Europe’s new refugees: a road map for better integration outcomes (MGI)

A surge of refugees and asylum seekers has strained the continent. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) argues that managing the asylum procedure and integrating those refugees well, could not only mitigate risks but also benefit the economy.

This report examines the surge of 2.3 million refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Europe during 2015 and 2016. Although this episode is only a small part of the broader global phenomenon, it presented Europe with the most dramatic wave of forced migration the continent has experienced since the aftermath of World War II.

This cohort is unique in some ways. More than half of the asylum seekers originally came from the war-torn regions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Their movement occurred in two steps: after initially fleeing to safety in a neighboring country, many found harsh conditions and subsequently undertook longer, and often perilous, journeys to Europe, hoping to find a more viable life. Given recent trends in the acceptance rates of asylum applications, the authors expect that roughly 1.3 million will attain refugee status, which grants them the right to stay.

There’s a great deal at stake in ensuring that these refugees are integrated into the labor market and into society more broadly. According to the authors, EU member states have not always been successful at integrating waves of immigrants, and repeating past mistakes could have adverse consequences.

This is a companion report of the major MGI study entitledPeople on the move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity, which maps the patterns of migration and calculates its impact on the world economy. To complement this global perspective, this report takes a deeper look at how these issues are playing out in real time across Europe today.

Publication Date:
Thu 01 Dec 2016
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