E.g., 08/11/2020
E.g., 08/11/2020

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

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Reports
June 2011
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Reports
March 2011
By Elizabeth Collett
Reports
March 2011
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Elizabeth Collett
Reports
January 2010
By Rocco Bellanova, Susan Ginsburg, Paul De Hert, and Hiroyuki Tanaka
Reports
January 2010
By Madeleine Sumption and Will Somerville

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Migration flows that were stalled for a period by the pronounced recession that began in 2008 have resumed to a number of OECD countries, including the United States where there appears to be a slight increase in Mexican migration for the first time in several years. More migrants seem to be choosing emerging economies, including Brazil, China, and South Africa, over traditional destinations.

Belgium is often overlooked as a country of immigration because of its size and its less known history of immigration. Yet over the last three decades Belgium has become a permanent country of settlement for many different types of migrants. Our updated Belgium profile delves into modern migration flows and policies in Belgium which are inching away from a piecemeal approach towards a well-needed, long-term strategy.

Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.

With unemployment rates remaining persistently high in the wake of the global economic crisis, ongoing turbulence in financial markets, and new austerity in public spending, anxious publics and governments trained their attention on immigration and immigrants during 2011.

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.

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2017

Cities have played a significant role in addressing Europe’s migration crisis, including by helping migrants and refugees integrate successfully into the local labor market. This report identifies concrete actions that could be taken to better leverage European Union soft law, funding, and knowledge exchange mechanisms to support cities’ activities in this area and to deliver more effective services.

 

Reports
March 2017

This MPI Europe report examines the challenges that cities across the European Union are facing when helping new arrivals access education and training, including limited funding and need for better monitoring of program outcomes. It also highlights innovative ways municipalities support newly arrived migrants as they enter the education system and local labor force, including two-generation and co-located services as well as "whole-place" approaches.

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.

Articles

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.

Articles

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.

Articles

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.

Reports
November 2016

With the seemingly endless flows of asylum seekers and migrants abated, at least for the present, Europe is now faced with the long-term and complex challenges of integration of these newcomers. This report examines the political, social, and economic contexts and immigration histories of European countries and how the current integration challenges are complicated by existing challenges of fragmentation and social unrest. Still, the authors find some cause for optimism.

Audio
October 26, 2016

One month ago, world leaders gathered at the United Nations for a summit to discuss movements of refugees and migrants, however the absence of concrete commitments in the resulting New York Declaration disappointed many observers and the slow progress on multilateral cooperation around migration has particular salience for the European Union, since the arrival of more than 1 million asylum seekers to Europe in 2015. This panel brings officials together from a range of institutions mandated to consider the future of cooperation, whether bilaterally, regionally, or at the global level, and asks: What is possible, what is desirable, and what is likely?

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