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
With arrivals of asylum seekers overwhelming the resources and institutional capacity of some European Union Member States, this report examines the reception capacity challenges faced by national reception systems. Authored by the Operational Director of Belgium's reception agency, the report offers recommendations to improve coordination across Member States in ways that could effectively better utilize existing capacity.
Refugee resettlement, typically thought of as a government-led activity, can also be sponsored by private individuals, groups, corporations, and other entities. This report examines the small number of private sponsorship programs that exist in Canada, Argentina, Australia, and elsewhere. It suggests that similar arrangements could enhance refugee resettlement opportunities in the European Union.
As Europe struggles to reach a consensus on how to respond to the refugee crisis, the seemingly unending flow of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores is bringing national asylum systems to their breaking point. This article analyzes the context of the crisis, discussing the root causes of the flows, why they are spiking now, and growing protection challenges.
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.
The ongoing chaos being seen in Southeast Europe, as countries grapple with massive inflows of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere have laid bare the unresolved dysfunctions of incomplete European Union systems, as this commentary from MPI Europe's director explains. The proposal for relocation of 160,000 asylum seekers and other announced measures are a necessary stopgap, but far from an enduring solution.
The limited knowledge base on migrants' decision-making and assessment of risk on the journey to Europe, as well as incomplete understanding of the organizational structures and political economies of smuggling networks, are hampering an effective response to unprecedented Mediterranean maritime crossings. This report, drawing from interviews with migrants, examines migrants’ decision-making processes, perceptions of risk, and access to information.
Much attention has focused recently on the possibility of the European Union establishing processing centers in North Africa or elsewhere to manage asylum seekers and migrants traveling to Europe, despite the fact no policy proposal is formally on the table. This commentary examines the opportunities and drawbacks of extraterritorial processing, and suggests the need for a well-informed discussion.
Despite the European Union's high expectations for effectively resolving migration-related challenges, it has become clear that the policy-making structure in place today does little to support this goal. This policy brief addresses the underlying mechanisms of policy development around migration and asylum and identifies areas where reform to EU institutions is needed.