Motivations, experiences and consequences of returns and readmissions policy: revealing and developing effective alternatives (MORE)

1 October 2023 - 30 September 2026
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MORE is a collaborative academic initiative that critically examines the Returns and Readmissions policy of the European Union and the United Kingdom.

This policy has resulted in the narrowing of the pathways meant to safeguard the rights of migrated populations across Europe. The increasingly restrictive interpretations of the Returns Directive, coupled with intensified efforts to facilitate returns and deportations, have contributed to severe human rights violations.

Based on a comprehensive desk and fieldwork research including interviews with irregularised  migrants, supporting organisations, implementing agents, policy makers and academics in seven EU member states (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Slovenia, Sweden and Germany), as well as the UK and three to five countries of origin, the project explores how dynamics of securitisation of borders, economic interests, and political imperatives have converged to define the Returns and Readmissions policy, its transposition, and its implementation.

Through an eminently ethnographic approach the project focuses on how the Return and Readmission policy is ‘made real’ through the political discourse of policymakers and political representatives, the role of public opinion, the enactment of laws and regulations and the decisions and day-to-day work of frontline agents. Through and in-depth, multi-sited ethnographic research MORE also provides a unique ground-breaking analysis of the lived experiences of migrants at risk of detention and deportation, as well as of the consequences of returns policy for society. Finally, the project explores alternative approaches beyond return that tackle the structural causes of irregularity and provide dignified solutions.


Carlos Vargas-Silva, Professor in Migration Studies 

Marie Mallet-Garcia, Researcher

José Ignacio Carrasco, Researcher


Funded by the European Union