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European management of migration and refugees

In this project, MARE, we look at Europe's role in the management of migration and refuges in 4 areas, Amman in Jordan, the Bequaa Valley in Lebanon, Agades in Niger and Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda.

We ask how European policy to regulate migration and protect migration affects:

  1. Access to protection, education and sustainable livelihoods for refugee populations.
  2. The future mobility of refugees (repatriation, integration, secondary movements).
  3. Political developments and political stability in host communities.

European governments increasingly engage in attempts to manage migration on other continents, through political, economic, humanitarian or military interventions. A central aim of these policies has been to keep the migrants from reaching the European continent. Simultaneously, in countries neighbouring conflict zones, governments struggle to balance the needs of refugees and migrants, the demands of the local population (to protect land rights and labour markets), and increased demands from the international community to prevent the migrants from moving on.

In this tension between local and international interests, refugee protection systems are developed, and migrants devise their livelihood strategies, determining if they should stay, repatriate or move on to other destinations.

Large refugee flows can be destabilizing for neighboring countries for several reasons; refugee camps can become safe havens for armed groups, refugees can challenge exiting ethnic or religious divisions in their new host country, and they may cause conflict over limited financial resources. European measures to regulate migration and ensure that refugees receive protection can reinforce or reduce these tensions.