Working Paper

EU and the Migration-Development Nexus: What Prospects for EU-Wide Policies?

Published 1 January 2006 / By Meng-Hsuan Chou

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Issues concerning the nexus between migration and development have recently reached the top of the European Union's policy agenda. With the adoption of the 2005 European Commission Communication, 'Migration and Development: Some concrete orientations', EU member states appeared to have embraced the so-called 'comprehensive', or 'global', approach. This working paper critically examines these efforts in light of the prospects for future EU-wide policies specifically addressing migration and development. It concludes that the structure of EU's decision-making process concerning legal migration favours what can be considered a 'coercive' approach. This working paper demonstrates that EU's preference for the coercive approach derives from, and is reinforced by, five factors: (a) the overwhelming presence of the 'security rationale' surrounding the debate concerning migration and development; (b) a missing foundation for a common EU migration policy; (c) the need to vote unanimously in the Council of Ministers; (d) the exclusion of key institutional actors who prefer the comprehensive approach from the decision-making process; and (e) the isolation of decision-making power within an institutional setting which favours the coercive strategy. This paper concludes by identifying the necessary institutional changes the EU needs to make in order to put the comprehensive approach into practice.


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