Experts & Staff
Director, MPI Europe
Hanne Beirens is Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe. She specializes in European Union policies related to asylum and migration, human trafficking, labor migration, and youth.
Prior to joining MPI as Associate Director in 2015, Dr. Beirens worked as a Lead Managing Consultant for ICF Consulting, where she focused on impact assessments, feasibility studies, and evaluations for the European Commission, with a particular focus on EU asylum and migration policy, as well as developing products within the European Migration Network (EMN), including pan-European studies and the EMN annual report. Topics covered include reception facilities for asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and non-EU harmonized protection statuses.
Earlier, Dr. Beirens worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Applied Social Studies of the University of Birmingham, evaluating services, organizations, and community-based initiatives pursuing the integration of asylum seekers, refugees, and third-country nationals. She also has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and as an independent consultant for the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO).
She holds a master's degree in race and ethnic relations (with distinction) and a PhD in sociology and ethnic relations on the participation of minors in armed conflict, both from the University of Warwick (UK).
With Portugal assuming the EU Presidency in January 2021 and prioritizing progress on the EU Migration and Asylum Pact, this webinar features senior officials from the European Union, Germany (the last holder of the presidency), and Portugal to take stock of where conversations on the pact stand and Portugal’s plans for taking forward the negotiations.
The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum represents a last-gasp effort by European leaders to devise a plan that keeps all 27 countries at the table, at a time when growing numbers are refusing to accept asylum seekers under the existing redistribution mechanism. Can the pact’s concept of solidarity à la carte work? The pact may well be the last step before an abyss in which each country determines the fate of migrants and refugees, practically guaranteeing future conflict.
The fires that devastated the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have further raised the stakes for the soon-to-be unveiled EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. If Moria persists as a concept—with asylum seekers prevented from onward movement elsewhere in Europe—this becomes an integral pillar of future EU asylum practice, whatever is written on paper, as this commentary explores.
Most EU Member States closed their borders to travel from neighboring countries in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. While internal borders in the Schengen zone largely reopened in time for summer holidays, there is a lingering sense they could snap shut anew. Though the reflexive introduction of border controls speaks to an inherent lack of trust between states, the 2015-16 migration crisis offers lessons on how to begin to rebuild trust, as this commentary explores.
This MPI Europe discussion explored different migration policy options related to climate adaptation and the evolving landscape of climate finance tools. Speakers also examined what funding gaps and opportunities exist for collaboration with partner countries and what funding instruments might address the most pressing needs. The conversation also explored the implications of COVID-19 for migration and climate adaptation funding approaches.
Part of MPI Europe's webinar series exploring what the migrant-return and reintegration process might look like in the post-COVID period, this first webinar in the series showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and the International Organization for Migration discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return – a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, less expensive
A growing number of countries, particularly in Europe, have piloted or implemented refugee sponsorship programs in recent years. Yet there is limited evidence of how well these programs, which tap community members and civil society to take key roles in refugee resettlement, are working and how they can be improved. This issue brief explores how building monitoring and evaluation activities into sponsorship programs can help answer these and other critical questions.
There has been a flurry of activity around refugee resettlement in recent years, with countries in Europe and elsewhere piloting or scaling up operations. To support the sustainability of these programs, particularly in light of the hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, strong evidence of what works and under what conditions is essential. This report explores how countries can launch or expand their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities, and the value this can bring.