Europe faces an interesting set of immigration challenges and opportunities: Demographic pressures as many European societies age, a lively and at times tense policy and political debate over questions of identity and immigrant integration, and a unique policy environment that has knit 28 European countries together with regards to the management of outer borders, asylum, and other immigration-related topics. MPI has long conducted research and analysis of European policy on topics ranging from labor mobility and border security to immigrant integration, citizenship, and foreign qualifications recognition, which can be found below.
Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.
Public backlash against the detention systems of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States mounted in 2011 with allegations of unacceptable living conditions, abuse, prolonged detention, and government waste.
Immigration flows this year continued to respond sharply to the economic climate in major immigrant-receiving nations, as many struggled to gain a labor market foothold in the aftermath of the global economic meltdown.
With unemployment rates remaining persistently high in the wake of the global economic crisis, ongoing turbulence in financial markets, and new austerity in public spending, anxious publics and governments trained their attention on immigration and immigrants during 2011.
The Arab Spring exposed critical weaknesses and exacerbated long-held disagreements within the European Union related to asylum, immigration, and external border control policy matters that spilled over into the operation of the Schengen area.
A quiet policy transformation is taking place in Europe, as policymakers increasingly turn to a strategy of "mainstreaming" immigrant integration—seeking to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population. This report assesses mainstreaming efforts across government in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
This report assesses how new immigrants to Spain fare in the country's labor market, evaluating the conditions under which they are able to find employment, and their progress out of unskilled work into middle-skilled jobs. The report is part of a series of six case studies on labor market outcomes among immigrants to European Union countries.
This report assesses the labor market outcomes of new immigrants in the Czech Republic, focusing on trends according to year of arrival, country of origin, gender, level of education, and sector of employment. The analysis suggests that the challenge of reducing obstacles to immigrant workers’ progression into more skilled employment are worth significant policy attention.
This discussion explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing economic growth.
This report examines human trafficking and smuggling trends and routes to Europe, and profiles the facilitators and clients/victims of such activities. It also offers a menu of policy options that are likely to reduce trafficking and smuggling flows, noting that such policies must be multifaceted to address a variety of contributing factors simultaneously.
This report, based on an undercover exposé of Punjabi visa agencies by The Sunday Times, sketches one immigration loophole into Europe: so-called “donkey flights” by which Indian migrants obtain a tourist visa for a Schengen-zone country in order to enter the United Kingdom through the back door. Thousands of visa agencies operate in the Punjab region alone, with varying degrees of legality, some having links to criminal smuggling networks across Europe.
Citizenship is a deeply sensitive issue for the European Union, and Member States hold dear their sovereign right to determine who should become a national. There has been strong resistance by Member States towards any discussion of citizenship acquisition at the EU level, despite some outré national policy changes in recent years. A decision by Malta’s government to sell 1,800 passports for 1.15 million euros apiece has caused unusual levels of furor, and this scheme may become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
This report outlines the security-related challenges that borders are intended to address—including terrorism, human smuggling and trafficking, illegal migration, and drug trafficking—and, in turn, the perverse consequences that tighter border enforcement can generate. As states implement extensive border controls and deterrence measures to prevent illegal migration, they indirectly push unauthorized migrants into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.