EU’s migration (mis)management?
Analysis Geopolitics & Global Order

EU’s migration (mis)management?

16 Jul 2018 - 10:21
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Migration into the European Union is one of the main challenges the EU member states have been facing over the years. Various measures have been taken to respond to the inflow of migrants. These measures concern external border protection; dealing with the countries of origin as well as transit countries; reallocation and resettlement of migrants and distributing them across the EU. Taking these measures has caused strains in the relations between member states. At the same time it might be asked whether more is necessary to tackle migration in a sustainable manner. The migration crisis shows that migration is a multi-dimensional issue. This Clingendael Spectator dossier intends to discuss the various dimensions of migration, their interrelationship and in particular the role of the EU and of countries of origin and of transit.

The future of the European migration system: unlikely partners?
The European Union (EU) is strongly divided on its migration system. How will tensions in Europe unfold in the coming six months and beyond? Willemijn Tiekstra of the Clingendael Institute focuses on an unlikely alliance that seems to be emerging in Europe: between traditional conservative opponents of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS); and frontline states that have received migrants on their initial arrival. How will this alliance develop in the near future and what are its consequences for the EU?

Between sticks and carrots: The future of EU migration deals
Annelies Zoomers, Femke van Noorloos and Iris van Liempt from the University of Utrecht reflect on the lessons the EU can learn from past migration deals with third countries. Are these deals able to turn the tide, or is it time for a fresh approach?

Migrants and refugees: What’s in a name?
Melissa Philips and Lucy Hovil discuss the difficulties of labelling migrants and which responsibilities go with these categorisations. Blurred categories, changing labels and complex migration-displacement scenarios prove difficulties for international aid workers on the ground. Do we need categories or should we abandon them?

The structural flaw in the EU’s migration policy
Raphael Shilhav claims in his column that the EU migration policy lacks a true understanding of the root causes. The approach is according to the EU Migration Policy Advisor for Oxfam International therefore ill-fitted for purpose, risks undermining development, and may even exacerbate fragility.

Militarising migration? EU and NATO involvement at the European border
Margriet Drent, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, investigates to what extent the maritime external border protection operation is effective in terms of reducing the number of migrants. Is the military approach bringing clear advantages over a political approach?

Their country’s global citizens: Political and economic agency of Senegalese diaspora
Ana Uzelac, researcher at the Clingendael Institute, turns things around by looking at the impact diaspora have on political processes in the home countries, more specifically by looking at the influence of the Senegalese diaspora in Europe on the internal politics of Senegal.

EU migration trends
The final contribution in this dossier presents a visual overview of several migrants-related developments and facts, assembled by visiting editor Hannes Cools.


Willemijn Tiekstra
Research assistant at the Clingendael Institute
Annelies Zoomers
Professor International Development Studies aan de Universiteit Utrecht
Femke van Noorloos
Assistant professor of International Development Studies at Utrecht University
Ilse van Liempt
Universitair docent Urban Geography aan de Universiteit Utrecht
Lucy Hovil
Adviser for UNDP & Senior Research Associate for the International Refugee Rights Initiative
Melissa Philips
Director Migration Nexus Consultants & Non-resident Fellow at New York University
Raphael Shilhav
EU Migration Policy Advisor for Oxfam International
Margriet Drent
Former coordinator of and Senior Research Fellow at the Security Unit of the Clingendael Research Department.
Ana Uzelac
Senior research fellow bij de Conflict Research Unit (CRU) van Instituut Clingendael
Hannes Cools