E.g., 11/28/2014
E.g., 11/28/2014

Regularizations in the European Union: The Contentious Policy Tool

Policy Briefs
December 2011

Regularizations in the European Union: The Contentious Policy Tool

Though contentious, regularization (also referred to as legalization) remains a frequently utilized policy tool to address the European Union’s unauthorized immigrant population. Since 1996, more than 5 million people have been regularized through a variety of methods, which this Insight details.

Regularizations, which first emerged in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands in the 1970s, have been used as a corrective device in the absence of comprehensive migration policies, both to manage the informal economy and to achieve humanitarian goals.

As detailed in this Insight, the methods and aims of offering regularizations vary, from mechanisms built into policy frameworks to "one-off" programs.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. What Is Regularization? Terms and Approaches

III. Regularization Trends in the European Union

IV. Conclusion