You are here

European immigration policies


Since 2015, migration issues have been at the center of European debates and have been worsening divergences of opinion and tensions among Member States of the European Union (EU). The building of common asylum and immigration policies since 1999 has not prevented a series of crises on topics such as irregular arrivals on European shores, search and rescue at sea, dispersal of asylum seekers or the management of internal and external EU borders. These crises highlight the deadlocks of the EU construction process and question European solidarity. Because of institutional deadlocks, the core of EU immigration and asylum policies is shifting outside EU borders with a series of agreements with third countries (Turkey, Morocco, Libya, Niger…). While outsourcing the management of migration flows to these countries, this policy is impacting other regional migration dynamics such as in the sub-Saharan area.

Ifri's Center for Migration and Citizenship is proposing policy papers, conferences, and cooperation with European and African experts and research fellows in order to analyze EU asylum and immigration policies with a focus on the following topics:

  • The impact of the political discussions on the future of immigration and asylum policies on the construction of the EU project;
  • The role of local authorities, cities and the civil society in European policies on asylum and immigration;
  • The place of migration issues in the EU external relations;
  • The impact of the external dimension of EU policies on regional migration dynamics.

With its new Skilled Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) of 23 June 2023, Germany aims to become the country with "the most modern immigration law in Europe". A new points system and new entry rules for experienced workers having a degree from their home country...

By: Emeric ROGIER

The 2015 “crisis” accelerated and/or intensified the involvement of foundations (in particular those from the private sector) in the field of migration. The crisis not only created a sense of urgency, but also generated a movement of public empathy that foundations were willing to accompany...

By: Adrian SCHLEGEL, Aram ZIAI

In recent years, Germany’s Africa politics have been characterized by proactive international initiatives and the claim for a "partnership at eye level". However, a look at the power constellations of its cooperation indicates that inequalities are – contrary to Germany’s own claims – rather...

By: Manfred ÖHM

German development cooperation (GDC) in a post-Merkel era can be expected to become more geopolitical. Recently adopted German policy documents like the Indo-Pacific guidelines as well as the support to the geopolitical ambition of the European Commission suggest such a tendency for future...


EU policy on migration and asylum is being built for the last 20 years. But this process is today on hold although France and Germany support the same position on this matter. However, the “migration crisis” in 2015 highlighted the weakness of the Franco-German alliance and the extend to which...

By: Christophe BERTOSSI, Amal EL OUASSIF, Matthieu TARDIS

While migration from Africa is the priority of European policies for the control of the European Union’s external borders, African migration dynamics are above all regional. Sub-Saharan migration is poorly connected to transcontinental flows: more than 70% remain in Africa.

By: Matthieu TARDIS, Daniele ALBANESE

More than 70 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2018. In that context, more safe and legal pathways to countries of asylum is a crucial challenge for the international protection regime. A toolkit is available to States and UNHCR, more particularly refugee resettlement.


RAMSES 2020. A World without a Compass?, written by Ifri's research team and external experts, offers an in-depth and up-to-date analysis of geopolitics in today’s world.

By: Daniel Vernet Group,    

The eighth position paper of the Daniel Vernet Group addresses immigration, integration and cohesion in Europe where migration is often perceived as a threat to cohesion within societies and also among states. In the paper, the Daniel Vernet Group argues that migration and cohesion are not...

Monday 29 April 2024
from 18:00 to 20:00 - External Events

Migrations, prompted by rising insecurity, socio-economic disparities and environmental poverty, are back on the top of the EU’s political agenda. To consolidate the EU’s approach in this policy-area, the European Parliament and Council adopted in December 2023 a New Pact on Migration and...

Tuesday 06 December 2022
from 09:30 to 14:00 - Conférences

While Europe is facing the largest displacement phenomenon since World War II, we are experiencing an unprecedented wave of solidarity for refugees from Ukraine in all parts of the continent. The mobilization of Europeans for refugees and migrants has been rising since 2015. It is both a...

Monday 28 January 2019 to Tuesday 29 January 2019
from Monday 28 January 2019 15:00 to Tuesday 29 January 2019 13:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The 4x4 Directors Forum is an annual meeting gathering the directors of four European and four African Think Tanks to discuss current challenges that both continents are facing. The purpose is to identify common positions and asymmetries, and address possible areas of cooperation in order to...

Thursday 21 September 2017
from 18:00 to 19:30 - Conférences

The arrivals of refugees from East Africa in Europe have continued to increase since 2015. However, this situation should not gloss over the fact that migration is mainly a regional phenomenon: East Africa, alongside Middle East, hosts currently more refugees than any other regions in the...

Thursday 23 February 2017
from 09:00 to 12:00 - Seminars and Round-table Conferences

The European Union (EU) has witnessed an influx of immigrants for more than two years. It has had an important impact on a great number of member states, and on the EU itself, who turned out to be, to a large extent, incapable of adopting a shared approach.

Thursday 15 December 2016
from 18:00 to 19:30 - Conférences

The arrival of one million refugees in Europe between 2015 and 2016 has been perceived as the proof of the drastic acceleration of international migration. What is the reality of the situation? How has this “refugee crisis” affected the European Union and its institutions? Where are we now,...

By: Matthieu TARDIS, quoted by Eleanor Beardsley for NPR

As a ship carrying more than 200 migrants rescued at sea docked in a French port on Friday, a diplomatic crisis between France and Italy worsened, signaling further chaos in the European Union's already erratic handling of asylum seekers coming to Europe.