The European Union and migrants with irregular status: opportunities and limitations in EU law and policy for European local authorities providing assistance to irregular migrants

Published 10 December 2018 / By Nicola Delvino

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Report for the City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe (C-MISE)

This paper aims to provide European cities participating in the C-MISE initiative with an analysis of relevant European Union (EU) legislation and policies in relation to irregular migrants. Organised with support from the Open Society Initiative for Europe, the C-MISE Initiative is a working group of European cities aiming to share learning, over a period of two years, on policies and practices of municipalities in Europe in relation to the social needs of migrants with irregular immigration status in their area. The Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity is supporting the working group in its goals of building a strong body of evidence on municipal initiatives in this field, and in developing a shared, city perspective on ways in which irregular migrants could be mainstreamed into EU policy agendas. In view of the latter objective, this paper in particular aims to support participating cities in spelling out the areas of EU law and policy that might prove problematic or instead offer opportunities in relation to their intentions to adopt initiatives responding in an inclusive manner to the social challenges brought by irregular migrants. It ultimately aims to support C-MISE member cities in formulating their position vis-à-vis relevant EU policy and legislation in the immigration acquis, the EU regulatory framework in the area of funding, and EU policies in the social domain, in order to develop a conversation with EU institutions on how to mainstream irregular migrants into EU policy agendas, and ensure that cities’ interests in relation to the inclusion of irregular migrants are heard at EU level.


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