E.g., 11/28/2020
E.g., 11/28/2020

Europe

Europe

Europe faces an interesting set of immigration challenges and opportunities: Demographic pressures as many European societies age, a lively and at times tense policy and political debate over questions of identity and immigrant integration, and a unique policy environment that has knit many European countries together with regards to free movement, the management of outer borders, asylum, and other immigration-related topics. MPI has long conducted research and analysis of European policy on topics ranging from labor mobility and border security to immigrant integration, citizenship, and foreign qualifications recognition, which can be found below.

Recent Activity

Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
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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.

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.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
February 2017

Eager to emulate the success of an EU-Turkey deal that has helped sharply reduce crossings into Greece, the European Union is exploring similar partnerships with transit countries along the North African coastline. But as this commentary explores, these prospective deals with Libya and other governments may be built upon unstable foundations and come with inherent complexities, possible risks for North African partners, and moral and other hazards for the European Union.

Audio
January 27, 2017

In the year since the Valletta Summit, the European Union and Member State governments have ramped up cooperation with origin, transit, and hosting countries, yet questions remain over how effective these partnerships have been and how far they can be reasonably be pursued. This webinar is a discussion on longer-term interventions the European Union may pursue to find solutions for asylum seekers, including cooperation with other countries on migration management.  

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As Europe begins to move beyond the overwhelming flows of asylum seekers and other migrants it experienced starting in 2015, policymakers are paying significant focus to integration coupled with stepped-up enforcement. 2016 saw a wave of policy innovations facilitating integration as well as returns and deterrence, but it remains to be seen whether Europe will be able to continue and scale up this work in 2017 and beyond, as this Top 10 article explores.

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The United Kingdom's stunning decision to leave the European Union in June 2016, intertwined with rising concerns over migration, marked a significant setback to key objectives of the European project, including the right to free movement. Amid growing euroskepticism across the continent, it remains to be seen if the European Union will be able to reassert leadership to address migration and other issues in 2017 and beyond.

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The success of populist movements on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016, including Donald Trump's victory in the United States and the United Kingdom's vote to quit the European Union, have sparked an identity crisis in the West. Campaigns effectively tapped into the anxieties of voters who feel left behind by societal change and out-of-touch elites, while normalizing anti-immigrant rhetoric in mainstream discourse, as this Top 10 article explores.

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While Europe and the United States saw terror attacks in 2016 carried out by radicalized immigrants or members of the second generation, policy responses varied on either side of the Atlantic. The perceived security threat posed by refugees was the main concern in the United States. Meanwhile, European debates centered more on concerns over loss of control of migration flows and lack of social cohesion.

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Smugglers and migrants adapted their paths in light of changing conditions in 2016, including the construction of walls and closure of borders. Cuban and Haitian migrants increasingly chose to make their way to the United States through South and Central America rather than by sea. Meanwhile, migrant flows to Europe have splintered into a wider range of routes, seeking new openings through the Western Balkans.

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2016 saw the emergence of a "whole-of-society" approach to the refugee crisis, with a number of new actors, including many from the private sector, engaging with humanitarian protection issues in creative ways. This engagement and the energy and diversity of these partners, in the tech sector and beyond, creates both opportunities and challenges for governments and more traditional civil-society organizations.

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