Drawn by generous asylum policies and the region's welcoming reputation, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Scandinavia in 2015. As the unprecedented flow overwhelmed the asylum systems of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, lawmakers began to recalibrate their policies, tightening asylum benefits in a number of significant ways, as this article explores.
Lesvos became a major focal point in Europe's migration crisis as more than half a million migrants and asylum seekers transited the Greek island in 2015. Describing the work of ad hoc volunteer-led efforts and professional aid organizations, this article delves into the evolution of the aid response across the island and the challenges of integrating humanitarian operations.
Europe's defining challenge in 2015 was the exponential growth in the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving on its shores. The European Union and its Member States were slow to respond, and reactive when they did. As trust among Member States and between national and EU-level authorities began to erode, the European Union has found its ability to implement a comprehensive response severely handicapped.
Global displacement reached a new high with nearly 60 million people worldwide displaced internally or externally in the greatest number since record-keeping began. The trend continued in 2015 as conflicts in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen drove millions of people to leave their homes and seek refuge in other communities or across borders.
Faced with a flexible, diverse, and seemingly ubiquitous smuggling industry, governments have struggled to respond. Smuggling and trafficking networks, while hardly new phenomena, were put under a harsh spotlight in 2015 for their role as intermediaries in shaping the scale and flow of migrants and asylum seekers around the world.
While emigration increased after Portugal plunged into an economically turbulent period amid the global financial crisis, the country's image as the poster child for post-crisis outmigration may be misplaced. This report explores the scale, drivers, and impact of emigration from Portugal since the turn of the millennium, and examines how the country can stem emigration and promote the return of emigrants.
Analysts discuss how private sponsorship programs for refugees, used by Canada and a handful of other countries, could alleviate some of the pressure from the European refugee crisis by allowing individuals, groups, businesses, and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement.
With arrivals of asylum seekers overwhelming the resources and institutional capacity of some European Union Member States, this report examines the reception capacity challenges faced by national reception systems. Authored by the Operational Director of Belgium's reception agency, the report offers recommendations to improve coordination across Member States in ways that could effectively better utilize existing capacity.
Large outflows of educated young people escaping high levels of unemployment, in tandem with inflows of unauthorized migrants, pose a fresh set of challenges for Greek policymakers. This Transatlantic Council on Migration report examines Greek emigration, and its economic implications, before exploring policy directions to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this mobility.
Refugee resettlement, typically thought of as a government-led activity, can also be sponsored by private individuals, groups, corporations, and other entities. This report examines the small number of private sponsorship programs that exist in Canada, Argentina, Australia, and elsewhere. It suggests that similar arrangements could enhance refugee resettlement opportunities in the European Union.
A discussion on the U.S. EB-5 program, the motivations underpinning recent changes to other investor visa programs in North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and the implications for the future direction of these programs.
A discussion on how governments and societies can retain their most valuable workers, turn emigration challenges into opportunities, and capture more of the potential benefits of emigration.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, Ireland has again experienced emigration flows on a much greater scale than most of its Western European counterparts. Unlike earlier outflows, however, a significant share of those leaving today are immigrants returning home or migrating elsewhere. The report also examines Ireland's diaspora engagement and return policies.