Migration Policy in a European Context 2017

Rainer Münz

Rainer Münz
Course Lead

Senior Adviser on Migration, European Commission

Linda Szabó
Junior Scholar on Migration Policy

1.    Course description, aims and objectives

The elective course Migration Policy in a European Context covers fundamental aspects of European migration and migration policy. In three two-day block session (a total of 6 days, with sessions of 2x100 minutes per day), the course will focus on issues raised by contemporary migration dynamics (including the recent refugee crisis), 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, it will cover issues of demography, labor migration, European border management, diaspora and citizenship, domestic politics and foreign policies related to international migration, the rights of migrants, as well as refugee and asylum policy.

Included in the course is a field trip to ICMPD and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, as well as to a civil society organization engaged in migration issues there. The program will feature high-level policy experts and practitioners, representatives of inter-national organizations with a migration portfolio, CEU faculty, as well as government, think tank and NGO representatives. 

2.    Target groups

We expect to accommodate 15 students from the CEU community (10 from SPP, 5 Master and PhD students from CEU departments) and 20 professionals working in field of migration and asylum policies (either at state institutions or NGOs), and a number of refugees with status in Hungary.

  • From among SPP/CEU students, preference will be given to those 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;
  • Focusing on skills and policy expertise, the course invites migration, asylum and home affair professionals working for Budapest, Vienna, Belgrade and Bratislava, from Hungarian, Austrian, Serbian and Slovak governments (Ministries of Interior and of Labor/Social Affairs, asylum processing agencies), international organizations based in Budapest (IOM, UNHCR, WHO, Federation of the Red Cross, ILO) as well as NGOs from Hungary (MigSzol, MigHelp, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Menedék, Artemisszió) and ten additional representatives of NGOs from the region. A number of refugees with interest in the study of migration and asylum policies for the fulfillment of future career goals will also be invited to join.

3.    Application requirements 

  • SPP/CEU students will be able to apply via the online system.
  • 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.
  • Similarly, refugee applicants will be asked to apply to the course with their CV, a motivation letter describing how they would benefit from the course and their perceived level of English language / language training.

4.    Grading

  • Attendance and active participation (15% 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 (35% of the final grade) - a critical analysis 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 CEU credit points.

5.   Course program

6 April 2017

General introduction to the course


Demography, economic development, and global migration policy

The session deals with global demographic as well as with economic and political imbalances and their implication for today’s and tomorrow’s migration flows. The main questions are: Who is migrating today? What are the main reasons for mobility across borders? Will people continue to migrate from youthful, but poorer and less stable countries to graying but richer societies? And will the regime of humanitarian protection of refugees survive current European attempts to confine people in need of protection in countries and regions of crisis? Answers to the current challenges discussed in this session have dramatic implications for future European migration and asylum policies. This introductory session will analyze the phenomenon from the perspectives of both the receiving and the sending countries, taking stock of the various motives of migrants and refugees. It will introduce the structure of migration governance, including on the global, EU, and the national level and engage class participants in discussing possible distinctions - and the concomitant conflicts - between civil activism and governance where actual migration policies are shaped, but also among EU Member States (more or less affected by flow) as well as between receiving countries in the EU and sending countries in the Balkans, the Middle East, Western Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Prof. Michael Ignatieff, Rector, CEU (TBC)
  • Prof. Rainer Münz, SPP Visiting Professor

Diaspora and citizenship  

“Diaspora” – the term refers to geographically dispersed populations relating themselves collectively with a (former) homeland outside their country of residence. 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”.

  • Prof. Rainer Münz, SPP Visiting Professor

7 April 2017

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

Given the uneven development of global economy, for many mobile people the main motivation for migration is economic. People with unsatisfactory social perspectives are trying to find work abroad with the purpose of generating income and eventually sending money back home; and/or with the purpose of bringing the whole family along. Under the right circumstances, labor migration is the quickest or in many cases the only way of lifting people to higher levels of income. Mobility of labor is both conditioned by and has significant impact on sending and receiving countries’ economies, including consequences for wages, for the supply and demand of specific labor skills, but also for private investments and for the consumption of goods and services. Legal conditions under which migrants are admitted have an impact both on their self-selection and on possibilities for labor market integration. Tolerance of various informal labor markets and of the exclusion of certain groups from the legal field of work makes irregular migration and people overstaying their terms of residence possible. This session will analyze the outcomes of different labor migration regimes, both globally and on the level of intra-EU mobility. It will discuss how European migration policies have developed and how its selection and admission system could be reformed, with particular attention to the mobility rights of EU citizens within the EU’s labor market. It will also look at the most recently introduced refugee integration policies into the labor market. The session will also reflect on consequences of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) that possibly ends the free movement of labor.

  • Prof. Martin Kahanec, CEU
  • Argentina Szabados, IOM Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

4 May 2017 (Vienna)

Rights of migrants

Migrants – in particular those coming from third (non-EU) countries – are more likely to be discriminated than native-born members of mainstream society. Structural exclusion takes place in public fields of labor and housing markets but also concerns the private sphere through the management of social security, family laws, or reproductive rights. Different migrant groups experience discrimination in various forms, while in extreme cases social exclusion may appear as an abuse. The session at the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will discuss how to protect human and fundamental rights of migrants, how to protect particularly vulnerable groups, and what possible conflicts are there between the rights of different categories of citizens, which may also enforce discrimination. The session will put particular emphasis on the rights of migrants in irregular situation and on the rights of (especially unattended) minors who have come to Europe in considerable numbers during the years 2014-2016.

  • Introduction: Michael O'Flaherty, Director, FRA (TBC)
  • FRA instructor: Ann-Charlotte Nygaard
  • This session will be held on the FRA premises in Vienna

5 May 2017 (Vienna)

European border management and visa regimes

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 at ICMPD 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 and border control/management, the de-territorialization of borders, member state cooperation and third countries on aspects of border management, or technical aspects of border surveillance and mobility tracking. The session will put particular emphasis on the concept of so-called hotspots externalizing part of the processing of asylum seekers to frontline countries (Italy, Greece), a concept which the EU would like to replicate in 3rd countries of transit and origin.

  • Martijn Pluim, Slavka Zborovianova, Albert Kraler, Veronika Bilger, Elisa Trossero. This session will be held on the ICMPD premises in Vienna
  • Visit to a migrant NGO

1 June 2017

Migration management at crossroads between domestic and foreign policy

International migration, by definition, involves two or more countries. It is important to understand that sending, transit and receiving countries have interests related to migration. That reaches beyond what migrants want for themselves and for their children. Based on this, migration policies are formulated. They have an internal and an external dimension. In receiving countries domestic policies deal with admission and integration policies, but also with security issues. And they have to consider domestic electorates and public opinion. On the foreign policy 'front' sending, transit and receiving countries deal with issues such as international recruitment of labour, return and readmission agreements, but also with larger 'compacts' in which migration, trade, aid and foreign investment might be linked. The session will discuss these two sides (domestic/foreign policy) in a European context and with a focus on EU relations with the Western Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.

  • Elizabeth Collett, Director, Migration Policy Institute, Brussels

Panel discussion

The public debate in the evening of 1 June will either focus on Europe's new approach towards sending and transit countries (so-called Migration Compacts driven by "conditionality") or on the situation in North Africa and the Mediterranean, between Libya and Italy in particular (and in Greece in case the EU-Turkey agreement unravels and/or the number of Africans arriving in the EU would increase and become a highly contentious issue. We will invite parts of the Budapest–based NGO community in order to bring course participants in contact with Hungarian civil society actors.

  • Prof. Rainer Münz, SPP Visiting Professor (moderator)
  • (Argentina Szabados, IOM)
  • Elisabeth Collett, Director, MPI Europe, Brussels
  • Prof. Boldizsar Nagy, CEU

2 June 2017

Asylum policy

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. At the same time EU countries located in North-Western Europe continue handling the majority of all asylum applications. And, so far, under current rules there is no truly functioning mechanism for burden-sharing as the Dublin III regulations make countries of first arrival responsible for the processing of asylum applications. This is aggravated by the absence of functioning resettlement and relocation mechanisms within the EU. 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 including in countries outside Europe (=international burden sharing). Particular focus will be dedicated to good practices of cooperation at national and international level regarding refugee protection and mixed migration, and asylum; and also to recent political conflicts between certain EUMS failing to provide appropriate protection for refugees while others shoulder the asylum challenge. The session will also briefly look into integration outcomes.

  • Prof. Boldizsar Nagy, CEU
  • Migszol and/or Menedék representative
  • Gerald Knaus, Founder and Director, European Stability Initiative

6.  Application Procedure

To apply, interested individuals should submit the online application form by 12 March 2017.

  • SPP/CEU students will be able to apply via the online system.
  • 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.
  • Similarly, refugee applicants will be asked to apply to the course with their CV, a motivation letter describing how they would benefit from the course and their perceived level of English language / language training.

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