Public anxiety about immigration and the fast pace of social change has reached a boiling point in many parts of Europe, contributing (in part) to the ascent of populist far-right parties. The strong showing of Geert Wilders' right-wing, anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) in the March 2017 Dutch elections, along with the increasing strength of Marine Le Pen’s National Front ahead of the first round of the French presidential elections on April 23rd, have raised questions about why so many are casting their votes in favor of radical change.
While these votes represent citizen discontent with many aspects of globalization, it is immigration, concerns about the loss of cultural identity, and the fear that the nation-state has been losing ground almost irreversibly to supranational institutions that may be at the heart of the popular reaction. This discussion focuses on what we can learn from Brexit and the Dutch elections, along with the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and what these results portend (if anything) for the next round of contests in France, Germany, and elsewhere.
Will this trend continue? Will national and subnational politicians in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, and Belgium, along with the leaders of the European institutions, learn the right or wrong lessons from these upheavals? And if the power shift continues, what impact will it have on migration policy at European Union and national levels? Finally, how will governments manage broader public concerns about rapid social change, economic opportunity, and security in ways that can reduce public anxiety about immigration and the pace of change it has brought while also regaining, slowly, the trust the public has clearly lost?
In this discussion, experts explore the implications of recent and upcoming elections for the future of migration policy.
As European leaders prepare to meet in Malta early next month, their search for means to reduce the number of boats departing the Libyan coast is becoming ever more desperate. In the year since the Valletta Summit, the European Union and Member State governments have ramped up cooperation with origin, transit, and hosting countries, yet questions remain over how effective these partnerships have been and how far they can be reasonably be pursued. Faced with mixed results thus far, there is a growing chorus calling for offshore processing for asylum seekers and greater efforts to bolster Libyan capacities in "pulling back" boats headed towards Europe.
In this context, discussions around longer-term interventions —notably the ability of humanitarian and development support to affect migration drivers— are less prominent. While policymakers discuss the pros and cons of making development aid conditional on third-country cooperation, less focus has been placed on effectively forecasting humanitarian and development needs, shaping successful policy interventions, and filling gaps in our existing knowledge about who, why, and when individuals decide to move.
In this webinar, experts assess how policymakers can best reflect on the lessons learned over the past year, align their objectives with the realities on the ground, and shape a longer-term agenda going forward.
World leaders gathered at the United Nations in September 2016 for an unprecedented summit focused on discussing major movements of refugees and migrants. This historic gathering, spurred in part by the massive asylum seeker and migrant flows to Europe in 2015, was intended to launch a strengthened global effort to coordinate responses to refugee and migration flows. The absence of concrete commitments in the resulting New York Declaration disappointed many observers.
During this Migration Policy Institute Europe event in Brussels, leading experts discussed how the slow progress on multilateral cooperation around migration evidenced in New York has particular salience for the European Union. Speakers included the European External Action Service’s Managing Director for Global Issues, the Director General for Asylum and Migration Policy in Sweden’s Ministry of Justice, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development’s Southern Dimension Director, and a key advisor to the UN Special Representative for Migration, in a discussion moderated by the Director of MPI Europe.
The discussants examined what lessons the European Union’s experience offers for the prospect of multilateral cooperation on migration at the global level? What implications might better global coordination have for cooperation within the European Union? And finally, is there a role for EU institutions, and the EU-28, to play in ensuring that the UN effort to strengthen global collaboration is concrete and meaningful?
As record numbers of refugees and migrants undertake journeys across the Mediterranean, policymakers are faced with the challenging tasks of receiving, protecting, and integrating new arrivals—at every stage of their migration journey—while maintaining public confidence in an increasingly immigration-skeptic climate.
This second session, in an event co-organized by the Migration Policy Institute during September 2016 in New York, examines what is known about promising approaches to settle and integrate newcomers, including the links between development and stability in the region and integration, and how to garner support for these policies in host communities. The session also examines what drives complex public reactions to immigration, and how policymakers and civil society can innovate to combat xenophobia, better understand rising support for populist parties, and assuage fears of loss of identity. The session is followed by brief closing remarks.
Record numbers of people are on the move throughout the
Mediterranean region in search of protection or opportunity, placing
considerable pressure on national asylum and migration systems and fueling
anxiety among publics about their governments’ ability to manage these flows.
This discussion, co-organized by the Migration Policy
Institute during September 2016 in New York, focuses on how governments and
actors in the Mediterranean region can work together to expand durable
solutions for refugees and coordinate efforts to build welcoming communities
Opening comments and welcome are followed by the first session that examines
how regional cooperation can complement international action to address the
refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. What factors are driving current flows of
refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean, and how have the routes they
are using to access protection and opportunity shifted? What roles are
different actors playing at the international, national, regional, and local
levels to help manage mixed flows across the Mediterranean, and expand
protection for those in need? How can policymakers in the Mediterranean better
share responsibility for providing protection and help countries on the
frontline manage these flows and meet refugees’ needs?
The United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union has given new momentum to euroskeptic, nationalist, and anti-immigration movements elsewhere in Europe. While many of the policy impacts of the referendum will not be known for a while yet, the vote has pointed, in stunning fashion, to the rising public anxiety over immigration levels and concerns over governments' ability to manage flows and foster successful immigrant integration.
On this webinar, MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou, who is also President emeritus of MPI, and experts associated with MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration discuss the political and policy lessons that can be learned from Brexit and applied to debates in both Europe and North America, including how to address concerns over immigration, identity, and immigrant integration while managing migration in a globalized economy. The discussion will also touched on a Transatlantic Council report, Understanding and Addressing Public Anxiety About Immigration.
The educational needs of immigrant students in primary and secondary schools pose a growing challenge for policymakers and educators, whether in countries such as the United States, where nearly 10 percent of students are learning English, or in Germany, which is dealing with record numbers of asylum seekers. Many local schools lack the resources and capacities to meet the needs of these students, particularly given that many have limited or interrupted formal education, coupled with low or no proficiency in the language of instruction.
Speakers on this webinar discuss the need for supplementary funding to support the educational needs of migrant-background students and provide an overview of the mechanics of school funding for migrant-background students in the four focal countries examined in the report. They also discuss how schools use those funds to provide specialized services, and highlight the most salient choices facing policymakers who seek to use supplementary funding mechanisms to better support effective, high-quality educational services for children from immigrant and refugee families.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.