Legal Channels for Refugee Protection in Europe: A Pivotal Moment for Strategic Thinking
Susan Fratzke, Policy Analyst and Programme Coordinator, International Programme, Migration Policy Institute
Janne Grote, Policy Analyst at the National Contact Point of the European Migration Network, German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)
Brian Merriman, Principal Officer, INIS/Asylum Policy, Department of Justice and Equality, Ireland
Brian Salant, Research Assistant, International Programme, Migration Policy Institute
Hanne Beirens, Associate Director, MPI Europe
The European Union has long acknowledged the crucial role for new and expanded legal pathways in creating a well-managed migration system. Yet to date, there has been a lack of common understanding among Member States on how legal pathways can and should be used, how different channels fit together to achieve migration objectives, or what is meant by commonly used concepts, such as humanitarian visas. The refugee and migration crisis thrust the issue of legal pathways to the top of EU and national government agendas, bringing with it new energy for innovation and action; but progress has so far suffered from a lack of strategic thinking on how legal channels can work together and how to overcome the design and implementation challenges Member States have faced.
Following the mid-term review of the European Agenda on Migration, this webinar offers insights from EU Member States on how existing, new, and untapped legal pathways—such as resettlement, community-based sponsorship, and family reunification—can interact with other humanitarian policies and fit into a larger protection strategy. The discussion also highlights the findings of two MPI Europe publications, Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe and Engaging Communities in Refugee Protection: The Potential of Private Sponsorship in Europe.