Germany and the EU have been facing enormous challenges in migration and refugee policymaking. A shift towards proactive asylum and migration policies is indispensable if we are to develop effective, fair and sustainable solutions for the increased arrival of asylum seekers and refugees in Europe.
A proactive European refugee policy is based on two pillars. The first involves a far more effective asylum management within the EU. This includes establishing uniform asylum standards across the member states, timely and sound asylum procedures, effective measures for integrating refugees, as well as the establishment of legal channels for persons in need of international protection. Without adequate legal pathways, i.e. via resettlement programmes, it will not be possible to sustainably reduce irregular migration. The second pillar involves effectively addressing the root causes of irregular migration, i.e. via fair migration partnerships between the EU and non-EU countries.
European foundations and think tanks form asylum initiative
In cooperation with the Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPIE) and other European foundations and think tanks, the Bertelsmann Stiftung seeks to contribute to a change in perspective in Europe: from reactive to fair, effective and proactive asylum and refugee policies. The European asylum initiative aims at developing reform proposals for EU member states to strengthen their asylum systems. The initiative highlights efforts to improve asylum procedures carried out by authorities and civil society that have demonstrated a positive impact. Read more
Preventing irregular migration
To date, there are only very limited opportunities for asylum seekers to enter the EU via legal channels. Since asylum applications can generally only be lodged from within an EU member state, asylum seekers often find no alternatives than trying to enter the EU irregularly. This not only reinforces the dependence of asylum seekers on human traffickers, but also impedes managing asylum seeker and refugee movements more effectively. Increased border protection measures alone will not address the underlying causes driving irregular migration to the EU. A study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung will examine potential legal pathways for refugees (i.e. via resettlement programmes) and discuss possible solutions with national and international migration experts.
An effective European migration and refugee policy not only requires improving the Common European Asylum System, but will also need to focus on preventing the root causes of irregular migration. As a response to the challenge of increased migration via the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe, the EU has sought to strengthen cooperation with countries of origin and transit via “Migration Partnerships”. In this context, the Bertelsmann Stiftung focusses on analysing the prerequisites for fair partnerships to be mutually beneficial for all involved.
Migration and Integration Working Group of the European Foundation Centre
As a member of the Migration and Integration Working Group of the European Foundation Centre, the Bertelsmann Stiftung regularly exchanges views with other foundations and think tanks on current migration issues in Europe.