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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The European Migration Network

Now, this is a very interesting organization.  The European Migration Network has its origins in the 2001 Laeken European Council which called for a new common approach on asylum and immigration policy.  Section 40 says:

"A true common asylum and immigration policy implies the establishment of the following
1. the integration of the policy on migratory flows into the European Union's foreign
policy. In particular, European readmission agreements must be concluded with the
countries concerned on the basis of a new list of priorities and a clear action plan. The
European Council calls for an action plan to be developed on the basis of the
Commission communication on illegal immigration and the smuggling of human
2. the development of a European system for exchanging information on asylum, migration and countries of origin; the implementation of Eurodac and a Regulation for the more efficient application of the Dublin Convention, with rapid and efficient procedures..."
The "system" which became the European Migration Network was kicked off as a pilot project in 2003 and was made official by this 2008 Council Decision 2008/381/EC. The network is overseen by the European Commission and consists of National Contact Points (NCPs) in each member state.

Their website is worth looking at if you are interested in knowing what is happening in both the member-states and at the EU level with regard to immigration policy.  They have a number of interesting studies which synthesize information gathered from the NCP's about assisted return, circular migration and protected statuses for third-country nationals.  What I found the most useful was the Latest News section of the website which highlights new legislation and recently released studies at the EU level, and the annual country reports prepared by the National Contact Points with migration and international protection statistics for that member-state. France, Poland, Belgium and Sweden have all submitted reports for 2011 so the information is very recent.  The Blue Card is mentioned in the French report.  

This is a site well worth watching for those who study migration policy, for those of us who are residents (but not citizens) of an EU country and for potential migrants who is interested in someday living and working in an EU country.

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