Europe faced its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, with more than 1 million people applying for asylum in 2015 and again in 2016. As the systems that were designed to manage these flows are under intense pressure—not least the Common European Asylum System (CEAS)—the international community needs new ideas to manage mixed flows and create sustainable long-term solutions for refugees. To address these knowledge gaps, MPI Europe is investing in a series of research and data reports, commentaries, data tools, and multimedia primers to shed light on ongoing policy debates and offer innovative solutions, all of which are collected on this page.
Moving Europe Beyond Crisis
Moving Europe Beyond Crisis
Analysts discuss how private sponsorship programs for refugees, used by Canada and a handful of other countries, could alleviate some of the pressure from the European refugee crisis by allowing individuals, groups, businesses, and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement.
Demetrios Papademetriou, President Emeritus of MPI and President of MPI Europe, explains the origins of the refugee crisis in Europe and discusses actions that Europe and other regions can take in the near and long term to address the flows.
With pressure mounting on EU Member States to create and scale up refugee resettlement programs, many have turned to peers in other countries for information, advice, and operational support. This report maps the many forms resettlement-focused peer-support initiatives take and discusses common stumbling blocks and strategies for policymakers and program designers looking to make the most of these critical exchanges.
The EU-Turkey deal has been credited with helping to end the migration crisis of 2015-16, and after two years in force it has fostered a myth that such deals are cure-alls. They are not, as this MPI Europe commentary explores. Recent EU responses place great emphasis on transit routes to Europe. But what if the next major event is a different kind of shock altogether?
During the 2015–16 migration crisis, European asylum systems were stretched to a breaking point. Yet many of the structural issues that contributed to failures to register newcomers, insufficient reception capacity, and growing backlogs of asylum cases existed before—and many remain unresolved. This report critically evaluates Common European Asylum System legal and operational shortcomings at a time when reform is on the table.
European policymakers are fixated on reform of the Dublin Regulation, the contentious rules that carve up responsibility for asylum claims between EU states. They see it not only as a long-term prophylactic against future fluctuations in irregular migration, but as a marker of the success or failure of solidarity in Europe overall. Yet rather than doggedly working to salvage Dublin, policymakers need to stop and consider why they regard it as so integral to European cooperation, as this commentary explores.
In 2016, the European Union announced with fanfare a new Migration Partnership Framework to inform cooperation with countries of origin and transit. While the bloc has long recognized collaboration as key to achieving its migration-management aims, EU partnerships face persistent challenges, including looking beyond short-term enforcement goals and taking into account partner needs, capacity, and objectives.
Since the 2015–16 refugee crisis, European policymakers have eagerly sought cooperation with origin and transit countries in the hopes of stemming unauthorized migration to Europe. This approach is neither new, nor without its limitations. By examining the evolution of two longstanding Mediterranean partnerships—between Spain and Morocco, and Italy and Tunisia—this report offers insights on what has and has not worked.
Across Europe, grassroots efforts have emerged in the wake of crisis that draw members of the public into the process of receiving refugees and supporting their integration. This policy brief examines the many forms community-based or private sponsorship can take, what benefits such approaches may hold for European communities, and the tradeoffs policymakers face in their implementation.
Following the 2015–16 crisis that saw record numbers of refugees arrive in Europe, policymakers have shown interest in creating managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many asylum seekers make. While these discussions should be informed by an understanding of current pathways and protection channels, it is "nearly impossible" to know how protection seekers enter and what legal channels are available to them, as this MPI Europe report explains.