European Migration and Refugee Policy

© AB Visual Arts/
© AB Visual Arts/

The sharp increase of irregular immigration into Europe via the Mediterranean in 2015 has moved the issue to the very top of the European agenda. The EU’s migration and refugee policy now encompasses a large number of different instruments and agreements. The policy area is further complicated by the fact that the responsibilities and competencies within foreign, security, development and economic policy or of humanitarian actors are often not clearly delimited. On the one hand, it is a declared objective of the European Commission to realise the most comprehensive approach possible, especially with regard to cooperation with partner states that are important for migration policy. On the other hand, this carries the risk of internal EU conflicts of interest and has in the past led to contradictory priority-setting and tardy implementation, and to the current crisis in the common asylum system.


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Sinem Adar

EU-Turkey Cooperation over Migration

Despite its recent threats, Ankara is signalling interest in cooperating on migration governance. In the likely continuation of the Statement, the EU should link the implementation of the Statement to issues of rule of law. An Assessment by Sinem Adar

Point of View, 24.01.2020
Sinem Adar

Repatriation to Turkey’s “Safe Zone” in Northeast Syria

Ankara’s Goals and European Concerns

SWP Comment 2020/C 01, January 2020, 4 Pages


Raphael Bossong

The Expansion of Frontex

Symbolic Measures and Long-term Changes in EU Border Management

SWP Comment 2019/C 47, December 2019, 8 Pages


Evita Schmieg

Connections between Trade Policy and Migration

A Sphere of Action for the EU

SWP Research Paper 2019/RP 15, November 2019, 31 Pages


Annegret Bendiek, Raphael Bossong

Shifting Boundaries of the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy

A Challenge to the Rule of Law

SWP Research Paper 2019/RP 12, September 2019, 28 Pages


David Kipp

From Exception to Rule – the EU Trust Fund for Africa

SWP Research Paper 2018/RP 13, December 2018, 27 Pages
David Kipp, Melanie Müller

EU Migration Policy Bears No Relation to Reality

The EU is operating in crisis mode as regards migration policy, focusing above all on containment – wrongly, as David Kipp and Melanie Müller argue. They identify four factors that should be involved in a factual debate about sustainable migration policy.

Point of View, 28.11.2018
Tobias Etzold, Raphael Bossong

The Future of Schengen

Internal Border Controls as a Growing Challenge to the EU and the Nordics

SWP Comment 2018/C 44, October 2018, 7 Pages
Anne Koch, Annette Weber, Isabelle Werenfels (eds.)

Profiteers of Migration?

Authoritarian States in Africa and European Migration Management

SWP Research Paper 2018/RP 04, July 2018, 74 Pages
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SWP Comments

Frédéric Krumbein
Taiwan’s Threatened Democracy Stays on Course

Fear of China’s Dictatorship Pushes Taiwan’s President to a Landslide Victory

Günter Seufert
Turkey Shifts the Focus of Its Foreign Policy

From Syria to the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya

SWP Research Papers