E.g., 02/01/2023
E.g., 02/01/2023
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.

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Seasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Promising Practices and Ongoing Challenges
Policy Briefs
February 2020
By  Kate Hooper and Camille Le Coz
Integrating Refugees and Asylum Seekers into the German Economy and Society: Empirical Evidence and Policy Objectives
Reports
December 2019
By  Herbert Brücker, Philipp Jaschke and Yuliya Kosyakova
Refugee Sponsorship Programs: A Global State of Play and Opportunities for Investment
Policy Briefs
December 2019
By  Susan Fratzke, Lena Kainz, Hanne Beirens, Emma Dorst and Jessica Bolter
Cover of the report Volunteers and Sponsors: A Catalyst for Refugee Integration?
Reports
November 2019
By  Susan Fratzke and Emma Dorst

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The National Museum of History in Tirana, Albania features a large mosaic with nationalist imagery.

Southeastern Europe is experiencing one of the sharpest depopulations in the world, with countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia on pace to see their populations shrink by at least 15 percent in coming decades. To counter this trend, governments in the region, NGOs, and the private sector are increasingly, if unevenly, tapping into large diaspora communities to spur economic growth and strengthen cultural ties.

Migrants aboard a rubber vessel are rescued in the Mediterranean

Libya was once a prized destination for workers from around the world. But after Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011, the country became the transit point for hundreds of thousands of Europe-bound asylum seekers and other migrants. Following Libya's 2017 deal with Italy to detain and return migrants caught at sea—which was renewed in February 2020—migrants became trapped in an unstable country, facing harrowing realities, as this article explores.

Grape pickers in France

Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.

AfricanUnionMinisterialConferenceonMigration

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Turkish and EU flags

The high-stakes gambit taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to allow tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants free movement to the Greek border demonstrated the fragility of the EU-Turkey deal and the European Union's broader approach to outsource migration management to third countries. This article examines the causes for the tensions, the EU approach to external partnerships, and a hardening European attitude towards unwanted arrivals.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
October 6, 2020

Austria’s Vienna airport was an early adopter for in-airport COVID-19 tests, with results turned around within a few hours, sparing those with medical certificates from a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Can this serve as a model for restarting business travel and tourism? We talk to Vienna airport official Peter Kleemann to learn more.

Flickr IOM Arrival of Returnees from Khartoum 7201505076_4a40649469_c
Video, Audio
June 25, 2020

This MPI Europe webinar showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and IOM discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return—a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, and less expensive.

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Audio
April 8, 2020

MPI and MPI Europe experts discuss the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees live. During this freeform conversation, our analysts also assess the implications for the principle of asylum and the future for a post-World War II humanitarian protection system that is under threat.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 31, 2020

Governments are facing urgent pandemic-related questions. One of the more pressing ones: Who is going to harvest crops in countries that rely heavily on seasonal foreign workers? In this podcast, MPI experts examine ways in which countries could address labor shortages in agriculture, including recruiting native-born workers and letting already present seasonal workers stay longer.

Pixabay Gerd Altmann
Video, Audio
March 24, 2020

This webinar, organized by MPI and the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School, discussed migration policy responses around the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and examined where migration management and enforcement tools may be useful and where they may be ill-suited to advancing public health goals. 

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2022

To address cross-border challenges, the European Union and its Member States have increasingly partnered with neighboring countries, with those in the Maghreb region of northern Africa playing a particularly important role. This report examines the border security situation in the Maghreb and European efforts to work with Maghrebi partners to strengthen border management. It finds a mismatch in priorities stymies cooperation.

Articles

The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.

Commentaries
February 2022

Tested by the 2015-16 refugee crisis, are EU Member States better prepared for large-scale displacement of Ukrainians? This MPI Europe commentary examines preparedness for the possible inflow of Ukrainians, who already have visa-free access to the bloc.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 7, 2022

This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration checks in with migration scholar Hein de Haas about the predictions that vast numbers of people will be displaced by climate change and head to wealthy countries in North America and Europe—views he deems often misplaced.

Articles

Artificial intelligence systems that promise speedier travel and improved tools to halt smuggling and detect illegal entry have been embraced by border officials across the globe. But critics contend they also pose serious privacy concerns, which may become more pronounced as technologies evolve. This article examines the challenges and promises.

Reports
January 2022

In the months leading up to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in 2018, what had been a quiet negotiation process suddenly became front-page news, drawing unprecedented public attention and sparking protests across Europe. This report explores how the compact negotiations triggered a multilayered institutional and political crisis in the European Union, and how this breakdown continues to affect EU external migration policy.

Reports
January 2022

The European push to increase migrant returns has led to new investments in assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programs. Yet it is hard to tell whether these investments are paying off. This report explores what is and is not known about returnee reintegration, and how improved monitoring and evaluation would help bridge knowledge gaps and inform future decisions about programming, funding, and strategy.

Policy Briefs
December 2021

Europe has announced it will launch a set of Talent Partnerships, combining new mobility schemes for workers or students with related investments in capacity-building in partner countries. As the details are being hammered out, this MPI Europe policy brief explores how and under what conditions these partnerships could help meet European labor market needs and provide tangible benefits for partner countries and migrants themselves.

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