Senior Policy Analyst
Susan Fratzke is a Senior Policy Analyst with MPI’s International Program, where she conducts comparative research on asylum policy, forced migration, and refugee resettlement and complementary pathways.
Ms. Fratzke has authored or contributed to numerous reports assessing the role of refugee pathways and sponsorship in addressing humanitarian needs and displacement. She served as a lead researcher on a 2018 report for the European Commission that proposed an EU approach to the role and development of refugee private sponsorship in Europe. Her work conceptualizing the role of sponsorship in developing humanitarian pathways has been widely cited internationally in research and policy documents.
She also leads work on national asylum systems and the role of international and regional cooperation in maintaining access to protection in response to cross-border humanitarian displacement. She manages an MPI-Robert Bosch Stiftung initiative that is examining ways to strengthen national asylum systems worldwide. She has also been a core contributor to MPI’s longstanding work on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
Ms. Fratzke has worked for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration in Brussels and Washington, DC, and as a coordinator for an adult literacy program serving resettled refugees in Minnesota. She holds an MA in German and European studies, with a concentration in European migration policy, from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She also earned a certificate in refugees and humanitarian emergencies from the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown.
While safe third-country agreements appear to hold the potential of deterring new asylum claims, experience suggests this may be a false promise. As the Trump administration explores the possibility of such agreements with Mexico and Guatemala, this commentary examines the evidence of safe third-country arrangements in Europe, finding them difficult to enforce and playing little role in deterring new claims.
This MPI Europe webinar examines innovative ways to better design and implement predeparture orientation programs for resetttling refugees. The discussion features observations from a refugee who went through an orientation program before being resettled in the Netherlands, and a resettlement agency official in Norway.
Refugees encounter a range of challenges after resettlement—from adjusting to a new culture and language, to finding a job. Many resettlement countries invest in predeparture orientation to help refugees develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to face these challenges. This report explores the many forms these programs take, highlighting important design questions and key elements that effective programs share.
Development actors are well positioned to help close the gap in refugee protection system capacity that exists between high-income countries and those that have fewer resources. With 85 percent of the world's refugees in low- or middle-income countries that lack the means to support them fully, strengthening protection systems would benefit from new thinking and tapping the expertise of well-placed actors to assure a more comprehensive approach.
Amid disagreement over the appropriate way to manage European borders and grant access to asylum, there is one policy priority that has support across (most) Member States and the institutions of the European Union: the need to provide safe, legal channels for migration, particularly for refugees. Private sponsorship of refugees may have a valuable role to play in meeting this need, as this MPI Europe commentary explains.
European leaders have settled on a recurring proposition to address the ongoing political crisis on migration: the creation of asylum processing centers beyond EU borders. The plans championed by various EU leaders are diverse, the details fuzzy. What they have in common is a near-universal focus on shifting responsibility for dealing with refugees and migrants upstream, as this commentary examines.
Development assistance may be a blunt tool for reshaping migration patterns—and indeed one that could increase flows over the short term. Shifting the focus away from increasing individuals’ skills and assets toward investments in the broader economic or governance structures that are a prerequisite for growth and stability may offer more alternatives to emigration in the long run.
The global refugee resettlement landscape changed dramatically in 2017, as the United States began to step back from its role as global leader on resettlement. The Trump administration reduced the 2018 refugee admissions ceiling to the lowest level since the program began in 1980. While other countries increased their commitments or launched new programs, this was not enough to make up for the gap left by the United States.