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 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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
The final contribution in this dossier presents a visual overview of several migrants-related developments and facts, assembled by visiting editor Hannes Cools.
Since 1947 the Clingendael Spectator is the Dutch magazine for international relations. It is free of charge and accessible for all those interested in world politics. The Clingendael Spectator is an independent publication of the Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’. Follow all Clingendael activities here. Stay updated on the Dutch language Spectator items via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or subscribe to the Spectator Newsletter.
Cover image: Gorilla