Flexible Solidarity: A comprehensive strategy for asylum and immigration in the EU
The Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM) was established in 2016 to pursue two objectives: to conduct research to improve our understanding of the interrelated challenges facing the EU and its member states in the areas of asylum, migration, and mobility; and to engage European policy makers and civil society in a broad and open debate about comprehensive, implementable solutions to these challenges.
This 2018 MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe is the second in an annual series. The challenges European policymakers face may appear less urgent today than in 2015 or 2016 because fewer irregular immigrants are now arriving in the EU. But each of the main measures that are associated with reducing the number of irregular immigrants - the EU-Turkey agreement, the closure of the Western Balkans migration route, and cooperation with the Libyan coast guard and other problematic actors in Libya - has important shortcomings that call into question their long-term sustainability in their current form.
In this report, we analyze how these policy interventions may be further developed and which complementary measures are needed to create an effective framework of policies to protect refugees, respect the human rights of migrants, and reduce irregular immigration to the EU.
We begin by assessing immediate challenges to EU policies. We apply the notion of ‘flexible solidarity’ to provide guidance on how EU member states may effectively share responsibility for interconnected policies in different areas. We discuss possible responses to the challenges posed by irregular migration across the Mediterranean and explore ways in which EU member states can create more opportunities for legal labor migration from Africa to the EU.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.