Migration and asylum policies have long been a peripheral and low-priority field in the wider domain of European politics. Since 2015, this has fundamentally changed. The dramatic shortcomings in the management of cross-Mediterranean “mixed migration” flows have triggered a politically devastating governance crisis. The reduction in arrivals brought about by the signature of a controversial deal between the EU and Turkey has temporarily assuaged the sense of emergency. But the structural weaknesses and political contradictions that caused the crisis remain unresolved. Europe’s Achilles’ heel is more exposed than ever: after the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory, migration issues are far from having exhausted their potential to generate political shocks. Future rounds of political elections in France, Germany and elsewhere might bring further evidence.
This ebook approaches this decisive set of issues in a timely way, though not in the spirit of an “instant book”. In Part I, it provides a broad reconstruction of the deep historical roots of the current situation, followed by a critical appraisal of the key drivers in European policy responses, and by some thoughtful recommendations on possible strategic adjustments. Part II brings together the authoritative and forward-looking voices of eleven renowned scholars and experts from different geographical areas (several EU countries, but also the South and East Mediterranean and North America) and disciplinary backgrounds (from political science to sociology and international relations). Each of them adds to our understanding of the complexity of such a multi-faceted crisis. All together, they provide the reader with a rich and original orientation toolkit in a tormented landscape that is changing fast but will not disappear soon.