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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

How to Fix the Global Migration Management System

More people than ever before are on the move, crossing international borders in search of safety, livelihoods, opportunity, or the chance to reunite their families. States are ill-prepared to deal with these mixed flows of refugees and other migrants, especially those who move without prior authorization from the countries they seek to enter.  

Much of the focus is on how best to address the immediate and urgent needs of refugees—and for good reason. But much less attention has been paid to protecting the human rights of other migrants, or to creating orderly processes and expanding opportunities for legal migration. Increased mobility is a fact of life in the 21st century, and cannot be continually dealt with as a crisis. 

There are signs that national governments and international institutions are working toward building collective humanitarian responses and designing more flexible systems that can respond not just to emergencies but also to protracted displacement and large-scale movements of people who are not refugees. A series of high-profile international meetings will culminate in September at a special session of the UN General Assembly and at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama. These meetings provide an opportunity for states to bring greater safety, order, and benefits to international migration.

At this co-sponsored event, Lars Westbratt, State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute, discuss global and national responses to rising displacement, innovations in managing migration processes, and attempt to address the dysfunctional aspects of international migration. An introduction and welcome is given by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.
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Will Britain Leave the EU? The Role of Immigration in Brexit

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on May 25th, 2016

On June 23, 2016, in what polling suggests will be a very close decision, UK citizens will decide whether the United Kingdom will remain part of the European Union (EU) or exit. The decision on the “Brexit” referendum will have enormous ramifications, in terms of trade, policy, and for the free movement of people and labor. 
 
While there have been referenda on key issues in EU countries before, this is the first time that a major Member State has put full membership to the test. Yet for many European governments, Brexit is a second-tier issue, behind the refugee crisis, the rise of the populist far right, the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession, and security on the Eastern border. Nonetheless, if the United Kingdom decides to exit, it is highly likely that the broader European project will suffer, boosting Euroskepticism and spurring debates over EU membership in other countries.
 
MPI hosts a discussion exploring how the migration politics and policies of the UK government influenced the decision to hold the referendum, how it might influence the result, and how the referendum’s outcome could impact migration policy in the United Kingdom and the European Union more broadly.
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Asylum Reception in the European Union: A Flexible Model for the Future?

The pressure brought by the recent mass influx of migrants and refugees to Europe has drawn attention to the need for systems to receive and house new arrivals that can adapt to unpredictable numbers, remain cost-efficient, and meet national and EU standards. But what does it take to set up and manage a reception system that can simultaneously meet the demands of flexibility, quality, and efficiency?


Michael Kegels, Fedasil Belgium’s Director of Operational Services and author of the recent MPI Europe report, Getting the Balance Right: Strengthening Asylum Reception Capacity at National and EU Levels, discusses how to devise a more responsive asylum reception system at national and EU levels that upholds common standards. He is joined by representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Interior and EASO to reflect on the practical challenges of meeting asylum-seeker reception demand, the prospects of greater cooperation, and the place of asylum reception policy at the heart of the Common European Asylum System.  
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Resettlement Plus: Clearing the Path to Safety and Opportunity for Refugees

Following the March 30, 2016 meeting of global leaders hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), MPI Europe convened a discussion to examine the outcomes of the conference, and provide an analysis of how states and civil society can work together to realize the intensifying calls for new pathways to support the safe and legal migration—and successful integration—of refugees in practice. Speakers consider what initiatives already exist to facilitate the legal mobility of refugee groups, and critically assess the potential and pitfalls that come with each. The discussion also examines new and creative ideas that have emerged in the wake of the Syria crisis.

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: A Status Report and the Way Forward

As the migration crisis in Europe continues unabated and a deepening crisis in Syria unfolds, European policymakers are struggling to come to terms with two of the most urgent elements: making certain that 2016 is not just a repetition of 2015 (or worse) and finding the key to incorporating those among the 1.5 million migrants who will be allowed to stay (whether under some form of protection or simply because EU Member States find deportations “difficult”).


Freshly returned from several months working on the crisis from MPI Europe’s offices in Brussels, Demetrios G. Papademetriou provides a briefing on how the policy response to the crisis has unfolded at EU and national levels, and sketches an affirmative vision for what the short-, mid-, and long-term responses must be if Europe is to respond more effectively to the crisis and tackle the longer-term integration challenges. 
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Scaling Up Resettlement: The Role of Private Sponsorship Programs in Addressing the Refugee Crisis

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on February 8th, 2016

As the European Union considers scaling up plans to resettle refugees from Turkey and other countries of first asylum to improve protection, as well as reduce pressures to travel illicitly, limit the power of criminal networks and develop more equitable responsibility sharing among EU Member States, speakers, including the author of a recent MPI report, will discuss their analysis on how private sponsorship programs for refugees could possibly enhance outcomes and spread costs. 

Used by Canada, Australia, and a handful of other countries, as well as 15 of the 16 German länder, these programs permit private individuals, groups, corporations, and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement and accept financial responsibility for them for a period of time. Panelists explore how these programs, if implemented or expanded in EU countries, might provide an additional safe and orderly channel for refugees to gain protection and become one part of the broader solution that policymakers are seeking in response to the current crisis. 
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Focusing on Protection: Previewing Upcoming High-Level Fora on Migration

With global displacement at record levels, it is clear that humanitarian protection will continue to be a key focus for policymakers and the international community throughout 2016. This year's calendar is dotted with a series of high-profile international events related to migration and refugee protection—including conferences in London (February 4) and Geneva (March 30) addressing the fallout of the Syrian civil war, and a pair of summits on refugees and migrants hosted by the United Nations and the United States in September. These high-level meetings could prove crucial in paving the way for meaningful solutions for the world’s forcibly displaced populations.

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) experts join the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on International Migration, Peter Sutherlan, for a webinar focusing on what can be expected to be discussed at this year’s high-level migration summits, and what tangible results might occur. In addition to Mr. Sutherland, the webinar features MPI Senior Fellow T. Alexander Aleinikoff, former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, and MPI Senior Fellow and Co-Founder Kathleen Newland.
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Addressing the Implications of the Emigration of Skilled and Educated Europeans

Posted in European Migration by migrationpolicy on November 24th, 2015

The Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration is releasing a series of reports on how governments and societies can attenuate some of the costs of emigration and capture more of its potential benefits. In this webinar, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, the Convenor of the Transatlantic Council and author of the Council Statement on ways to turn emigration challenges into opportunities, is joined by Transatlantic Council Founding Member Antonio Vitorino and Council report author Irial Glynn for a discussion on the long-term policy reforms that countries such as Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Greece should consider in order to create meaningful employment and upward mobility opportunities at home for both natives and immigrants with the aim of both retaining and attracting back the skilled workers on whom economies depend for growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness. 

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Serving Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools: Comparing U.S. and European Practices

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, European Migration by migrationpolicy on October 23rd, 2015

Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe and the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors entering U.S. schools in the last two years, this webinar considers the particular challenges facing educators and policymakers as they attempt to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students who arrive during their middle and high school years. Providing these students with instructional, linguistic, and socioemotional supports is especially complex in the secondary grades, due to the rigor of the curriculum and the short timeframe available for students to prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.

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What’s Next for the European Asylum Crisis?

With uncontrolled migration to the European Union growing by leaps and bounds and asylum applications recorded by EU Member States at an all-time high, calls for ‘solidarity’ and increased support from the EU level for Member States under pressure have grown louder. In this webinar, MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou and EASO Executive Director Rob Visser, the agency’s first director, had a candid discussion on the role EASO has played in its first five years and its potential for the future, along with what strategies Europe ought to be pursuing with regards to the current crisis.

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Simply No Consensus: Can the EU respond to continued refugee flows?

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, European Migration by migrationpolicy on September 18th, 2015

With refugee arrivals continuing on a scale unprecedented in recent history, the European Union is struggling to deliver a humane, sustainable response that will have the support of all of its Member States. MPI Europe, as part of a joint project on asylum in the EU with the Open Society Foundations, brought together senior officials from some of the Member States to discuss their differing perspectives on the current crisis. They considered what is needed to ensure a unified, practically feasible response to the biggest crisis that has faced the Common European Asylum System since its inception.

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Addressing Crisis at Europe’s Borders: Are Policymakers Moving in the Right Direction?

Posted in European Migration by migrationpolicy on July 8th, 2015

This teleconference marks the first in a series of briefings, with a broad range of experts, as part of ongoing work by MPI Europe and the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations on the future of asylum policy in the European Union, and the role Europe plays within the global protection system. As the need for solutions becomes ever more urgent and ever more politically sensitive, MPI Europe is investing in a program of research, analysis, convening, and debate to identify new areas of cooperation for European actors, as well as recalibrate the current tensions concerning multiple and competing policy priorities—from protection of growing displaced populations through to the need to ensure cohesive and thriving European societies. 

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Rethinking Integration for the Age of Superdiversity: How to Adapt Public Services? Session 3: The Future of Integration Policy

Posted in Migration and Development, Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on June 19th, 2015

This Migration Policy Institute Europe public discussion explores how a coordinated approach to immigrant integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum. It also covers the findings of the UPSTREAM project, a multicountry study funded by the European Integration Fund that looks at the practice of mainstreaming in early childhood education, multilingual classrooms, antiracism, and equality strategies, and neighborhood and housing policy. Session 3, "The Future of Integration Policy," includes speakers  Elizabeth Collett, Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe, Carmen Blanco, Spanish Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, and Laura Corrado, Head of Legal Migration and Integration of the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.

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Rethinking Integration for the Age of Superdiversity: How to Adapt Public Services? Session 2: Inclusive Urban Spaces

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on June 19th, 2015

This Migration Policy Institute Europe public discussion explores how a coordinated approach to immigrant integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum. It also covers the findings of the UPSTREAM project, a multicountry study funded by the European Integration Fund that looks at the practice of mainstreaming in early childhood education, multilingual classrooms, antiracism, and equality strategies, and neighborhood and housing policy. Session 2, "Inclusive Urban Spaces," includes speakers Patrick Simon of the French National Institute of Demographic Research, Di Robinson of the Bristol City Council, Jean-François Fougnet of the Centre for Social Development, Clémentine Vooren of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, and Lorraine O’Deaof the U.K. Department for Communities and Local Government.

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Rethinking Integration for the Age of Superdiversity: How to Adapt Public Services? Session 1: Rethinking Public Services for a Diverse and Mobile Age

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on June 19th, 2015

This Migration Policy Institute Europe public discussion explores how a coordinated approach to immigrant integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum. It also covers the findings of the UPSTREAM project, a multicountry study funded by the European Integration Fund that looks at the practice of mainstreaming in early childhood education, multilingual classrooms, antiracism, and equality strategies, and neighborhood and housing policy. Session 1, "Rethinking Public Services for a Diverse and Mobile Age," includes speakers Peter Scholten, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Politics at Erasmus University, and Elizabeth Collett, Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe.

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Where Next? The Future of Integration Policy in Europe

This is the third and final panel from the day-long conference, "Better Work for Immigrants: Tackling Joblessness and Stunted Progression in the European Union," held in Brussels and organized by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe in collaboration with the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Commission. The event concludes an MPI-ILO research project, funded by the European Commission, that examines employment prospects of foreign-born workers and the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping foreign-born workers overcome barriers and move up into middle-skilled positions in six case study countries: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Read reports from the series here.

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Can Training Get Migrants into Middle-Skilled Jobs? Working More Effectively with Social Partners and Civil Society

This is the second panel from the day-long conference, "Better Work for Immigrants: Tackling Joblessness and Stunted Progression in the European Union," held in Brussels and organized by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe in collaboration with the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Commission. The event concludes an MPI-ILO research project, funded by the European Commission, that examines employment prospects of foreign-born workers and the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping foreign-born workers overcome barriers and move up into middle-skilled positions in six case study countries: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Read reports from the series here.

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Bleak Picture or Steady Progress? Labour Market Outcomes of New Arrivals in Europe

This panel discussion opens the day-long conference, "Better Work for Immigrants: Tackling Joblessness and Stunted Progression in the European Union," held in Brussels and organized by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe in collaboration with the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Commission. The event concludes an MPI-ILO research project, funded by the European Commission, that examines employment prospects of foreign-born workers and the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping foreign-born workers overcome barriers and move up into middle-skilled positions in six case study countries: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Read reports from the series here.

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Has EU Immigration and Asylum Policy Failed? Can It Ever Succeed?

This Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPI Europe) telebriefing examines the realities of European policy on immigration and asylum thus far, the challenges that policymakers face in the coming months and years, and what possibilities exist for future reform and development of EU immigration policy. Is this the end of the road for European collaboration, or the beginnings of closer cooperation? Participants include MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett, MPI Europe Fellow Madeline Garlick, and moderator Matina Stevis of the Wall Street Journal. The discussion outlines the findings of a new MPI Europe policy brief written by Madeline Garlick that reflects on the challenges confronting the European Union and Member States with respect to asylum policymaking in the near term and beyond, as well as some of the opportunities ahead to improve the Common European Asylum System.

To read the policy brief, click here.

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A Transatlantic Conversation: Managing Migration in the Era of Mobility

This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion, presented in cooperation with the Greek Embassy, explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing economic growth. Speakers are: Ambassador of Greece to the United States Christos P. Panagopoulos; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard; MPI CEO Michael Fix; and moderator Demetrios G. Papademetriou, the President of MPI. 


As the 2014 Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union works to formulate the European Union’s next five-year program, two interconnected challenges have come to the fore: building a comprehensive migration system whose parts work harmoniously to meet humanitarian obligations and nurture economic growth and social cohesion, and doing so with very limited resources. Europe is not alone in the difficulties it faces in meeting these goals—and in fact shares many of these challenges with the United States. This discussion bridges these critical themes and offer ideas on how to manage more effectively the opportunities and responsibilities migration writ large creates.

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