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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.

Migrant Integration Governance After the Pandemic: Lasting Adaptations?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on July 19th, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout have triggered the perfect storm in migrant integration, with migrants and refugees experiencing disproportionate health and economic effects. They also upended the ability of policymakers and practitioners to respond in typical ways, given the halt to the delivery of in-person services and the forced shift online.

Marking the release of a Migration Policy Institute Europe report, this webinar examines how government strategies, practices, and instruments of integration policymaking have adapted during the pandemic both in Europe and North America. How did policymakers ensure effective and agile responses in a context of COVID-induced disruption, and what can be learned to promote cost-effective integration policies moving forward?

Forging Partnerships to Make the Reintegration of Migrants More Effective and Sustainable

There is no "one-size-fits-all" reintegration model that can ensure success for returning migrants and the communities into which they are re-entering. Returnees have complex, interconnected economic, social, and psychosocial needs that typically cannot be covered by one single service provider. Returning migrants need to be able to access core public services (documentation, work opportunities, and health care) as well as context-specific local initiatives that will endure even after reintegration programs end. Yet while there is a growing acknowledgment that better partnerships between reintegration providers and local actors are needed to expand the variety of support measures available to returnees, there is no consensus as to how these connections (or "referrals") should be organized, what types of services referral partners should deliver (and what support they need to do so), and how outcomes can best be monitored over time.

This MPI Europe webinar, releasing a brief, examines how to design referral mechanisms so that returnees receive the core services they need, while also ensuring support is embedded within local contexts (for instance delivered by trusted providers, or calibrated to specific ethnic, cultural, or linguistic needs). Speakers explore questions around how major donors and providers can effectively partner with local actors, striking the right balance between formal reintegration programs (that are often more established but can be removed from local needs) and local initiatives (which may lack capacity but be better placed to cultivate trust with beneficiaries). How can programs be embedded within the fabric of local communities and "professionalized" to ensure that migrants do not fall through the cracks and outcomes are monitored over time?

Delivering on the Promise of Predeparture Counseling for Sustainable Reintegration

Posted in International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on July 13th, 2022

The return and reintegration of irregular migrants and asylum seekers whose protection claims are rejected has become a top priority for policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, programs that assist returning migrants with reintegration into their countries and communities of origin have proliferated in the last decade.

Fostering the sustainable reintegration of returnees, however, it is not easy. Migrants often return to challenging circumstances and to changed local communities, and the stigma of an unsuccessful migration journey in some origin countries can further strain the transition into this new life. Reintegration programs aim to ease these challenges by providing assistance after return, such as aid to start a business or medical care. However, there is a newfound recognition among European policymakers that successful reintegration starts before return, and an increasing number of countries are investing in predeparture counseling. Counseling before return can help migrants prepare mentally for the journey ahead, develop a clear picture of life after return, and plan the first steps of their reintegration process, such as school enrolment or finding a job. Yet, the approaches to predeparture counseling still differ greatly in terms of methods, intensity, and the extent to which they involve partners in origin countries. Moreover, reintegration programs still face operational challenges to ensuring a smooth transition between the predeparture and post-arrival phases for returnees.

This discussion features experts and practitioners in origin and destination countries and examine how to leverage predeparture counseling for sustainable reintegration. The conversation accompanied the launch of an MPI Europe policy brief that explores promising approaches to strengthen the links between the predeparture and post-arrival phases in reintegration programs, improving returnees’ preparation for the journey ahead and increasing the chances that they will successfully reintegrate.

This webinar is part of a research partnership between MPI Europe and the European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN), funded through the European Union Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund (AMIF), with co-financing from participating national authorities.

Fomentar la cohesión social para todos: ¿Qué podemos aprender de las intervenciones de desarrollo sobre cómo promover la inclusión y reducir la xenofobia?

 La preocupación por el aumento de la xenofobia y la discriminación ha provocado inversiones que promueven la cohesión social y combaten los prejuicios contra las personas que se desplazan. Estas preocupaciones son especialmente urgentes debido al aumento de la migración forzada y la pandemia mundial, la cual ha provocado el uso de los migrantes como chivos expiatorios, y cuyos efectos económicos devastadores pueden dañar aún más la cohesión social de las comunidades.  

Los gobiernos, las ONG y las organizaciones internacionales han pedido nuevas ideas para aprovechar la solidaridad y reducir los conflictos. Estas ideas ocupan un lugar importante en el Pacto Mundial para una Migración Segura, Ordenada y Regular. Sin embargo, se desconoce qué estrategias, desde las campañas digitales hasta las intervenciones de creación de comunidades, funcionan realmente para eliminar los prejuicios y mitigar las tensiones sociales. Este evento del Foro de Revisión de la Migración Internacional trata de iniciar una conversación práctica y necesaria sobre qué fomenta los sentimientos de confianza y qué estrategias evitan que se produzcan tensiones y prejuicios.  

El debate se centra en lo que ha sido eficaz para construir sociedades socialmente cohesionadas e inclusivas, examinando las lecciones de situaciones post-conflicto sobre cómo fomentar la confianza entre grupos además de explorar ejemplos de ideas prometedoras pero fallidas para entender por qué fracasaron en la práctica.  

Making Social Cohesion Work for Everyone: What Can We Learn from Development Interventions on How to Promote Inclusion and Reduce Xenophobia?

Concerns that xenophobia and discrimination are on the rise have sparked a panoply of investments in promoting social cohesion and combatting prejudice against people on the move. These concerns are particularly acute in the wake of rising forced displacement and a global pandemic that triggered widespread scapegoating of migrants, and whose economic devastation may further fray the social fabric of communities.

Governments, NGOs, and international organizations have called for new ideas to harness solidarity and reduce conflict, and these ideas have featured prominently in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Yet not enough is known on what actually works to reduce prejudice and mitigate social tensions, especially as so few interventions—from digital campaigns to community-building interventions—have been rigorously evaluated. This side event of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) aims to spark a much-needed, practical dialogue around what works to promote feelings of trust and blunt tensions and prejudice before they take root.

The discussion, featuring opening comments by the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Crisis Bureau, looks at what has been effective to build socially cohesive and inclusive societies—including lessons from post-conflict settings on how to build intergroup trust—as well as examples of promising ideas on paper that may have fallen short in practice, and why.

This side event was organized jointly by MPI, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Enabel (the Belgian Development Agency) on the margins of the first IMRF.

Public Narratives on Refugees: Sustaining Solidarity in Times of Crisis

The massive humanitarian exodus from Ukraine has upended global expectations of how quickly—and at what scale—host communities can welcome people fleeing their homes. The number of Ukrainians who fled to Poland within the first two weeks of the invasion surpassed the number of Venezuelans received by Colombia over a five-year period. Despite the potentially destabilizing pace and volume of arrivals from Ukraine, the policy response has been overwhelmingly supportive. So has the public response, with public opinion polling pointing to high support for Ukrainians across Europe.
 
But as the crisis continues, there are fears that these initial feelings of goodwill will fade and generosity fatigue will set in, much as occurred during the 2015-16 European migration and refugee crisis and in parts of South America with the arrivals of large numbers of Venezuelans. This raises several questions: How can immediate post-crisis solidarity be harnessed and made more sustainable, such that it can withstand emerging narratives of newcomers as threats to jobs and limited public services? How can feelings of goodwill be leveraged to spread to others rather than remaining narrowly focused on a particularly sympathetic population? And how can policy responses such as temporary stay permits build longer-term goodwill towards populations needing protection writ large?
 
This Migration Policy Institute webinar convenes international experts to consider what we know about public opinion and narratives on refugees and what this means for the Ukrainian crisis. This event marks the launch of a publication from the “Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World” initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The initiative aims to advance ideas to redesign the global protection and resettlement infrastructure in a way that is more equitable, flexible, and sustainable.

Innovation Within Government. Rethinking and Modernizing Integration Policy Plenary Session

MPI Europe Director Hanne Beirens moderated a session where Laura Batalla from Ashoka Hello Europe Initiative, David Cashaback from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Drocella Mugorewera from the Refugee Congress, Cameron McGlothlin of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Refugee Admissions, and Vincent Catot from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, discussed these questions:

  • How is integration policymaking evolving, under the combined pressures of the pandemic, economic shifts, rising social needs, and technological transformation?
  • How have policymakers in Europe and North America responded to the need for rapid and agile policy action to address COVID-19-induced disruption, at a time in which many of their usual routines, practices, and tools have been upended? How might these experiences shape integration policy in the longer run—in its objectives, practices, and overall mission?
  • How can multi-level governance approaches and multi-stakeholder cooperation help governments address evolving integration challenges and promote innovation? How to ensure systematic learning and transfer between community-level innovations and government policy?

Strengthening the Social Innovation Ecosystem in Challenging Times

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on April 1st, 2022

In this session, MPI's Meghan Benton led a conversation between Brian Ssebunya, the Economic Recovery and Development Senior Technical Advisor at International Rescue Committee;  Awmaima Amrayaf, DLA Piper's Pro Bono Legal Officer and Coordinator of ‘Know Your Rights’ program; and Asma Naimi from Esade Business School on the following questions:

  • How can we maximise the contribution of social-innovation models and players to advance refugee and migrant inclusion, as Europe and North America re-emerge from crisis?
  • How can promising innovations for inclusion leave their "comfort zone" and reach underserved places and groups where the challenges are tougher, but where the returns are potentially greater
  • What has been the private sector’s contribution to countering refugee and migrant vulnerability during the COVID-19 crisis—as an investor, employer, and knowledge provider? What opportunities exist to strengthen private-sector involvement—not just in kickstarting new solutions to inclusion, but in consolidating them and making them sustainable?
  • Talking about "inclusive recovery": What does the COVID-19 emergency tell us about the role of refugee and migrant entrepreneurs within social innovation ecosystems? What should programs supporting inclusive and diverse social entrepreneurship look like?

Digital Equity: How Will Rapid Digitization Impact Migrant and Refugee Inclusion?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on April 1st, 2022

MPI Europe Senior Policy Analyst Jasmijn Slootjes moderated a session where Imad Elabdala, Founder, Hero2B and Kidnovation; Josephine Goube, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Techfugees for Impact; and Marco Campana, Freelance Communications Consultant discussed the following questions:

  • What lessons can recent innovations provide on how to advance migrant and refugee inclusion through digital services—particularly in a context of social and physical distancing?
  • What limitations, challenges, and inequities should social innovators in civil society, the private sector, and government keep in mind when exploring the potential of tech for inclusion?
  • What investments are necessary to ensure that digitization does not lead to widening inequalities in diverse communities and societies?
  • How can we prevent a proliferation of short-lived, fragmented digital tools and tech solutions—thus improving sustainability, quality, and impact?

A Tribute to the Life of Dr. Demetrios G. Papademetriou

This event celebrated the remarkable legacy of MPI's first president and MPI Europe's founder, Demetrios G. Papademetriou. One of the world's pre-eminent scholars and lecturers on international migration, he developed a rich body of scholarship shared in more than 275 books, research reports, articles, and other publications. He also advised numerous governments, international organizations, civil-society groups, and philanthropic organizations around the world on immigration and immigrant integration issues.

Read the event program and select writings from Dr. Papademetriou
Read MPI's press release on his passing.
For his obituary or to leave any memories for his family, click here.
Read a collection of tributes to his life and legacy.
Listen to his thoughts on this World of Migration podcast episode.

Speakers: 

Sir Trevor Phillips, OBE, Co-Founder, Webber Phillips Ltd.; former Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission, England, Scotland, and Wales; Founding Member, MPI Transatlantic Council on Migration

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI; former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Ulrich Weinbrenner, Director-General for Migration, Refugees, and Return Policy, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, Federal Republic of Germany

Michael Fix, Senior Fellow and former President, MPI

Gustavo Mohar, MPI Board Member; former Under Secretary for Migration, Population, and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Governance, Government of Mexico

Brenda Dann Messier, Senior Advisor, Education Strategy Group; former Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

Malcolm Brown, MPI Board Member; former Deputy Minister of Public Safety; former Executive Vice President, Canada Border Services Agency, Government of Canada

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director, America's Voice

Moderator: 

Andrew Selee, President, MPI

SI4RI Conference: Refugee and Migrant Inclusion in Smaller and Rural Communities

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on December 10th, 2021

MPI Europe Policy Analyst Liam Patuzzi moderated a breakout session where David Campbell, President, Jupia Consultants Inc.; Andrea Soler Eslava, Senior Rural Integration Project Manager, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC); Danielle Gluns, Head of the Research and Transfer Office for Migration Policy, University of Hildesheim; Khmlin Haj Mohamad, Regional Refugee Ambassador, SHARE SIRA project (Expanding Social Orientation & Integration for Newcomers in Rural Areas in Europe); and Maher Dahdal, Regional Refugee Ambassador, SHARE SIRA project, discussed the following topics:

  • As smaller towns and rural areas have stepped up their efforts to welcome refugees and migrants in recent years, what can we learn about these communities’ resources and limitations in promoting social inclusion and cohesion? What new bottlenecks has the COVID-19 pandemic generated?
  • What does social innovation for inclusion look like in rural areas, and what conditions does it need to develop? How is it linked with other trends shaping the future of small and rural communities—such as demographics, infrastructural, and environmental ones?
  • How can small communities successfully transfer and adapt innovative practices that originated in larger cities? At the same time, how can they nurture ‘home-grown’ innovations specifically tailored to their context(s)?

SI4RI Conference: Planning and Shaping Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

In this session moderated by MPI's International Program Director of Research Meghan Benton, panelists Anila Noor, Member, European Commission's Expert Group on the Views of Migrants, and Founder, New Women Connectors, the Netherlands; Scarlet Cronin, Acting Executive Director, The Tent Partnership for Refugees; Katharina Bamberg, Policy Advisor on Migration and Integration, Eurocities; and Christina Pope, Senior Director of Welcoming International, Welcoming America discussed the following questions:

  • Over the past year-and-a-half, we have heard a lot of conversations about (and calls for) "inclusive recovery". If we were to make this more concrete: what does inclusive recovery look like for you?
  • How can government, the private sector, and social-sector organizations partner design and promote strategies for post-COVID-19 recovery that reflect the needs and resources of diverse communities? Where can we identify examples of these strategies?
  • How can "social innovation for inclusion" evolve into "inclusive social innovation"—expanding opportunities for diverse groups to participate in social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and policymaking?

SI4RI Conference — Where Challenges Intersect: Promoting the Inclusion of Migrant Women and Vulnerable Groups

In a breakout session, MPI Europe Senior Policy Analyst Jasmijn Slootjes led a discussion with Beba Svigir, Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association; Lama Jaghjougha, Founder, Raise Women's Awareness Network; Kava Spartak, Director, YAAR e.V; and Drocella Mugorewera, Board Member of Refugee Congress and Executive Director of Bridge Refugee Services, United States on the following topics:

  • What are the key success factors for interventions aiming to protect groups at high risk of exclusion and marginalization, promoting their well-being and participation? How far have we come since 2015-16, and what is still missing?
  • How have organizations adapted their models of service provision in response to the pandemic, and how successful are these adaptations proving to be—for example, in recreating a sense of community and trust even in virtual and hybrid formats?
  • How can holistic, highly tailored, and often resource-intensive forms of support be sustained and brought to scale?
  • What models can help leverage the entrepreneurialism, innovativeness and resilience of migrant and refugee women, whose vital role in our societies has been further highlighted by the pandemic?

SI4RI Conference: We’re All In This Together? The Potential of Narratives to Strengthen Social Cohesion.

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on December 10th, 2021

In a breakout session, MPI International Program Associate Director Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan led a conversation with Agnieszka Kosowicz, President of the Board, Polish Migration Forum; Suzette Brooks Masters, Senior Strategist, Center for Inclusion and Belonging, American Immigration Council; Sophie van Haasen, Coordinator, Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Mayors Mechanism; and Moussa Al Jamaat, Journalist, Baynana, Spain on the following questions:

  • How have new initiatives at different levels—from local efforts to international campaigns—sought to promote more positive narratives around diversity? What evidence do we have on what works (and what does not) in terms of shifting attitudes on highly polarized issues? What pitfalls should be avoided when seeking to shape inclusive narratives?
  • How can innovative public communication strategies contribute to sustained investments in migrant and refugee inclusion, even as diverse societies move out of crisis?
  • Beyond public communication strategies, what other types of activities and modes of engagement can foster positive narratives around diversity and inclusion? What are their strengths and limitations?
  • How can refugees and migrants proactively and effectively contribute to shaping narratives around migration, diversity, and inclusion?

SI4RI Conference: The COVID-19 Crisis: A ”Make-or-Break” Moment for Social Innovation for Inclusion?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on December 10th, 2021

In this session Kenny Clewett, Director, Ashoka Hello Europe Initiative; Mustafa Alio, Managing Director, R-SEAT (Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table); Fayrouz Saad, Director of Public Engagement, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and Kava Spartak, Managing Director, YAAR e.V, Germany discuss the following questions in a conversation moderated by MPI Europe Policy Analyst Liam Patuzzi. 

  • What role has social innovation played in responding to new forms of marginalization and inequality exacerbated by COVID-19, supporting the most vulnerable while preventing rifts within diverse communities?
  • How has the pandemic affected the operations of civil society, social enterprises, public service providers and other key players that have propelled social innovation for inclusion in recent years—on both sides of the Atlantic?
  • What models of engagement and service provision have suffered, and which ones have proven more resilient? What new forms of community engagement and solidarity have originated amid crisis, and how sustainable are they?
  • What main adaptation strategies have we observed—from shifting to digital to expanding emergency services, from seeking new funding/financing sources to strengthening collaboration with community leaders and other stakeholders?
  • What short- and long-term impact could these transformations and adaptations have on refugee and migrant inclusion?
  • After years of vitality and experimentation, but also persisting weaknesses and sustainability challenges, how well-placed is the ‘infrastructure of inclusion’ to address urgent and long-term needs of newly arrived refugees—both in Europe and North America?

WELCOMING REMARKS - Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion (SI4RI): Sowing Innovation in the Cracks of Crisis

This virtual conference explores how the diverse landscape of partnerships, social enterprises, participatory models, and community-led initiatives spearheading social innovation for inclusion has fared during COVID-19. It also focuses on how this ecosystem can emerge strengthened from the pandemic, and be a vital force in addressing new humanitarian challenges.

Welcoming Remarks by:

Hanne Beirens, Director, MPI Europe

Brian Street, Refugee and Migration Affairs Officer, U.S. Mission to the European Union

Mary Coulter, Counsellor for Migration, Mission of Canada to the European Union,

Paul Soete, President of the Thematic Study Group on Immigration and Integration, European Economic and Social Committee

MPI 20th Anniversary Conference: Migration & Humanitarian Protection in a Rapidly Evolving World - Armchair Discussion

In the 20 years since the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) was founded, international migration trends and policies have changed in dramatic ways. The number of migrants has increased, many more migrants are in mixed flows with humanitarian protection needs, and migration has become a much more salient political issue in countries around the world. What do these trends presage for the future in terms of international migration governance and humanitarian protection?

During an armchair discussion, the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, António Vitorino, and MPI cofounder and President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou discussed the evolution of international migration governance and its possible future. The conversation was moderated by Meghan Benton, Director for International Research, MPI and MPI Europe.

How Will the Pandemic Reshape Public Health for Migrants?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on September 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 public-health crisis exacerbated longstanding migrant vulnerabilities ranging from heightened exposure to infection to disproportionate barriers in accessing health services. However, the pandemic also triggered innovations in migration and health policy that may ultimately improve conditions for some migrants—including regularization, increased health-care benefits, and increased use of digital tools to improve health literacy and information provision. The acute understanding that public health requires coverage for the entire community has renewed interest in tackling issues faced by marginalized populations.

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations. What lessons can be learned from strategies that arose during the pandemic and can they inform more inclusive health care post-pandemic? This webinar features experts and policymakers assessing the most promising strategies to ensure migrant health after the pandemic, as well as the related challenges and opportunities. 

Speakers highlight key findings from the ApartTogether study about the impact of the pandemic on migrants, reflect on the implications of the public-health crisis for migrant health, examine practical strategies that countries such as Portugal have taken, and discuss the most pressing challenges and issues facing migrants in European public-health systems today. This webinar is part of the Integration Futures Working Group initiative supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.  A related report from the project — Healing the Gap: Building Inclusive Public-Health and Migrant Integration Systems in Europe — also addresses some of the topics raised on this webinar. 

Opening More Avenues for Protection for Refugees

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 15th, 2021

As of mid-2020, more than 20 million refugees were displaced to another country and under the mandate of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. While some may eventually return to their countries of origin or integrate locally into their host community, for the most at risk, resettlement remains a critical tool to secure legal status and access to fundamental rights in a third country. However, the number of resettlement places made available remains far below the level needed and plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This global scarcity in resettlement places has been paralleled by innovation. States have shown creativity in designing resettlement programs and in growing access to protection via complementary pathways, including educational and employment ones. The Three-Year Strategy (2019–2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, launched following the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018, aims to achieve more resettlement opportunities for refugees, as well as better access for refugees to complementary pathways. To support the goals of the Three-Year Strategy, the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP), led by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides support to states and key stakeholders to establish, expand, or renew resettlement programs and advance complementary pathways of admission.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marked the launch of a report that sets out a series of recommendations for how UNHCR, national governments, civil society, and other partners can most effectively support the growth of resettlement and complementary pathways in the years ahead. The webinar highlighted the recommendations developed by MPI Europe in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub showcased in the report, which was commissioned by UNHCR with CRISP support.

EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Switching Perspectives?

Many countries around the globe are grappling with policy questions surrounding the return of irregular migrants and asylum seekers whose claims have been denied. In Europe, policymakers have long been concerned about low return rates. And discussions on how to increase the number of returns (including voluntary ones), while conducting them in a humane way, and achieving sustainable reintegration are high on the European Union (EU) agenda.

In April, the European Commission took a step toward the creation of a common EU return system, releasing its first Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration. The strategy aims to increase the number of voluntary returns, but also to improve EU Member States’ coordination on their respective Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programs and make reintegration in origin countries more sustainable. To achieve these objectives, European policymakers need to secure cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin—an often-neglected dimension of AVRR programs. However, these countries may be disinclined towards cooperation, concerned about the loss of remittances, negative public opinion, and increasing pressure on job markets and public service delivery already stressed by the pandemic. Still, voluntary return and reintegration may be one area where there are tangible opportunities for EU Member States and origin countries alike to build on some converging goals.

This MPI Europe event marks the release of a new policy brief EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Crafting a Road Map to Better Cooperation with Migrants’ Countries of OriginSpeakers examine origin- and destination-country policy priorities, opportunities for cooperation, challenges and structural limitations that shape what can be achieved, and possible next steps for building on the principles identified in the EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration, starting a new chapter for EU-funded AVRR programs. 

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