E.g., 12/21/2014
E.g., 12/21/2014

Future EU Policy Development on Immigration and Asylum: Understanding the Challenge

Policy Briefs
June 2014

Future EU Policy Development on Immigration and Asylum: Understanding the Challenge

In a context of economic crisis and slow recovery, broad euroscepticism, and a tense public debate about the scale of immigration flows to Europe, the European Union has embarked on a process of articulating the next stage of EU immigration and asylum policy development. EU policymakers are doing this at a time when very real crises, requiring urgent attention, are taking place at the southern borders of Europe. The Syrian conflict has left millions displaced, and the number of those embarking on dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean has held distressingly firm.

In June 2014, the European Council must articulate a set of long-term objectives and priorities for action, while contending with these short-term pressures. The Council must do this at a time when the recent experience of policy promulgation has been difficult, and the inspiration and enthusiasm for new policy is largely absent. This MPI Europe policy brief, the first of three on EU immigration and asylum policy, sets out the reasons for increasingly sclerotic policy development, and why policy will be harder to make in the future. It highlights that these challenges will not subside in the future, but EU institutions and Member State governments will have to find different ways of working together to identify common solutions based on the real future needs of Member States, and by focusing on adding value to existing immigration systems.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Lessons Learned So Far

A. From Tampere to Stockholm

B. Disappointing Stockholm

III. Looming Challenges

IV. Looking Forward

V. A Framework for New Policy Development