"Any way the wind blows" - Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
I recently finished reading Peter Garell’s, “The Unsettling of Europe: The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present”. A broad and very interesting overview of the history of migration in Europe that starts in the chaos of post World War II Europe. Several things come out of the book for me:
Migration is a complex phenomenon that is global by nature. For some good background and an overview I would recommend the World Banks 2023 World Development Report and in particular chapters 2 and 3.
Two other things stand out to me – at least for the moment – when it comes to migration. One is the importance of integration and integration policies. Garell’s book shows the wide range of approaches governments in Europe have taken to this – from nothing to very active. But everything shows that this is important to the successful (economic) integration of migrants and refugees and that could potentially help their acceptance by broader society. An interesting read on this is this report by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy. The links with social cohesion in broader society are particularly interesting. The other dimension is what is happening in ‘partner-countries’ of the EU and the link of this with our broader policies. The impact of the war in Libya is clear; economic policies as well (even though more complex and often indirect). But also direct migration policies, such as support for migration administration in developing countries. Not entirely clear that we fully appreciate the long-term effects of what we are doing (including on migration).
01.10.2023, Brussels, Belgium.
Online encampment of A. S. Barry. Disparate and not-so-disparate thoughts on international relations, development, writing, and life.