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European Union

Cooperation in matters of immigration and asylum is one of the most recently addressed aspects of European integration. Its significance has expanded rapidly since the matter was first introduced at the end of the 1980s, and today it is without doubt one of the core areas of the European integration project. Member states' claims to sovereignty are nevertheless ever-present, not least due to the sensitive nature of immigration policy matters internally and their relevance to national sovereignty and national identity. The significant expansion of European powers and responsibilities has, therefore, led as yet only to isolated common policies, and these matters are generally handled intergovernmentally. Any cooperation is concentrated on areas in which the member states are pursuing common interests. This concern, above all, improved state control over migration, cooperation between border police and strengthened the fight against irregular immigration and asylum abuse. (Version from 3/2009)

European Union

Sandra Lavenex

Background Information

Whereas the right of EU citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of member states is one of the fundamental freedoms of the European Single Market, and was already provided for in the Treaties establishing the European Community.

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Sandra Lavenex

Historical Development of Migration

Historically, experiences with international migration have differed from country to country within the European Union, and continue to do so. This diversity in the nature of the problems associated with immigration represents a substantial obstacle to the development of a common European migration policy.

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Migration balances for 2007 in selected EU member states

Sandra Lavenex

The Many Faces of Migration

The present immigration situation among EU member states is highly heterogeneous. This is apparent at first glance in the different migration figures, specifically the balance between those moving into a country and those leaving it.

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Sandra Lavenex

Institutional Basis of European Migration Policy

European cooperation on matters of asylum and migration policy has been communitised step-by-step. Until the end of the 1990s, intergovernmental decision-making procedures predominated, and this concentrated influence over common policies in the hands of representatives of the member states.

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Sandra Lavenex

Immigration Policy

Although the Treaty of Lisbon, also to be known as the Reform Treaty, should it ever enter into force, contains the aim of a "common immigration policy" (Article 17 Treaty of Lisbon), to date the EU.

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Sandra Lavenex

Integration Policy

At the European level, the search for the most suitable concepts and measures for integrating immigrants into the receiving societies only began at the end of the 1990s. In any case, where integration policy is concerned, the EU has no power to make regulations.

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Country Profile 17: European Union

Irregular Migration

In light of increasingly selective immigration regulations since the 1970s and ever more restrictions with regard to asylum, there has been a strong increase in irregular migration across Europe. Naturally there are no reliable figures on this phenomenon.

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Numbers of asylum-seekers in Europe 1985-2007

Sandra Lavenex

Refuge and Asylum

Whereas migration balances for EU member countries have grown continuously since the 1990s, the number of asylum-seekers has declined sharply since 1993. This is attributable not so much to a diminution in reasons for leaving the countries of origin.

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Sandra Lavenex

European Union Citizenship

The Maastricht Treaty introduced EU citizenship, which refers to the rights and obligations of citizens of member states that result from their right to free movement within EU territory. Every person holding the nationality of a member state is automatically also an EU citizen.

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Sandra Lavenex

Future Challenges

In the fifteen years of its formal existence, European asylum and migration policy has developed dynamically and is today one of the European Union's priorities. Central to the argument in this cooperation, time and again, is reference to the expectations of citizens.

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Country Profile 17: European Union

Literature and Further Reading

Here you can find a list of references as well as further reading for the Country Profile "European Union" by Sandra Lavenex.

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Kurzdossiers

Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen

Ein Kurzdossier legt komplexe Zusammenhänge aus den Bereichen Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration auf einfache und klare Art und Weise dar. Es bietet einen fundierten Einstieg in eine bestimmte Thematik, in dem es den Hintergrund näher beleuchtet und verschiedene Standpunkte wissenschaftlich und kritisch abwägt. Darüber hinaus enthält es Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur und Internet-Verweise. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit, sich eingehender mit der Thematik zu befassen. Unsere Kurzdossiers erscheinen bis zu 6-mal jährlich.

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