Irregular Migration in Europe

Irregular migration is a subject of ongoing public debate in Europe. Policy makers are under pressure to reduce it and majorities often view it as a problem. Have policy interventions contributed to a decline in irregular migration? Have new hotspots of irregular entry emerged?


This report was commissioned by the Transatlantic Council on Migration for its meeting held in November 2010 in Washington DC, which focused on "Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders". It is a project of the Migration Policy Institute.

The report concludes that the detected and estimated scope of irregular migration in the European Union declined between 2007 and 2010 and that the total number of detections across the European Union remains far below the peak levels in 2008. Yet new spots of illegal entry continue to flare up along Europe's vast external borders. However, based on media reports alone, one would have the impression that Europe's borders are increasingly porous.

The reactive nature of irregular flows to border management operations and return policies suggest that continued and large scale investments are likely to be needed for the foreseeable future, both on the European Union's external border and within each member State.

More information can be found in the report

Authors: Christal Morehouse and Michael Blomfield

Publication Date:
Mon 09 Jan 2012
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