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June 2014

The Migration Newsletter

The Migration Policy Centre regularly publishes this newsletter to share recent developments in its research activities


In this issue: Is What We Hear About Migration Really True? | CONTENTION – Control of Detention


Is What We Hear About Migration Really True?

Immigration has polarised European politics for decades. There have been defenders and opponents of migration into Europe, and it has often been the matter of acrimonious debate. In recent years, however, the dispute between the two groups often seems to have largely vanished. If not all politicians share the same principles about migration and migrants, fewer and fewer dare to defend the view that migration is, and will continue to be, needed. They follow the trends of public opinion, and increasingly large numbers see migrants as competitors in labour markets beset by unemployment, burdens on endangered welfare systems, and elements of social disruption.

This is in large part a result of the current crisis, which has exacerbated economic and social tensions and led to the search for scapegoats. If the opinion that migration is a threat rather than an asset prevails, there is a risk that European States will forego the benefits of immigration. In doing so, it will undermine Europe’s recovery from the crisis and, ultimately, its position of importance in the world.

However, if the consensus shifts and European societies come to see migration as a dynamic and positive force, then migration and migrants can and will help these societies better prepare for future challenges. In order to ground the debate in current evidence, and to counteract populist stereotypes, the Migration Policy Centre has released a new volume entitled Is What We Hear about Migration Really True? – Questioning Eight Migration Stereotypes. In this volume, which is accompanied by a booklet summarising its contents, MPC’s experts re-think eight migration stereotypes in the light of MPC’s research and broader academic scholarship. It contains the following chapters: 1) We do not need migrants; 2) Migrants steal our jobs; 3) We do not need low-skilled immigrants in the EU; 4) Migrants undermine our welfare systems; 5) Migration hampers our capacity to innovate; 6) Our southern coastline is flooded with asylum seekers; 7) Economic migrants are trying to cheat our asylum system; 8) Our children suffer from having immigrants in class.

The volume and the booklet will be presented to the press in Brussels in the presence of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ms Cecilia Malmström on 11 July 2014.

The MPC is co-financed by the European Union.

CONtrol of deTENTION

Last updates

The CONTENTION project held its Kick-off meeting 28 February-1 March 2014 at the European University Institute in Florence. It was the occasion to bring together the participants to the project from 11 EU member States (AT, BG, BE, CZ, DE, FR, IT, NL, SK, SI and UK) including national judges, academic experts and members of the project’s Scientific Committee, as well as a representative from the European Commission. These discussed the project’s concept note on the extent of judicial control of pre-removal detention in the EU and highlighted several important conceptual issues. The second day was dedicated to the CONTENTION database and to a round-table on the building blocks of the questionnaire, which will serve as the basis for 11 national reports to be written by project participants.

A complete debrief of the kick-off meeting as well as video interviews can be found here.

What next?

The CONTENTION database including the collected national judgments, the relevant European and UN Human Rights Committee case-Law and a selective bibliography will soon be made public. Forthcoming events are:

  • A Meeting in Florence, 3-4 October 2014, to discuss the draft European synthesis report drafted on the basis of national reports.
  • The Final Conference in Brussels 11-12 December 2014, where the results of the project will be presented to the general public.
Finally, a book on judicial control of pre-removal detention in the European Union will be published by the end of the project.

Beyond detention issues…

The CONTENTION’s Final Conference in December 2014 will also be the occasion to officially launch the REDIAL project (REturn DIALogue). This new project will be aimed at expanding the scope of CONTENTION by going beyond detention issues and establishing a broader European network. This network will include judges dealing with return cases and legal academics from all EU Member States with a view to exchanging knowledge and experience regarding the proper implementation of the EU Return Directive. Read more about the project…

“CONTENTION” needs you!

All JUDGES, LAWYERS, NGOs and any other person or institution can contribute to the project by providing NATIONAL CASE-LAW (2008 onwards) from the 11 Member States mentioned above related to the interpretation and implementation of pre-removal detention under articles 15 to 18 of the Return Directive. The case-law can be sent, in your national language, to CONTENTION academic legal experts following the guidelines available in the call for contributions. Material will be accepted until December 2014. For any enquiries, please contact Dr. Sergo Mananashvili (

Additional information about related events and the latest judicial decisions can be found here.
The CONTENTION project is co-funded by the European Union under the European Return Fund.
CONTENTION partners: the ODYSSEUS Network – ULB and the Centre for Judicial Cooperation.

Gulf Labour Markets and Migration programme

The GLMM programme provides a daily news service, statistics, legal documents, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the understanding and for the better management of Gulf labour markets and migration, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholders.

By May 2014, the GLMM programme had collected, analysed and published more than 250 tables and more than 200 legal documents for Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In June 2014, the collection and analyses of statistics and legal documents for Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates started. These are expected to be published, starting late September 2014. So far, GLMM has published six papers, while several more will be published shortly. 26 May 2014, the new GLMM website was launched, which will, by the end of June 2014, allow for downloading in excel and pdfs of all information contained in the demographic-economic and in the legal databases.

9-10 March 2014, GLMM co-organized with Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) and Gulf Studies Center (GSC) a two-day roundtable discussion in Doha titled “Labour Migration in the Arab Gulf Countries: Issues, Data, Documents and Research.” in which participated: officials from the ministries of labour, statistical bureaus and planning institutes of the GCC countries; representatives from international organizations; and academics from/based in the GCC countries and elsewhere. GLMM is organizing a workshop with fifteen original research papers in the framework of the Gulf Research Meeting (Cambridge 25-28 August 2014) on “Determinants of Future Migration to the Gulf”.

The GLMM programme is conducted together with the Gulf Research Centre (GRC) and financed by the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

Migrants’ integration in Europe

Leading a worldwide online survey on civil society organisations working with and for migrants

The INTERACT Project has entered its culminating phase. The survey of migrant associations is gaining speed and volume. The INTERACT team is currently contacting over 2000 organizations in the EU and in third countries asking them to share their experience with them.

The survey focuses now on the migration corridors that are the focus of the INTERACT project: migrants from Morocco and Turkey in Belgium; migrants from Tunisia and Turkey in France; migrants from Turkey and Russia in Germany; migrants from Morocco and Ukraine in Italy; migrants from China and Turkey in the Netherlands; migrants from Russia and Ukraine in Poland; migrants from Ecuador and Morocco in Spain; migrants from Iran and Turkey in Sweden; and migrants from China and India in the United Kingdom.

The survey will last until the end of September and will gradually cover other migratory corridors to the EU. If you are active in an association that helps non-EU migrants in any EU member state or that supports migrants wishing to come to the EU, we would be pleased to involve you in our survey! Just send an email declaring your interest to

Sharing the INTERACT research methodology and results

In April INTERACT team-members were present at the European Integration Forum to discuss the international dimension of the governance of integration policies. In June the INTERACT project experience was also shared with the policy makers at the Transatlantic Council Meeting in Lisbon and at the Polish Institute of International Studies in Warsaw. The methodology of the project will be presented to academic audiences at the Annual BAGSS Conference which will be held in Bamberg in Germany in July.

New videos are available on the INTERACT website on “Studying integration as a three-way process”, “The governance of integration” and “Measuring and comparing integration”.

The INTERACT project is co-financed by the European Union.

MISMES project
Migrant support measures

Migrant Support Measures in Mobility Partnerships analysed in five neighbouring countries

The joint MPC/European Training Foundation project “Migrant Support Measures from and Employment and Skills Perspective” (MISMES) has now entered its second phase. Whereas in the first phase the project compiled an inventory of migrant support policy interventions globally and aimed to identify the range of models among various categories of policy measures, in this second phase it will focus on five country case studies: Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Morocco and Tunisia. It will review migrant support measures in each of those countries and look at how effective they are in improving labour market outcomes and the skills utilization of migrant workers. Additionally, the second phase of the project will also examine how the migrant support policy measures implemented in these five countries fit into the Mobility Partnerships signed between the European Union and neighbouring countries. Since MISMES has been implemented in all these countries for years, a key issue is the impact of the EU Mobility Partnerships on MISMES, their intensity, the resources available for them, the kind of MISMES implemented and the actors implementing them. In other words, what is their added value in this field? The country case studies will also analyse to what extent the development of a policy dialogue framework or other institutional arrangements brought about by Mobility Partnerships might have an impact on the success of different types of MISMES, for instance due to the increased coordination among actors or to their linkage to actual legal labour migration opportunities. Finally, there will be recommendations regarding MISMES in the framework of Mobility Partnerships.

For a general discussion of MISMES, refer to the MPC blog entry Why bother about migrant support measures?

For further information on the MISMES project, please consult the MISMES project webpage.
New videos on “Research on Migrant Support Measures from an Employment and Skills Perspective”, “Preliminary conclusions of the General Inventory of MISMES” and “The origins of the MISMES project and the EU Mobility Partnerships with neighbouring countries” are available online.

The MISMES project is financed by the European Training Foundation (ETF).


India-EU migration: a relationship with untapped potential

The first phase of the CARIM-India project – Developing a Knowledge Base for Policymaking India-EU Migration – has drawn to a close. Its final scientific report on “India-EU migration: a relationship with untapped potential”, which details the main research findings of the project and their policy implications, is now available on the CARIM-India website.

The rise of India as an increasingly important economic and strategic partner brings a range of potential benefits to the European Union. However, many of its Member States are “missing the boat” when it comes to exploiting the full potential of Indian migration to the EU. Contrary to the common migration stereotype that low-skilled workers are not needed, and even worse, that they steal jobs from native citizens, this report shows how low-skilled workers from India have successfully integrated into local economies without threatening local jobs. Finally, this report on Indian migration to the EU provides a roadmap for future strategies for the India-EU relationship. Given the growing importance of EU-India relations, it is vital that migration issues are also on the table. With the political will, migration solutions that satisfy both India and the EU can hopefully be negotiated over the next five years.

Developing Evidence-Based Management and Operations in the India-EU Migration and Partnership

Research for the second phase of the CARIM-India project – Developing Evidence-Based Management and Operations in India-EU Migration and Partnership – has now started. The official launch of this new phase will take place in the fall of this year. In addition, a new scientific steering committee has been proposed, consisting of Indian and European scholars, which will meet twice a year. At the European University Institute, the first research project will explore the involvement of the Gujarati Jain community based in Antwerp in the global diamond industry. Further local fieldwork on the Indian community will also be carried out. The lead partner in this second phase is the Indian Centre for Migration, an independent research organisation linked to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The CARIM-India project is co-financed by the European Union.


Other MPC News

Brainstorming on Solidarity and Asylum Policy of the European Union

It will be impossible to build a truly Common European Asylum System without increased solidarity, one of the great challenges now facing EU asylum policy Solidarity, in fact, is increasingly relevant due to growing tensions and distrust among Member States.

The MPC launched a brainstorming exercise on the possibilities of better implementation for the principle of solidarity at an informal seminar organised 21 May in Florence, which included renowned experts in the field. The primary goal of the seminar was to discuss a model for tradable refugee quotas between EU Member States, which has been elaborated by economists attached to the MPC. On the basis of the results of the seminar, the MPC will investigate the possibility of launching a research project on this issue in liaison with the future evaluation of the Dublin system of responsibility determination.

10th Migration Summer School – Framing Migration Differently: From Implicit Problem to Implied Asset

With a multidisciplinary programme, the 10th Migration Summer School organised by the MPC in Florence from Monday 23 June until Friday 4 July 2014 critically questions some of the assumptions underlying much of the contemporary academic, political and media debate surrounding migration. This includes, above all, the notion that migration is a fundamental problem that needs to be managed, contained and regulated.

Re-framing how we view migration can shift the discourse of migration from purely security and integration concerns to start thinking about migration as a creative asset. Migration gives migrant-receiving countries a fundamental competitive edge over non-migrant receiving countries, and it helps open doors for migrant-sending countries. This re-framing will take place from a number of different disciplinary perspectives, including law, economics, demography and sociology. While each discipline approaches the study of migration differently, we will see how these approaches are ultimately complementary and necessary for a comprehensive academic understanding of a complex phenomenon.

The call for applications for the Summer School closed at the end of April and the MPC received over 200 applications, of which 30 have been selected. Participants include doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, as well as civil servants and professionals from all over the world.

The MPC is co-financed by the European Union.

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