Building Partnerships to Respond to the Next Decade’s Migration Challenges
February 2017 Meeting
Cooperation on migration has never been more necessary—or more elusive. While 2015 made clear that no single nation (or group of nations) could manage the migration and refugee crisis on its own, little progress has been made on putting together an effective collective response. Unplanned mixed flows of migrants have made international cooperation on migration more difficult—in part by rendering migration systems irrelevant and straining refugee reception systems beyond their natural capacity. Yet even amid this reality, new forms of working collaboratively are undoubtedly needed.
The bilateral and regional levels may hold the most promise, as it is there that the consequences of unchecked instability and chaos are felt most directly, and thus where there has been the most robust activity. But whether these relationships can lead to orderly processes to replace the chaotic, unplanned flows across the Mediterranean and a number of other regions (including Central America, South and Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa and the Middle East) is still unclear.
The seventeenth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council explored how governments can develop relationships and partnerships that are forward-looking and go beyond transactional, short-term arrangements to create real alternatives to uncontrolled migration of all forms. Read the Council Statement, which distills the findings and recommendations.
The individual papers presented at the meeting are available below:
Beyond Transactional Deals: Building Lasting Migration Partnerships in the Mediterranean
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.
From Forced Migration to Forced Returns in Afghanistan: Policy and Program Implications
With 1 million people forcibly returned to Afghanistan in 2016 alone, the nature of return policies and reintegration assistance from European governments and others merits significant attention. This report examines the implications that returns present for those who are returned, Afghan society, and the migration-management and development objectives of the countries that are initiating the returns.
EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress
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.
Transatlantic Council Statement: Building Partnerships to Respond to the Next Decade’s Migration Challenges
As destination countries look for ways to better manage migration, many are seeking to build or strengthen collaboration with origin and transit countries. While many partnerships share similar goals—limiting arrivals, returning unauthorized migrants, and addressing migration’s root causes—their outcomes vary. This Transatlantic Council Statement examines the factors behind these mixed results and offers recommendations to make partnerships succeed.