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Beyond Stockholm: developing a new European agenda for immigration & asylum policy
Date: 21/02/2013 - 08:01
In this policy brief MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett sketches the challenges in developing a strategic, long-term agenda on migration even as Europe remains beset by fiscal uncertainty and a jobs crisis that is particularly acute for the young. Against such a backdrop, few governments are willing to have a serious conversation about anything but skilled immigration.
Yet Collett argues in the policy brief that this is precisely the moment for thinking strategically about immigration, and that failure to lay the groundwork for a smart 2020 action plan will have grave consequences for Europe’s future economic competitiveness and maintenance of social standards.
As the European Commission looks ahead to the next strategic programme for immigration in 2014, the brief makes the case that there remains an important role for the EU with respect to immigration, integration, and asylum policymaking – though the successive five-year plans that have been the centrepiece of the Union’s migration strategy since 1999 are no longer up to the challenge. The European Union will need to work with national policymakers to shape policies consistent with the new landscape of constantly changing global economic and demographic conditions, fluctuating labour demand, and evolving patterns of immigrant settlement and mobility.
“Leaders should begin by envisioning the European society that they hope to see in a generation—and what will be needed to achieve it—rather than articulating supplemental additions to existing EU policies,” Collett writes. “They should avoid setting out immigration targets and goals in isolation; and any future agenda should consider the role of immigration alongside other relevant policies, from skills development and education to external affairs.”
In the coming months, MPI Europe briefs will examine topics such as emigration from Europe, the relationship between climate change and migration, and how to adapt education systems to ensure that the children of immigrants reach their potential as the next generation of European citizens.
“Since its founding a year ago, MPI Europe has dedicated itself to providing thoughtful but pragmatic policy solutions for European leaders responsible for immigration and immigrant integration,” said MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou. “This policy brief series will offer the forward-looking but practical approach to effective policymaking on all matters migration in the EU and thus set the stage for fruitful conversations within the Commission and between it and national policymakers with the interests of Europe’s economies, communities, and the broader society squarely in mind. This is a time to reject advocacy on either side of the issue and understand well the facts and non-ideological analyses that can move this issue forward and thus contribute to building the economically robust, socially cohesive, and diversity-embracing Europe of the future.”
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