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.
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.
Europe's Schengen agreement eliminated border controls between 25 countries for over 400 million people. Schengen cooperation has come under intense pressure of late, however, and EU Member States are currently considering whether the rules under which it operates ought to be adjusted. Elizabeth Collett provides background and explains what the current debate means for the future of Schengen.
The European Union is an area of free movement that covers more than 4 million square kilometers and encompasses 27 countries. Saara Koikkalainen of the University of Lapland and the University of California-Davis discusses the history and current trends of free mobility in Europe.
With the European Council meeting in late June 2014 to adopt strategic guidelines on asylum and migration policy, amid strains resulting from Syrian refugee migration and other flows, this MPI Europe policy brief identifies challenges and proposes a forward course. The brief recommends increased engagement by Member States in practical cooperation as a way to strengthen implementation and consolidation of existing EU laws and achieve more consistent asylum decision-making.
This MPI Europe policy brief, published with the European Council poised to articulate a new set of long-term objectives and priorities for action on migration and asylum policy, details the immigration and other challenges that policymakers confront and sets out the reasons for increasingly sclerotic policy development.
This report examines the complexity of immigrant integration governance in EU Member States, and offers detailed mapping of the origin-country institutions that are increasingly involved in integration-related activities. It explores how EU institutions can maximize opportunities for cooperation between origin and destination countries on integration governance.
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.
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.
This report analyzes mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) between countries, which allow professionals to transfer their skills and experiences across borders more effectively. The report, part of a series on the recognition of foreign credentials, evaluates existing MRAs and discusses the prospects for cooperation between the United States and the European Union.