Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.
With unemployment rates remaining persistently high in the wake of the global economic crisis, ongoing turbulence in financial markets, and new austerity in public spending, anxious publics and governments trained their attention on immigration and immigrants during 2011.
Public backlash against the detention systems of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States mounted in 2011 with allegations of unacceptable living conditions, abuse, prolonged detention, and government waste.
The Arab Spring exposed critical weaknesses and exacerbated long-held disagreements within the European Union related to asylum, immigration, and external border control policy matters that spilled over into the operation of the Schengen area.
Immigration flows this year continued to respond sharply to the economic climate in major immigrant-receiving nations, as many struggled to gain a labor market foothold in the aftermath of the global economic meltdown.
Europe's Schengen agreement eliminated border controls between 25 countries for over 400 million people. Schengen cooperation has come under intense pressure of late, however, and EU Member States are currently considering whether the rules under which it operates ought to be adjusted. Elizabeth Collett provides background and explains what the current debate means for the future of Schengen.
The heated debate between supporters and detractors of multiculturalism has been made all the more salient by the recent attacks in Norway carried out by Anders Breivik in the name of cultural conservatism and the political rhetoric that characterizes popular right-wing parties in Europe's north. Irene Bloemraad of the University of California, Berkeley, sheds light on the various meanings of the term "multiculturalism" and provides insights on the effects of multicultural policies on immigrant integration.
The European Union is an area of free movement that covers more than 4 million square kilometers and encompasses 27 countries. Saara Koikkalainen of the University of Lapland and the University of California-Davis discusses the history and current trends of free mobility in Europe.
Women migrate to Europe for many reasons and through a variety of pathways. Utilizing research carried out for the FeMiPol project, Maria Kontos of the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University explores how various factors affect the social and labor market integration of migrant women in European countries.
Many governments use shortage lists to either facilitate or discourage economically-motivated immigration into particular occupations or fields, but the practice of doing so raises a variety of practical and philosophical questions. MPI's Madeleine Sumption discusses the challenges of maintaining shortage lists and developing immigration policies around them.
Arno Tanner of the Finnish Immigration Service and the Universities of Helsinki, and Tampere discusses the historical and current state of migration to and from Finland, and the country's immigration policy priorities going forward.
When there's a will, there's a way — migrants seeking illegal entry have proven the old proverb true countless times as they and their smugglers have adapted to enforcement strategies. The latest development in the cat-and-mouse game comes not from the United States, but from Europe.
There's no getting around the fact that integrating immigrants costs money. That explains why recession-battered European countries, as well as a number of U.S. states, made cuts to programs affecting immigrants in 2009 and again in 2010.
Although non-Irish nationals, particularly those from Eastern Europe, led the exodus, Irish nationals now make up a sizeable proportion of those leaving, and Greece appears poised to become a net exporter of people as well.
Europe's largest minority group has long faced discrimination, but France's deportation of Roma as part of its security policies has sparked criticism from the European Union and human rights groups. Kristi Severance explains how the situation has evolved in recent months, the relevant EU laws, and how Europe is likely to move forward.
Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland has experienced one of the largest emigration flows in its postwar history. But the country has also received thousands of immigrants and refugees, mainly from its eastern neighbors, and is just beginning to invest in immigrant integration. Krystyna Iglicka and Magdalena Ziolek-Skrzypczak look at all aspects of migration in Poland in this updated profile.
In its newest five-year "roadmap" for justice and home affairs policy, the European Union has made migration a priority area. But while the Stockholm program offers plenty of detail on issues like illegal migration and asylum, it offers few specifics as to the final goal. MPI's Elizabeth Collett analyzes the program's action points and looks at challenges facing its implementation.
Over the past year, long-standing discussions and negotiations have resulted in several new information-sharing initiatives that seek to boost security while facilitating travel for legitimate travelers.
Swiss voters strongly approved a popular initiative to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland. Julie Schindall reports on reaction to the vote and explains how the Swiss system makes such lawmaking possible.