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future By Will Kymlicka
Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, a chorus of political leaders in Europe has declared multiculturalism policies a failure – in effect mischaracterizing the multiculturalism experiment, its future prospects, and its progress over the past three decades. This report challenges the recent rhetoric and addresses the advancement of policy areas for countries, examining factors that impede or facilitate successful the implementation of multiculturalism.
The Role of the State in Cultural Integration: Trends, Challenges, and Ways Ahead By Christian Joppke
For more than a decade, states have experimented with a range of civic integration policies that require immigrants to learn the official language of their host country and acknowledge its basic norms and values — or risk losing social benefits and sometimes even residence permits. The challenge for liberal states is to strike the right balance between policies that are aggressive enough to further social cohesion, yet restrained enough to respect the moral autonomy of immigrants. This is especially difficult when it comes to regulating sensitive identity issues, particularly with respect to religion.
The Centrality of Employment in Immigrant Integration in Europe By Randall Hansen
The two sides of the debate on immigration and integration in Europe share an underlying assumption that the problem is cultural, while disagreeing on whether it is the result of too much or too little respect for cultural differences. Both get the issue wrong, this report contends, calling attention to the inability of policies to ensure immigrants acquire and retain work. Employment, not culture, must be the basis for immigration policy in Europe, the author suggests.
Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy: Prospects for International Cooperation on Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
By Madeleine Sumption, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Sarah Flamm
Skilled migration is an important resource for governments seeking to build their country’s human-capital base and make the most of global trade and investment opportunities. In many cases, however, migrant professionals face barriers transferring their skills and experiences across borders — with professional regulation one such barrier. Mutual recognition agreements that set out clear rules for licensing practitioners who move between signatory countries represents one solution. But reaching agreement on mutual recognition is no easy feat. Overall, as this report explores, the challenge for policymakers is to determine how governments can get more out of MRAs than they have done to date. Download Report
Maximizing Human Capital in a Rapidly Evolving Economic Landscape By Demetrios G. Papademetriou
This Transatlantic Council on Migration statement, capping a series of reports focusing on workforce development systems, examines how governments in immigrant-receiving countries can design strategies that maximize their human-capital resources. The Council statement outlines the key tasks that policymakers face, including creating inclusive approaches to integration that address the specific needs of newcomers and help vulnerable populations without prioritizing — or being perceived to prioritize — immigrants at the expense of the domestic population. It also identifies guiding principles for reform, including creating incentives for employers and social partners to invest in worker training. Read the Council Statement
Immigrant Workers and the Workforce Development System in the United Kingdom By Anne Green
The global economic landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. This reality calls for a reassessment of enduring assumptions about immigration’s role in the 21st century labor market. Aging workforces and the imperatives of competitiveness and sustaining the welfare state have long undergirded selective immigration policies. But countries cannot reap the benefits of immigration unless they use immigrants’ skills more effectively and also understand the crucial relationship between domestic and immigrant sources of labor. This report, the first in a series examining workforce development systems in three countries, focuses on the increasingly employer-led and flexible UK system that operates alongside centralized immigration and employment policies. Download Report
Maximizing Potential: How Countries Can Address Skills Deficits within the Immigrant Workforce By Meghan Benton
More than ever, human capital is seen as the ultimate resource. As a result, policymakers face the challenge of ensuring that workers have the skills and abilities to find productive employment and contribute to growth, innovation, and competitiveness in constantly evolving labor markets. Migrants’ skills are often seen as an untapped resource that, with the right formula of policies, can bolster competitiveness, fuel productivity, and facilitate integration. All too often, immigrant workers across the skills spectrum experience various forms and degrees of transitional assistance needs — resulting from gaps in technical or professional competencies, limited host-country language proficiency, or poor literacy for those who failed to complete formal education. This report explores the challenges to realizing the promise of utilizing immigrants’ endowments more fully and proposes some recommendations for overcoming these challenges. Download Report | Press Release
Skills, Professional Regulation, and International Mobility in the Engineering Workforce By Matthew Dixon
Professionals, particularly in regulated occupations, often face significant obstacles gaining certification to work in other countries, finding it difficult to demonstrate the value of their academic and professional qualifications. This can result in both barriers to entering work and to international mobility. This report examines those barriers and reviews the skills and structure of the engineering workforce, the industry’s professional regulation, and international efforts to forge common standards. Download Report
Regularizations in the European Union: The Contentious Policy Tool By Kate Brick
Though contentious, regularization (typically referred to in the US context as legalization) remains a frequently utilized policy tool to address the European Union’s unauthorized immigrant population. Since 1996, over 5 million people have been regularized through a variety of methods, which this Insight details. This work informed the Transatlantic Council on Migration meeting, “Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders.” The resulting Council Statement, authored by MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou, offers a menu of policy options and actions governments can take to build a “whole-of-system” approach to controlling illegal immigration while also creating the political space necessary for reforms of their immigration systems. Download Report | Read Council Statement
Shared Challenges and Opportunities for EU and US Immigration Policymakers By Philippe Fargues, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Giambattista Salinari, and Madeleine Sumption
This final report summarizes and reflects upon the key findings of the Improving EU and US Immigration Systems: Learning from Experience comparative research project undertaken by the Migration Policy Institute and the European University Institute through a grant from the European Commission. The project focused on developments in Europe and the United States in eight key areas – employment, economic growth, human rights, security, immigrant integration, demographics, development, and cooperation with immigrant-sending countries. This final report highlights the lessons to be learned from both similar and divergent experiences on either side of the Atlantic, sketching opportunities for future reform, as well as ways in which the European Union and the United States could improve their cooperative relationship. Download Report | Project Website
Migration and Development Policy: What Have We Learned? By Kathleen Newland
Migration and development have become a pressing policy priority on the global agenda over the past decade, and a number of revisions to conventional thinking on the subject have gained traction and yielded innovative — albeit in many cases yet unproven — policies and programs. This brief identifies critical lessons from the past decade of policy experimentation and offers some recommendations for policy moving forward. Download Brief
Scientists, Managers, and Tourists: The Changing Shape of European Migration to the United States By Madeleine Sumption and Xiaochu Hu
Once the dominant immigrant stream into the United States, European migration to the country has fallen sharply since World War II, a result of economic, demographic, and policy trends across the Atlantic. Today’s migration from European Union Member States is characterized by highly skilled immigrants who are more educated, earn better wages, have greater English proficiency, and are more strongly represented as scientists, professionals, and businesspeople than other immigrant groups. European migration has maintained a relatively low profile in immigration policy debates, however the Europe-favoring Visa Waiver Program has figured prominently into the immigration policy arena because of its relation to enhanced border security. Download Report
The Role of Civil Society in EU Migration Policy: Perspectives on the European Union’s Engagement in its Neighborhood By Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
Civil society provides a crucial link between governments and the communities they represent — infusing policy processes with grassroots knowledge to which governments may not otherwise have access and lending legitimacy to government actions. But thus far, civil-society organizations have had a limited role in European policy debates. As the European Union seeks to reach out to developing regions in its “neighborhood” of nearby countries, it has emphasized the importance of involving civil society in both agenda-setting and implementation. Yet EU policymakers have not clearly articulated how this engagement might be structured. In effect, the question is not whether to engage, but how to do so. Download Report
Improving Immigrants’ Employment Prospects through Work-Focused Language Instruction By Margie McHugh and A. E. Challinor
Immigrants’ employment prospects depend on their underlying levels of education and technical skills as well as their ability to communicate as needed in the host-country language. Since basic language courses do not impart the host-country language skills necessary for success in the workplace, many governments on both sides of the Atlantic are eager to expand work-focused language training. Yet implementing effective employment-focused language systems is difficult, as policymakers must find ways to design cost-effective programs that are sufficiently tailored to the needs of a wide range of occupations and that take account of immigrants’ underlying literacy skills and their financial and family circumstances. This policy memo explores the different approaches to providing work-focused language training that have developed in Europe and the United States. Download Memo
Opportunities for Transatlantic Cooperation on International Migration By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
The transatlantic relationship is among the most significant partnerships between wealthy nations in immigration policy. While cooperation between the European Union and United States is, of course, far surpassed by the intra-EU or US-Canada relationships, the sheer size of the North Atlantic economic space and the number of workers and travelers who circulate within it make dialogue on migration both necessary and inevitable. This policy memo explores opportunities for cooperation regarding travel and border security, labor mobility, and other areas. Download Memo
Emerging Transatlantic Security Dilemmas in Border Management By Elizabeth Collett
The sheer volume of global travel, which has risen exponentially since the 1960s, puts border management systems under constant pressure. Beyond that growth, border management systems have had to contend with additional risks associated with these movements. Mass-casualty terrorist attacks, rising illegal immigration, and human trafficking have exposed weaknesses in states’ ability to manage their borders effectively. This policy memo examines the infrastructure and policy developments – and challenges – that have occurred in recent years on both sides of the Atlantic, discussing the differing nature and prioritization of those policy challenges. Download Memo
Eight Policies to Boost the Economic Contribution of Employment-Based Immigration By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Immigration can be a powerful tool for supporting a country’s economic growth and prosperity, but its success in accomplishing that objective depends on well-designed and carefully implemented immigration policies that deliberately and strategically facilitate immigration’s economic contribution. This policy memo, drawing on experiences from Asia, Europe, North America, and the Pacific region, presents eight strategies to create effective and efficient economic-stream immigration systems. Download Memo
Rethinking Points Systems and Employer-Selected Immigration By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Advanced industrialized economies typically have used one of two competing models for selecting economic-stream immigrants: Points-based or employer-led selection. Increasingly, however, they are creating hybrid selection systems, implement the best ideas from each model. The result: Selection systems that have much of the flexibility of points systems while also prioritizing employer demand. Download Report
Pay-to-Go Schemes and Other Noncoercive Return Programs: Is Scale Possible? By Richard Black, Michael Collyer, and Will Somerville
For decades, some immigrant-receiving countries have experimented with policies designed to encourage unauthorized immigrants to leave without the cost, legal barriers, and political obstacles that result from removals or forced returns. These initiatives – known as pay-to-go, noncoercive, voluntary, assisted voluntary, or nonforced returns — generally offer paid travel and/or a financial incentive in order to persuade target populations to cooperate with immigration authorities. The authors examine the programs’ long history of failure on the ground, but conclude that such initiatives could be an important part of the policy toolkit to reduce illegal immigration with proper experimentation and evaluation. Download Report
A New Architecture for Border Management By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Elizabeth Collett
This report commissioned to inform the work of MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration for its meeting on “Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders” examines the emergence of a new border architecture resulting from the explosion in global travel and the dawning of the age of risk. This new border architecture must respond effectively to the seemingly competing demands of facilitating mobility while better managing the risks associated with cross-border travel (e.g. terrorism, the entry of unwanted migrants, and organized crime). The report examines the information-sharing agreements, technology innovations, and multilateral partnerships that have emerged as key components of the new architecture for border management, and discusses challenges and considerations for the future. Download Report
Transatlantic Cooperation on Travelers’ Data Processing: From Sorting Countries to Sorting Individuals This report, the second in a joint project of MPI and the European University Institute examining US and European immigration systems, details the post-9/11 programs and agreements implemented by US and European governments to identify terrorists and serious transnational criminals through the collection and processing of increasing quantities of traveler data. The report analyzes how governments, which once focused their screening primarily on a traveler’s nationality (“sorting countries”), increasingly are examining personal characteristics (“sorting individuals”). Download Report
Immigrant Integration in a Time of Austerity By Elizabeth Collett
With austerity at the forefront of European government policy debates and rising debt levels sure to catalyze additional difficult public spending decisions, immigrant integration programs have been an early place for budget cuts in some countries. This report offers fresh analysis of how immigrant integration programs are faring in a number of EU countries. While the economic and political climate offer some explanation for governments’ response, the report details how those factors alone are insufficient to explain countries’ differing approaches to immigrant integration programs. Download Report | Press Release
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Effective Labour Migration Management: Creating Checks and Balances while Searching for Talent This event brought together experts, policymakers, and social partners involved in the management of labor migration to discuss the various options available to policymakers when trying to design an 'optimally balanced' labor migration policy. It was also the launch event for the Martin Ruhs book , The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labour Migration.
November 20, 2013, Brussels
The Educational and Labor Market Trajectories of Young Adult Children of Immigrants in Europe and the United States
A book discussion with Maurice Crul, Professor of Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Jozef De Witte, Director, Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism; Michael Fix, Senior Vice President and Co-Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI; and Elizabeth Collett, Director, MPI Europe.
April 9, 2013, Brussels
MPI Europe - IOM Brussels Event - Engaging Diasporas in Europe for Development The Brussels MPI Europe-IOM event for the launch of an MPI/IOM handbook on Engaging Diasporas in Development and panel discussion with Eva Åkerman-Börje, Swedish Ambassador for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD); Luigi Soreca, Head of International Affairs, Directorate-General for Home Affairs, European Commission; Frank Laczko, Head of Research and Publications, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Santo Deng, President, Board of the Diaspora Forum for Development; Dovelyn Agunias, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)-IOM policy and research analyst; and Kathleen Newland, Co-Founder and Director, Migrants, Migration, and Development Program Director, MPI.
June 20, 2012 Brussels, Belgium Watch Video | Listen to Audio
OTHER EUROPEAN MIGRATION INITIATIVES & PROJECTS
The Transatlantic Council on Migration is a unique deliberative body that examines vital policy issues and informs migration policymaking processes across the Atlantic community.
US-EU Immigration Systems project identified ways in which European and US immigration systems can be substantially improved to address major challenges policymakers confront on both sides of the Atlantic, in the context of the current economic turmoil and in the longer term.
Rethinking European Identity in the Age of Immigration
This MPI Europe panel discussion explores the factors driving societal discontent in Europe and the role played by immigration. Panelists include Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, and former UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke. Listen to/download the event audio podcast here.
Country profiles and other resources from MPI’s online journal, the Migration Information Source. The Source has profiles of 25 countries in Europe.
FEATURED PROFILE United Kingdom: A Reluctant Country of Immigration
Recent immigration to the United Kingdom is larger and more diverse than at any point in its history. This updated profile examines how the global recession is affecting migration flows, the latest immigration and asylum data, and overviews of new immigration and integration policies.
United Kingdom Resource Page
The MPI Bookstore presents a selection of in-depth, nonpartisan publications. A selection of recent European titles include:
Improving the Governance of International Migration: Currently, there is no formal, coherent, multilateral institutional framework governing the global flow of migrants. While most actors agree that greater international cooperation on migration is needed, there has been no persuasive analysis of what form this would take or of what greater global cooperation would aim to achieve. The purpose of this book, the Transatlantic Council on Migration's fifth volume, is to fill this analytical gap.
Migration and the Great Recession: The Transatlantic Experience: This edited volume addresses the impact of the economic crisis in seven major immigrant-receiving countries: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Great Recession marked a sudden and dramatic interruption in international migration trends, bringing the growth of foreign-born populations to a virtual standstill in Europe and North America and pushing many policymakers to reevaluate their approach towards immigration. The crisis has had a disproportionate impact on immigrant workers, especially young immigrants and members of disadvantaged minority groups — impacts which, in some countries, show little sign of receding. Meanwhile, stringent deficit-reduction plans, especially in some of the worst affected European Member States, have created an inhospitable environment for addressing these impacts through investments in immigrant integration.
Prioritizing Integration: This fourth book of the Transatlantic Council on Migration takes stock of the impact of the global economic crisis on immigrant integration in Europe and the United States. It assesses where immigrants have lost ground, using evidence such as employment rates, levels of funding for educational programs, trends toward protectionism, and public opinion, focusing on the case studies of five countries in particular: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of
migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels.