Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM)

The European asylum and immigration system is in crisis: large numbers of refugees and migrants seek entry into the European Union leaving it to struggle with providing for their basic needs, distributing asylum applicants among EU member states, and efficiently integrating those who are allowed to stay into their host societies. Immigration from outside the EU has become one of the greatest concerns among European citizens.

At the same time, the EU recognizes that sustainable immigration from third countries will be crucial in alleviating demographic tensions, addressing labor shortages, and rendering the EU a more innovative region by 2020.

The Mercator Dialogue on Migration and Asylum (MEDAM) will help to de-emotionalize an often heated debate and provide a scientifically sound basis for decision making. The three-year research and consultation project aims to identify and close the gaps in existing research and to develop research-based solutions for asylum and immigration policies, addressing the most pressing concerns of policy makers from an independent European perspective.


  • International migration has effectively entered the G20 agenda only two years ago. The 2015 Antalya Communiqué describes the “ongoing refugee crisis” as a global concern and calls for burden-sharing among states and more support for refugees. In his article MEDAM researcher Matthias Lücke looks at the outcomes of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

    Read the article here (external link).


  • On June 20th, Mikkel Barslund and Lars Ludolph engaged in a closed-door meeting with the Belgian Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Theo Francken. Following a presentation of the 2017 MEDAM assessment report main findings, topics discussed ranged widely – from the Dublin system to irregular crossings along the Mediterranean route.

  • The marked increase in irregular crossings from Libya to Italy caused the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, to issue a plea for help – as well as a threat to close of vessels disembarking migrants from search and rescue operations. MEDAM researchers Mikkel Barslund and Lars Ludolph discuss the way forward.

    Read the commentary here.

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