E.g., 06/07/2020
E.g., 06/07/2020

European Union

European Union

In the European Union, enlargement, special arrangements for the expansion of the Schengen Area, and the gradual development of a stronger EU role in immigration have added new complexity to the policy landscape, leading to both new patterns of movement and new policies for governing immigration from outside of the European Union's 27 Member States. The research offered here focuses on migration policies, trends, and common challenges that affect Europe at a supranational level—from free movement to asylum policy and the management of EU borders.

Recent Activity

Reports
June 2018
By Elizabeth Collett and Camille Le Coz
Commentaries
June 2018
By Elizabeth Collett and Susan Fratzke
Fishing boats
Articles
Reports
April 2018
By Meghan Benton, Aliyyah Ahad, Michaela Benson, Katherine Collins, Helen McCarthy, and Karen O’Reilly
Scaling up Refugee Resettlement in Europe
Reports
March 2018
By Hanne Beirens and Aliyyah Ahad

Pages

Policy Briefs
February 2015
By Ward Nouwen, Noel Clycq, and Daniela Uličná
Policy Briefs
February 2015
By Rafael Berger Sacramento
Reports
November 2014
By Meghan Benton, Madeleine Sumption, Kristine Alsvik, Susan Fratzke, Christiane Kuptsch , and Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Policy Briefs
November 2014
By Hanna Siarova and Miquel Àngel Essomba
Policy Briefs
November 2014
By Sabine Severiens
Policy Briefs
November 2014
By Maurice Crul and Jens Schneider

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Against a backdrop of anxieties about migration, the United Kingdom's government set a referendum for June 2016 on whether to withdraw from the European Union. This article explores the role played by migration in the decision to call the referendum, how immigration might influence the result, and finally the implications of both referendum outcomes (Leave and Remain) in terms of migration policy and regulation.

Drawn by generous asylum policies and the region's welcoming reputation, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Scandinavia in 2015. As the unprecedented flow overwhelmed the asylum systems of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, lawmakers began to recalibrate their policies, tightening asylum benefits in a number of significant ways, as this article explores.

Lesvos became a major focal point in Europe's migration crisis as more than half a million migrants and asylum seekers transited the Greek island in 2015. Describing the work of ad hoc volunteer-led efforts and professional aid organizations, this article delves into the evolution of the aid response across the island and the challenges of integrating humanitarian operations.

Europe's defining challenge in 2015 was the exponential growth in the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving on its shores. The European Union and its Member States were slow to respond, and reactive when they did. As trust among Member States and between national and EU-level authorities began to erode, the European Union has found its ability to implement a comprehensive response severely handicapped.

Faced with a flexible, diverse, and seemingly ubiquitous smuggling industry, governments have struggled to respond. Smuggling and trafficking networks, while hardly new phenomena, were put under a harsh spotlight in 2015 for their role as intermediaries in shaping the scale and flow of migrants and asylum seekers around the world.

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Video, Audio
September 14, 2015

A discussion, including the former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, examining the huge strains on the global protection system and how it can better respond to protracted refugee situations and other long-term displacement, focusing on the conclusions of the Transatlantic Council on Migration's recent meeting,

Video, Expert Q&A
September 11, 2015

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.

Audio
July 8, 2015

This teleconference, the first in a series from MPI Europe on the future of asylum policy in the European Union, focuses on the politics and mechanics of asylum seeker relocation and whether a recent contentious European Summit represents a new phase of intra-EU cooperation on asylum.

Video, Audio
June 18, 2015

Covering the findings of the UPSTREAM project, this MPI Europe event explores how a coordinated approach to integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum.

Video, Audio
November 18, 2014

A day-long conference in Brussels, co-sponsored by the International Labour Office and the European Commision’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion, where panelists discuss the dynamics by which migrants get stuck in low-skilled work, and the role of training and employment services in helping them progress in their occupations.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
August 2018

EU policy debates about moving asylum seekers from overburdened frontline countries, such as Greece and Italy, to other Member States rarely consider how migrants form and act on preferences for certain destinations—and how difficult it may be to change these views. This issue brief explores decision-making among migrants in Greece, including how living conditions, jobs, and legal status factor in.

Reports
June 2018

As maritime arrivals climbed in 2015, EU policymakers struggled to mount a coordinated response. A range of ad hoc crisis-response tools emerged, but many officials worry that if another migration emergency were to hit Europe, the European Union may still be unprepared. This report traces the evolution of the EU response to the 2015–16 crisis and lays out recommendations to lock in progress and shore up weaknesses.

Commentaries
June 2018

European leaders have settled on a recurring proposition to address the ongoing political crisis on migration: the creation of asylum processing centers beyond EU borders. The plans championed by various EU leaders are diverse, the details fuzzy. What they have in common is a near-universal focus on shifting responsibility for dealing with refugees and migrants upstream, as this commentary examines.

Commentaries
June 2018

Amid significant tensions over migration that could fracture Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition, a new "migration master plan" set to be unveiled by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer reportedly involves turning asylum seekers back at German borders and refusing them entry. This commentary explores the potential implications of the proposal, which has prompted concern about the ramifications for the Common European Asylum System.

Commentaries
May 2018

The European Commission has proposed an 89.5 billion-euro fund to combat irregular migration by investing heavily in countries outside the European Union. This commentary argues the ultimate aims of the policy remain obscure, and with some of the money to be drawn from development aid funds is certain to raise tensions between institutions with conflicting goals and mandates.

Articles

A small, isolated country, Iceland has been home to a largely homogenous population for much of its history. But in recent years, a booming economy and expanding tourism sector have drawn rising numbers of immigrants to the island nation. This article explores Iceland's balancing act of maintaining economic growth through immigration while preserving its culture and language.

Reports
April 2018

Even with an EU-UK deal on citizens' rights post-Brexit, there is much uncertainty for Britons living abroad in Europe. This report takes stock of what has (and has not) been agreed—from questions of continued residence and family rights to health-care and labor-market access. It breaks down the looming—and urgent—challenges EU Member States face in designing systems to adjust the legal status of their British residents.

Reports
March 2018

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.

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