Migration Policy in a European Context

Rainer Münz

Rainer Münz
Course Lead

Head of Research & Knowledge Center at Erste Group

Jenna Althoff, Junior Scholar on Migration Policy

Jenna Althoff
Junior Scholar on Migration Policy

The elective course Migration Policy in a European Context will cover fundamental aspects of European migration and migration policy. In three two-day block sessions in spring 2015, the course will focus on issues raised by contemporary migratory dynamics, steering and integration capacities by the EU, the nation states, and the changing architecture of global migration governance as well as regional, local and municipal responsibilities. Highlighting the multi-faceted nature of migration policy, the course will cover issues of demography, economic development, labor migration, European border management, visa regimes, diaspora and citizenship (policies & politics), the rights of migrants, and asylum policy. Included in the course are two field trips, one to ICMPD and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, another one to a reception center in Hungary. The course will also highlight existing conflicts, predicaments, ambivalences and contradictions linked to various migration policies and mobility regimes.

The program will feature high-level policy experts and practitioners, representatives of national governments as well as inter-national organizations with a migration portfolio (FRA, UNHCR, ICPMD, IOM), CEU faculty, and NGO representatives.

Throughout the elective, special attention will be paid to the interplay between actual migration flows, international/regional arrangements and domestic policy processes, as well as to the different and complementary roles of individual migrants and Diasporas, the private sector and government branches. The course also aims at strengthening

  • the ability to understand the aims and outcomes of migration policies/mobility/protection regimes, and
  • quantitative analysis skills that will enable participants to collect, handle and interpret migration and asylum data (both stocks and flows).

Both are important aspects in migration research and skill-set participants will benefit from in their careers.

1. Target groups

We expect to accommodate a total of 20 students from SPP, DPP and if possible also some other CEU departments, along with 5-10 external ones from national administrations and international organizations with a migration portfolio.

  • SPP/CEU students will be able to apply via the online system. Preference will be given to students who have had previous exposure to the field of migration and/or integration policy and/or had to deal with humanitarian crisis intervention, as part of their academic curriculum or professional experience, and who can credibly demonstrate that they seek to use the course for their future careers;
  • The focus on skills as well as on policy expertise will be complemented by an effort to open the course to migration, asylum and home affair professionals based in Budapest, Vienna, Belgrade and Bratislava, international organizations based in Budapest (IOM, UNHCR, Federation of the Red Cross, ILO) as well as NGOs.

2. Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will

  • have acquired a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of migration and migration policy and its multi-level structure, which will help them in their future career as bureaucrats & senior civil servants;
  • be able to critically engage with the current structures and processes of multilevel migration governance and to link the different perspectives and issue areas that accumulate within the field of migration policy;
  • have acquired quantitative methods knowledge on how to read and understand statistical data on migration as well as gained insights on qualitative methods used in migration studies, and where applicable also on the role of law/the courts;
  • understand basic conceptual components of migration analysis, and be aware of the different definitions of migration and procedures of migration policy making;
  • be able to produce an analysis of the migration policy/strategy of a country (municipality, city) or an international organization by successfully linking the different perspectives and issues and/or situate their own work (and that of their organizational unit) within the multi-level structure and multi-dimensional nature of migration policy.

3. Course requirements

Course requirements for all participants include

  • Attendance (minimum 5/6 sessions, with exceptional circumstances being reviewed upon individual request);
  • Active participation;
  • Mid-term case study (2500 words);
  • Final take-home exam (essay questions, 5000 words).

In addition, external applicants (practitioners) will be asked to provide a motivation letter describing how they would benefit from the course, how they think their experience of working in this area can contribute to the course objectives, and also stating their ability to fund all occurring travel & accommodation-related costs.

4. Grading

The course offers 4 ECTS credits (equivalent to 2 CEU credits).

  • Active participation (25% of the final grade) – active engagement in class discussions, demonstrating knowledge of the assigned readings, attempting to link the different issue areas, share work experience (for practitioners) and home country facts (for students);
  • Mid-term case study (25% of the final grade) - detailed description of aspects of the migration & asylum policy/strategy of the participant's country/agency/organizational unit within an agency (2500 words);
  • Final paper/Take-home exam (50% of the final grade) - on the basis of the sessions, elaborate on one of the essay question, demonstrating an understanding of the multi-disciplinary perspective on migration and its multi-faceted nature. Two or three optional essay questions will be provided (5000 words).

Practitioners will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course; students will be awarded 2 credit points.

5. Course schedule

4 May 2015
General introduction to the course
Demography, economic development, and global migration policy

Introduction by:

Rainer Münz, Course Lead

The session deals with global demographic as well as economic imbalances and their implication for today's and tomorrow's migration flows. The main question is: will people continue to migrate from youthful, but poorer countries to graying but richer societies? Or will economic growth in emerging and developing markets lead to less migration as more people will decide to stay in dynamic economies – despite the fact these countries still have a lower GDP per capita? And how would a graying China become a game changer, if this country would decide to enter the global race for talent and skills? Possible answers discussed in this session might also have dramatic implications for European migration policies. This introductory session will analyze the phenomenon from the perspectives of both the receiving and the sending countries and project forward to the demand for as well as the supply of future migrant workers in the medium and long terms.

  • This session will be video-linked to the Tien Shan Policy Center at the American University in Central Asia - Bishkek.

5 May 2015
Labor migration and labor markets: third-country and intra-EU mobility


Martin Kahanec, Department of Public Policy (CEU)
Antonio Graziosi, Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe at International Labour Organization, Budapest
Alin Chindea, International Organization for Migration

For many mobile people the main motivation for migration is an economic one. People with unsatisfactory economic perspectives or underutilization of acquired skills are trying to find work abroad with the purpose of generating income and eventually sending money back home; or with the purpose of bringing the whole family along. Under the right circumstances, labor migration is the quickest way of lifting people to higher levels of income. Beyond this mico-level analysis, the mobility of labor and skills has economic consequences both for sending and receiving countries – including consequences for wages and the supply and demand of labor and skills. In this context it should not be overlooked that the conditions under which migrants are admitted have an impact both on their self-selection and on their labor market integration. It should also not be overlooked that the very existence of various informal labor markets serves as a main pull-factor attracting both irregular migrants and people overstaying their terms of residence. The session analyzes the outcomes of different labor migration regimes, both globally and on the level of intra-EU mobility, i.e. the mobility rights of EU citizens within the EU's labor market. The session will also discuss how European migration policies have developed and how its selection and admission system could be reformed and gaps in its migration polices closed.

21 May 2015
Rights of migrants


Alev Korun, Member of the Austrian Parliament (Greens)
Manfred Nowak, University of Vienna
Ann-Charlotte Nygård, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Migrants – in particular those coming from third countries – are more likely to be discriminated than native-born members of mainstream society. Structurally discrimination takes place on labor and housing markets, individually it happens at workplaces and in everyday life. In extreme cases this even leads to abuse. Fighting discrimination of migrants is important at a human rights level. But it is also important from an economic point of view as a better job for migrants fit would lead to higher income and help avoiding brain waste. This would help increasing the economic gain from migration both for the receiving country and for the migrants themselves. The session will discuss how to protect human and fundamental rights of migrants and how to protect particularly vulnerable groups.

  • This session will take place in Vienna as part of a two-day trip to ICMPD and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

22 May 2015
European border management and visa regimes


Albert Kraler, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)
Karl-August Lux, Austrian Foreign Ministry
Armin Vogl, Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior

The aim of this session is to increase participants' awareness and understanding of the current structure of European border management and its actors: What are the fundamental aspects of European integration leading up to the establishment of the Schengen area? What competencies of border management exist at EU-level and what competencies remain with the nation state? Where do we observe cooperation in border management, both between member states and with neighboring countries? And who is actually managing the borders? The session will also focus on actors such as agencies and private companies that engage in border management, e.g. in terms of supporting coordination among member states in guarding external borders (FRONTEX) or in terms of commercial and/or security companies taking over tasks of control and security provision (airport and security staff and other privately operating firms handling passport checks, security checks or pre-processing of asylum applications respectively). Additional aspects to be covered in this session include human rights protection at borders, criminal networks operations across borders, the privatization of border control/ management, the de-territorialization of the border & border control, member state cooperation and third countries on aspects of border management, or technical aspects of border surveillance and mobility tracking.

  • This session will also be held in Vienna

1 June 2015
Diaspora and citizenship


Rainer Münz, Course Lead
Luicy Pedroza, Department of Public Policy (CEU)

"Diaspora" – the term refers to geographically dispersed populations relating themselves collectively with a (former) homeland outside their country of residence. This can either be traced back to earlier settlements, displacement, dissolution of empires and multi-ethnic states; or it can be the result of more recent labor migration and refugee flows. Diasporas are characterized by their ability to connect or at least identify with a former homeland. They can play an eminent role in preserving and upholding language, culture and/or religion. Diasporas can be instrumental in fostering ties between their country of residence and the (former) homeland they relate to. Some Diasporas make substantial economic contributions by sending remittances or investing in the former homeland. Diasporas often are involved in politics both in the country they live and in the country they relate to. This partly depends on issues like citizenship, voting rights and political mobilization. It also depends to a certain degree on trans-border nationalism based on ethnic criteria. For this reason, diasporas can become a bridge, but also a challenge for the relations between two countries. The session discusses how Diasporas and (former) homelands can engage with each other in mutually beneficial ways and how modern European nation states are dealing with the issue. The session also discusses how ethnic nation states have dealt with their own co-ethic Diasporas in two completely different ways – trying to empower Diasporas abroad or encouraging a return to the historical "homeland".

2 June 2015
Asylum policy


Boldizsár Nagy, Department of International Relations and European Studies (CEU)
Madeline Garlick, Centre for Migration Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Both European tradition and international conventions require EU member states to admit asylum seekers and to grant them refugee status if they qualify. This tradition and legal obligation, however, is being questioned, as an increasing number of people manage to cross Europe's land and sea borders in irregular ways – with many of them asking for protection. In recent years some 300.000 to 400.000 people claimed asylum in one of the 28 EU member states. Europe's predicament in this context is clear: Globally, but also in Europe's geographic neighborhood, many more people are in need of protection than the EU and other European countries will be able and willing to accommodate. And this disproportionate relation can only grow as besides political refugees and destitute people the number of climate refugees will increase during the years to come. The other dilemma relates to solidarity. Irregular entries mainly take place at Europe's Southern/South-Eastern sea borders and Eastern land borders. Countries like Italy, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria have to shoulder the main burden of dealing with these inflows – including increasingly costly rescue operations in the Mediterranean. At the same time only seven EU countries, all of them located in North-Western Europe are handling three quarters of all asylum applications. And, so far, under current rules there is no truly functioning mechanism for burden-sharing. The session will discuss information-led and protection based practices in managing mixed migration flows at Europe's external borders. It will concentrate on the interception, identification, and reception of persons in need for protection both at external borders as well as through in-country procedures. It will also touch upon relevant longer term solutions such as return, integration, and resettlement in another country. Particular focus will be dedicated to good practices of cooperation at national and international level regarding refugee protection and mixed migration, and asylum, including aspects from the UNHCR's 10 point plan of action.

  • This session will be part of a field trip to the Debrecen or the Bicske reception center.

6.  Application Procedure

To apply, interested individuals should submit the online application form by 26 March 2015, accompanied by:

  • your resume;
  • a short essay (of around 500 words) on how you will benefit from the course and how you think your professional experience of working in this area can contribute to its objectives (500 words max.).

Successful candidates will be notified by 3 April 2015.

For additional information please contact: gpa@spp.ceu.edu.