Like climate change, migration is a global issue that needs to be addressed both locally and internationally. The regulation of population movements has long been a pitfall of international cooperation. The European asylum crisis of 2015 revealed that, even in highly integrated and cooperative contexts such as the EU, unpreparedness, political confusion and misinformation generate inadequate and humanly costly policy responses. At the global level, from the 1990 convention on migrant workers’ rights to the currently discussed “global compacts”, attempts to coordinate policies and foster global governance fell short of providing innovative and impactful solutions.
The recent inflow of Syrian asylum seekers in Europe forced upon EU leaders and citizens a brutal awareness regarding the global refugee crisis that is mostly unfolding in the global south. This particular refugee inflow resonates with broader discussions on immigration, integration and diversity in European societies fragilised by the 2008 economic crisis. The current European crisis is made of the confusion of short- and long-term policy issues, of asylum and migration regulation, of debates around rights, politics and economics, which cannot be solely addressed at the national level.
Beyond Europe, the emergence or entrenchment of political crises around migration and asylum issues calls for an urgent reaction of all stakeholders. Scientists, civil society organisations, activists, concerned citizens and policymakers must join forces to bring about a better understanding of migration, both forced and voluntary, of its determinants and consequences for host societies and countries of origin. By doing so, we will provide grounds for evidence-based policymaking and sound practices beyond ideological constructions and discourses that obfuscate debates in the media and political arena today.
In understanding the impact of immigration, analyses that are both context-specific and connected to global dynamics are crucial to determine the effects of migration. Recent concern has been formulated about the lack or unreliable quality of migration data. Beyond data, we argue that robustness and clarity in the analytical premises of policymaking is the key to sound and efficient regulation of population movement. One-size-fits-all and ideology-based policies do not work.
We therefore urge the ending of the short-term and inadequate political solutions that brought us to political and humanitarian crises. We ask for a radical change of paradigm in dealing with migration and asylum, based on a rational, realistic, scientifically informed and humanist approach. We thus call for an emergency meeting of scientists and experts to inform policymaking, and for the creation of an International Panel on Migration and Asylum.
Courtesy: Global Governance Watch