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The fires that devastated the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have further raised the stakes for the soon-to-be unveiled EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. If Moria persists as a concept—with asylum seekers prevented from onward movement elsewhere in Europe—this becomes an integral pillar of future EU asylum practice, whatever is written on paper, as this commentary explores.
A growing number of countries, particularly in Europe, have piloted or implemented refugee sponsorship programs in recent years. Yet there is limited evidence of how well these programs, which tap community members and civil society to take key roles in refugee resettlement, are working and how they can be improved. This issue brief explores how building monitoring and evaluation activities into sponsorship programs can help answer these and other critical questions.
As European asylum systems are tested again by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has injected the need for social distancing during processing and in reception centers, it appears lessons learned during the 2015-16 migration and refugee crisis may be fading. Chief among them: A number of Member States have phased out their buffer capacity. This MPI Europe commentary explores the diametrically different approaches taken to asylum during the pandemic.
Brussels is searching for bright ideas on how to fix the Common European Asylum System. While recent EU-level legal reforms have stalled, this report examines the many innovative, operations-focused approaches Member States have used since the 2015-16 migration crisis to improve registration and reception systems, asylum case processing, and options for returning failed asylum seekers.
Refugees encounter a range of challenges after resettlement—from adjusting to a new culture and language, to finding a job. Many resettlement countries invest in predeparture orientation to help refugees develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to face these challenges. This report explores the many forms these programs take, highlighting important design questions and key elements that effective programs share.
European policymakers are negotiating the blueprint for the next EU funding cycle—a plan that will determine how much money is available for migration and integration aims, what it can be used for, and who can access it. This policy brief explores some of the limitations of EU funds, as well as strategies that could help them more effectively serve migration and integration policy goals.
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.
European countries have ramped up their investments in helping refugees find work and integrate into society. Yet little hard evidence exists of what programs and policies work best. This report proposes a new framework for thinking smartly about integration programming, using cost-benefit analysis to look beyond short-term, economic outcomes to also measure indirect benefits through a social-value concept.
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.
Fostering the social and economic inclusion of refugees has long been the domain of governments and NGOs. In the wake of the 2015–16 European migration and refugee crisis, however, new actors have emerged and taken on important roles in integrating newcomers. This report describes key discussions and takeaways from an MPI Europe conference on these developments.
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.
The EU-Turkey deal has been credited with helping to end the migration crisis of 2015-16, and after two years in force it has fostered a myth that such deals are cure-alls. They are not, as this MPI Europe commentary explores. Recent EU responses place great emphasis on transit routes to Europe. But what if the next major event is a different kind of shock altogether?
During the 2015–16 migration crisis, European asylum systems were stretched to a breaking point. Yet many of the structural issues that contributed to failures to register newcomers, insufficient reception capacity, and growing backlogs of asylum cases existed before—and many remain unresolved. This report critically evaluates Common European Asylum System legal and operational shortcomings at a time when reform is on the table.
European policymakers are fixated on reform of the Dublin Regulation, the contentious rules that carve up responsibility for asylum claims between EU states. They see it not only as a long-term prophylactic against future fluctuations in irregular migration, but as a marker of the success or failure of solidarity in Europe overall. Yet rather than doggedly working to salvage Dublin, policymakers need to stop and consider why they regard it as so integral to European cooperation, as this commentary explores.
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.
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.
Following the release of the mid-term review of the European Agenda on Migration, this webinar offers insights from EU Member States on how existing, new, and untapped legal pathways interact with other humanitarian policies, and fit into a larger protection strategy.
Across Europe, grassroots efforts have emerged in the wake of crisis that draw members of the public into the process of receiving refugees and supporting their integration. This policy brief examines the many forms community-based or private sponsorship can take, what benefits such approaches may hold for European communities, and the tradeoffs policymakers face in their implementation.
As European policymakers and publics continue to grapple with the migration crisis, this conversation offers an opportunity to reflect on the role and responsibility of experts in these politically sensitive debates.
Following the 2015–16 crisis that saw record numbers of refugees arrive in Europe, policymakers have shown interest in creating managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many asylum seekers make. While these discussions should be informed by an understanding of current pathways and protection channels, it is "nearly impossible" to know how protection seekers enter and what legal channels are available to them, as this MPI Europe report explains.