Within the borders of the European Union the freedom of movement for both EU citizens as well as the transportation of capital, goods and services is more prevalent than ever before.
Outside of Europe, many individuals are enjoying the effects of globalization on mobility especially the highly qualified and educated. The paradox is that as some become more mobile, others are being shut out as security issues are prioritized and border control is strengthened. Within the European Union this tendency is also coupled with inconsistent migration policies that do not necessarily serve the best interests of the EU member states. Demographic changes, mainly the aging and decreasing population within Europe demonstrate the need for immigrant to fulfill the demands of the labor markets. Yet current policies make it difficult for many immigrants to gain access to European labor markets. The consequence is that many EU member states can not fill their labor markets.
Within the public debate the positive potential of immigration is often overlooked. Instead, it is treated as an "imminent threat". Due to insufficient policies and the neglect of humanitarian obligation, the European Union is becoming less and less of a safe harbor for refugees. There are policy problems around the topic of illegal migration, which is developing into a severe humanitarian and political crisis.
Reaching an agreement on common, coherent and comprehensive asylum and migration policy for the European Union unfortunately still requires great amounts of work. Labor migration is particularly an area upon which many European governments have not reached a consensus. The only areas in which a strong collaboration is apparent are the restriction of asylum policies, and in the coordinated protection of the European Union borders. The current state of European migration policy does not meet the humanitarian, economic and political needs of the population.
This dossier complements the international conference European Governance of Migration, which took place in September 2008 in Berlin.