Journeys to Europe: The role of policy in migrant decision-making

Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Richard Mallett, ODI, Journeys to Europe: The role of policy in migrant decision-making

"This policy brief provides an overview of research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to increase understanding of the journeys made by migrants. Based on in-depth interviews with more than 50 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have recently arrived in four European cities (Berlin, London, Madrid and Manchester), it explores: the journeys migrants take; the factors that drive them; and the capacity of destination country migration policies to influence people’s decisions, both before their journey begins and along the way.
Based on these findings, we make three key policy recommendations that could lead to the better management of, and a more effective and positive response to, the current migration crisis in Europe.
1. Make journeys safer: Act now to minimise the appalling humanitarian and economic consequences of policies that aim to deter migration.
2. Create a faster, fairer European Union (EU) asylum system: Build an effective regional response by investing in a better functioning, EU-wide asylum processing system; strengthening the EU’s arbitration role; and reforming the Dublin Regulation.
3. Make the most of migration. Capitalise on the positive impacts of migration by: publicly communicating its social and economic benefits; encouraging circular migration; and investing in economic integration programmes for new arrivals."