The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 saw the EU acquire legislative competence to act in the fields of migration and asylum. Conclusions adopted by member states at the October 1999 European Council in Tampere called for the development of common policies on asylum and immigration.
However, the EU is currently a long way away from adopting so-called common policies. While the European Commission asserts that results achieved so far are “impressive”, they remain rather imbalanced. The management of external borders and the fight against irregular migration have been prioritised so far, to the detriment of asylum and legal migration.
The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 gave a new impetus to further develop EU policies and action in the fields of immigration, integration and asylum. Border management and irregular migration will remain high on the agenda and the main focus of attention. However, Brussels should now address legal migration, asylum and integration issues in a more structured and in-depth manner in order to achieve the goal of developing common EU policies.
Despite the economic crisis and growing evidence of anti-immigrant rhetoric, the challenge of developing EU-wide immigration, integration and asylum policy will remain a hot political topic in the years to come. Ongoing developments and the debate on the issues will be closely followed and scrutinised by the EPC team in the framework of our European Migration and Diversity Programme.
The European Migration and Diversity Programme also takes part in the migration and integration components of the EU-Asia Dialogue.
The European Migration and Diversity Programme is run in collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation and the Compagnia di San Paolo.