CEPS and MEDAM conference discusses “Rethinking EU migration and asylum policies”

On October 16, Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM) organised a conference along with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), around the publication of its recent report on “Rethinking EU migration and asylum policies”. At the conference, European migration politics and EU-African partnerships were discussed in various panels with experts on the two matters.

Read the full report on “Rethinking EU migration and asylum policies: Managing immigration jointly with countries of origin and transit” here, authored by MEDAM with contributions from CEPS working staff.

Rethinking EU migration and asylum policies

The conference started from MEDAM’s latest publication on “Rethinking EU migration and asylum policies” with presentations from the authors and publishers. Their latest publication focuses on the preferences of migration policies amongst European citizens as well as the “attitudes to asylum seekers and refugees”. The researchers were able to conclude that “an annual limit on the annual applications for asylum, having a resource requirement for family reunification, and conditioning financial assistance to non-EU countries hosting refugees on their efforts to reduce migration to Europe would increase Europeans’ support for asylum and refugee policies.”

The authors were therefore able to conclude that the respondents of the research generally preferred regulations on asylum applications, such as refugees being able to finance their family reunifications themselves. However, people do not support “sending failed asylum seekers… back to dangerous places”, and do not support leaving it exclusively to the EU to decide on asylum applications. All of the results are shown in figure 5 in the report.

EU-African relations and the approach of the EU towards migration

After the presentation of the publication and its results, the conference progressed with three rounds of debates with different experts on migration from EU and Africa. It was brought forward during the debates that a more equal relationship between EU and Africa is needed in order to further enhance cooperation on migration and that legal migration routes should be established between Africa and the EU.

The EU’s way of managing migration was also discussed during the debates, where it was argued that member states continue to block EU decision-making on the agenda, making it difficult for Europe to further progress on migration policies.