13 May 2015, the European Commission presents its blueprint for a European Agenda on Migration: this had been announced as one of the ten political priorities of President Juncker for his five-year mandate A New Start for Europe. According to a press release published after a first orientation debate of the College of Commissioners, held 4 March, the four priorities of the European Agenda on Migration will be: 1) A Common Asylum System; 2) A new European Policy on Legal Migration; 3) Fighting irregular migration and human trafficking more robustly; and 4) Securing Europe’s external borders. This comprehensive approach is very timely only three weeks after the worst ever irregular migration tragedy in the Mediterranean, with the death of more than 800 immigrants, 19 April. The subsequent European Council, held 23 April, approved some measures to tackle this problem. But the Council was widely criticized for limiting itself to fighting the modalities of irregular migration, rather than addressing the root causes in countries of origin and focusing on the right of immigrants to protection and a decent life. It is the European Agenda on Migration that will provide a comprehensive framework to deal with all aspects of migration to the EU. It will integrate immigration and asylum policies, international cooperation and the protection of borders. The policy framework to be presented by the European Commission will be discussed and developed by EU institutions until the European Council approves it in the autumn of 2015.
As a contribution to any discussion the Migration Policy Centre has put together a set of four policy briefs dealing with the main areas of action for the European Agenda of Migration. They concisely set out the state of play at the EU level and the main challenges in each of the areas. They explain the need for reform of the current legislative and policy framework and assess the need for an EU-wide approach on each of the issues. Finally, the MPC researchers propose a number of concrete ideas for action. These will serve as a kind of benchmark, against which the ambition of the European Agenda on Migration can be tested. The four policy briefs, written and internally published before any drafts of the Agenda were released, are also meant as a specialized contribution to the upcoming debate on these four issues.
MPC Policy Briefs on the European Agenda on Migration
- EU Asylum Policy: In Search of Solidarity and Access to Protection, by Evangelia (Lilian) Tsourdi and Philippe De Bruycker
- A Comprehensive Labour Market Approach to EU Labour Migration Policy, by Iván Martín and Alessandra Venturini
- Reforming the EU Blue Card as a Labour Migration Policy Tool? by Sona Kalantaryan and Iván Martín
- EU Anti-Trafficking Policies: from Migration and Crime Control to Prevention and Protection, by Lucrecia Rubio Grundell
Read “The EU needs a new narrative on migration. Will the European Agenda on Migration meet the challenge?” by Philippe Fargues, 14 May 2015