Resources

1. Websites

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development
European Commission: Migration and Home Affairs
European Council on Refugees and Exiles
European Policy Centre
Eurostat
International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence
International Crisis Group
International Organisation for Migration
Minority Rights Group International
Statewatch
UN Refugee Agency
European Migration Network (EMN)
Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN)

2. Articles / Infographics

Autumn 2016 Standard Eurobarometer: Immigration and Terrorism continue to be seen as the most important issues facing the EU
Baird, T. (2016) Migration, EU cooperation and authoritarianism
Eurostat (2016) First time asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications: third quarter 2016
IOM (2016) Infographic on Migration Flows in Europe in 2016
Minority Rights Group International, State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2016
ODI (2016) Cost of migration infographic
Siegfried, K. (2016) Migration trends to watch in 2017

Death and Desperation taint Mediterranean shipping routes
Commercial shippers bear the psychological and financial brunt of rescuing asylum seekers at sea.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) recently published a report, stating that 12% of rescue incidents (in total numbers: 470 people) in 2017 involved cargo ships. This is an 8% increase compared to 2016. 2015 was of course the peak for sea crossings, when cargo vessels accounted to about 25% of rescues (in total numbers: 60,000 people). However, there are concerns that the number of people trying to to cross from North Africa will soar: the overland route across the Balkans is de facto closed and so is the Eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece, due to the EU-Turkey deal. There are three major problems: first, the Central Mediterranean route is significantly deadlier since it is a longer crossing; second, Libya is unable to control its borders since it has turned into a failed state; and third, the search and rescue operations of the EU and other international organisations are limited. So commercial shipping companies are stepping in – they do not have much choice, since they have a legal obligation to rescue people in distress. However, seafarers are not trained, and ships are not equipped for such operations, putting an unfair financial (which is often covered by the insurance) and psychological burden on the shippers. According to the International Chamber of Shipping the core problem is that “the conventions drawn up so many years ago weren’t designed for the situation today.”

Don’t close borders, manage them: how to improve EU policy on migration through Libya
A recent publication by the European Council on Foreign Relations looked at migration flows from Libya to Europe and noted that attempts to close Europe’s borders is counter-productive as the numbers of migrants reaching Europe continued to rise. The number of deaths in the Mediterranean have also skyrocketed. With the absence of legal channels for migration, many resort to people smugglers in order to get to Europe. The author, Mattia Toaldo, urged EU to rethink the basic assumptions about migration and argued for legal channels to be opened. Illegal channels can then be shut via readmission agreements with the countries of origin. The author also discussed establishing safe and quick procedures to guarantee asylum to refugees; reinforcing the Libyan economy and building respect for the rule of law and human rights as other possible means to manage migration flows.

Europe’s Growing Muslim Population by Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center, a think tank, published a demographic study putting the share of Muslims living in Europe in the spotlight. The think tank aims to project in three different scenarios of how the size of Europe’s Muslim population may change until 2050. The baseline for all three scenarios is the Muslim population in Europe (defined as the 28 EU member states, plus Norway and Switzerland) as of mid-2016, estimated at 25.8 million (4.9% of the overall population). Variables such as natural population growth, future regular migration (e.g. for work or school), and refugee migration are taken into account.

1. Zero migration scenario
Assuming that all migration into Europe were to immediately and permanently stop, the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from 4.9% (2016) to 7.4% by the year 2050. Reasons behind this are manifold: Muslims are younger (by an average of 13 years) and have higher fertility rate than other, non-Muslim Europeans.

2. Medium migration scenario
Assuming that all refugee flows will stop as of mid-2016 but that recent levels of regular migration to Europe will continue. In this scenario, Muslims could reach 11.2% of Europe’s population in 2050.

3. High migration scenario
Assuming that the record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016 would continue indefinitely into the future with the same religious composition in addition to the typical annual flow of regular migrants, Muslims could make up 14% of Europe’s population by 2050. These would nearly triple the current share, but still considerably smaller than the populations of both Christians and people with no religion in Europe.

All three scenarios expect a rising share of Muslims in Europe’s overall population, also due to the projected shrinkage of the non-Muslim population. The three scenarios project the uncertainty about future migration flows due to political and social conditions outside of Europe, as well as shifting immigration policies in the region. The researchers cautioned that it is very difficult to anticipate the future and underscored that the projections are hypothetical.

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