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Migration Policy Making in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities for Civil Society

Published 1 February 2017 / By Sarah Spencer

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Introduction

This paper sets out the findings of a short review of the role of civil society in policy making on migration in Europe. It considers in particular the role played by NGOs and perceptions of their strengths and limitations in relation to impact on policy. It focuses on national level policy making in five countries, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the UK, and at EU level. ‘Migration policy’ is used in a broad sense to include ‘integration policy,’ but not policies relating to countries and regions of origin. The paper was commissioned by the Social Change Initiative within a programme of work funded by the Human Dignity Foundation. It arises from a perception that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are finding it increasingly difficult to influence the direction of policy reforms at EU and member state level. In the context of the ‘refugee crisis’ and the rise in anti-migration feeling, it explores whether there is a greater detachment between NGOs and policy makers and if so where the cause lies.

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