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.


  • Migration is the main course on the menu for tonight’s EU Summit dinner. We respectfully offer the Heads of State three starters to stimulate their appetite and thoughts before the serious discussions begin.

    Read the commentary here (external link).


  • Both CDU/CSU and FDP took a hard stance on limiting the right of refugees under subsidiary protection in Germany – a position that is surprising given the relatively low numbers of expected family migrants. This approach seems to be an attempt to appeal to win voters back from the right-wing AfD.

    Read the commentary here (external link).

  • In mid-October, the second multi-stakeholder hearing of the preparatory process of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration took place in Geneva. MEDAM researcher Matthias Lücke contributed through written submissions addressing labor migration in particular. Destination countries should allow more skilled immigration, and help people in countries of origin to acquire the certified skills needed – to the benefit of both countries of origin and destination. Read more…

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