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Irregular Migration in Europe – Doubts about the Effectiveness of Control Strategies

Irregular Migration in Europe – Doubts about the Effectiveness of Control Strategies

Amongst the general public and politicians, irregular immigration to Europe is associated with a large number of fears: that countries are losing control over their borders, that social systems are overstretched by unauthorised use, that indigenous workers are being pushed out of the labour market, and that criminality is growing. As a result, controlling irregular migration is one of the priorities of the European Union´s migration policy.
This dossier argues that the European Commission recommends extensive measures to control irregular immigration although there are justifiable doubts about the efficiency and effectiveness of these measures. On the basis of current research, we first provide a brief overview of the phenomenon as well as policy developments in selected member states. Against this background, we show that measures to control irregular migration play a central role in European migration policy. We then present a current European Commission proposal for a directive to tighten up employer sanctions, giving examples to reveal how the investment of finances and personnel in migration control is taking place without sufficient information about its efficiency, effectiveness and impact. There is an urgent need to evaluate migration control at a European and national level. (Published: 2/2008)