The European asylum and immigration system remains 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 recognized refugees into their host societies. In a fundamental and permanent change to the political landscape and public debate in Europe, immigration from outside the EU has become one of the greatest concerns among European citizens.
At the same time, many Europeans realize that sustainable immigration from third countries will be crucial in alleviating demographic tensions, addressing labor shortages, and rendering the EU a more innovative region.
The Mercator Dialogue on Migration and Asylum (MEDAM) seeks to de-emotionalize an often heated debate and provide a scientifically sound basis for decision making. The research and consultation project identifies and closes gaps in existing research and develops research-based solutions for asylum and immigration policies, addressing the most pressing concerns of policy makers from an independent European perspective.
The 2020 MEDAM Assessment Report discusses the effectiveness of European approaches to increasing third countries’ readmission cooperation, and calls on the EU to take greater account of third countries’ interests and perspectives in its migration policies. In the video, MEDAM’s Senior Project Director Gabriel Felbermayr explains why any successful policy to reduce irregular migration must come with more possibilities for legal and regular migration.