Narrative Publications

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To change the migration narrative, we need fact-checkers

A combination of factors influence disinformation’s spread: changes in consumption patterns, lack of media literacy, loss of trust in journalism and the lack of business models for digital media each contribute. is an independent non-profit fact-checking media outlet. One of three inquiries we receive relates to migrants and refugees. The vast amount of disinformation circulating is increasing hate speech towards refugees and migrants and contributes to polarise the public and political debate. The most common migration hoaxes that we find online are the ones where migrants steal jobs from locals, access free health treatments or are involved in criminal activities.

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Negative Sanctions and the EU’s External Migration Policy - “Less for Less” Not Fit for Purpose

The European Commission has announced plans to present a new “Pact on Migration and Asylum” during the German EU Council Presidency. It is expected to provide im-petus for the long-overdue reform of the Common European Asylum System, for the strengthening of the EU’s external borders, and for improved cooperation on migra-tion policy with third countries. Many EU states see the latter as being particularly urgent in order to persuade countries of origin to readmit citizens who are obliged to leave the EU. In addition to positive incentives, sanctions against third countries that are unwilling to cooperate are increasingly being discussed. Although sanctions can have a short-term effect, they do not appear to be sustainable and can jeopardise more far-reaching goals of European foreign and development policy. Therefore, during its Presidency, Germany should instead advocate for migration policy instru-ments that aim to achieve a long-term and fair balance of interests between the EU and third countries.

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Discussions on EU migration and asylum policy ahead of the new pact

2019 was a year of institutional transitions within the EU, as the European Parliament held elec-tions in May and a new European Commission took office in December. On the internal dimension of EU asylum and migration policies, namely the way asylum and mobility are managed within the Union, there was little legislative progress at the EU level. In-stead, there was a distinct proliferation of national and bilateral modes of policy making by member states. At the same time, efforts on the external dimension of migration, including cooperation on migration management with non-EU countries, were notably strengthened. This chapter provides an analytical overview of developments in both areas.

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The German Council Presidency –Migration Policy Expectations

Hardly any other topic has been as intensely debated in recent years as the future of the EU’s asylum and migration policy. The refugee crisis of 2014 and 2015 has clearly demonstrated the need for pan-European solutions for all parties involved. Yet despite this realisation, the member states have still not been able to agree on a fair and effective distribution key and clear responsibilities in the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). During its Presidency, Germany should therefore devote a great deal of political capital to disentangling the positions that have been deadlocked for years.

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A migration pact in the spirit of the German government?

For the first time since 2015, the number of asylum applications filed in the EU rose last year compared to the previous year. The German EU Council Presidency is pressing for reforms to the system, but the Commission’s proposals are still some way off, EURACTIV Germany reports.

Several attempts to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) have failed in recent years. Expectations are now high for Germany, which has taken up the cause of reforming the CEAS “on the basis of the proposals of the EU Commission.”

Anis Cassar, the spokesperson for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), expressed confidence recently, saying “Germany has the political weight to get reform underway.” However, given the urgent negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget and the Recovery Fund, it is unlikely that the Commission will present its migration pact before August.

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The upcoming New Pact on Migration and Asylum: Will it be up to the challenge?

This Discussion Paper argues that a different approach is needed to set up an EU asylum and migration policy that is efficient, respects asylum seekers’ fundamental rights and can prevent and meaningfully address future humanitarian emergencies. It examines the persistent divisions among European countries that the Commission must overcome and provides concrete recommendations on how it can advance an ambitious agenda that is fit for these uncertain times, particularly on responsibility-sharing, asylum procedures, and the external dimension of migration policies.

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Communication on the Global EU Response to COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has evolved into a global pandemic. It has killed tens of thousands of people, straining communities, increasing calls for social protection, shrinking business activity and disrupting supply chains. Its consequences will be profound. Having appeared first in China, the pandemic has now spread in Europe and around the globe, with a
spill over on social stability and security.

As the virus does not discriminate between people and knows no borders, this historic crisis requires a fast, massive and coordinated global response to protect all people, save lives and tackle the economic fallout. Now is the time for international solidarity and leadership, not isolation; to reach out more internationally, not less; to provide transparency and facts,
and counter disinformation. The European Union (EU), as the world’s largest donor and a leading economic power, is already at the forefront of this effort.

joint communication on the global EU response to Covid-19.pdf
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COVID-19 : le monde d’après est déjà là...

L’imprévisible crise du COVID-19 pose, à plusieurs niveaux, des questions fondamentales. Elle questionne la forme actuelle de la mondialisation, et l’idéologie néo-libérale qui l’a jusqu’ici accompagnée. Elle interroge une gouvernance mondiale en panne, dépassée par les égoïsmes nationaux, et les tentations de fermeture. Elle appelle à la mobilisation des instruments de
résilience des démocraties, et d’une Union européenne qui joue son avenir, en particulier dans la confiance des peuples.

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Study for the “Assessment of the implementation of the Code of Practice on Disinformation” - Final Report

This Executive Summary presents key findings and the conclusions of the study “Assessment of the implementation of the Code of Practice on Disinformation, SMART 2019/0041”. The study was commissioned by the Directorate-General for
Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT) of the European Commission and it was carried out by VVA Economics & Policy with the support of DisinfoLab.

The overarching study objective is to support the European Commission’s evaluation of the Code of Practice’s effectiveness. The assessment focuses on the 13 current Signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation (online platforms and business
associations). The study analyses the standard terms of service and the specific policies and tools adopted by the online platforms to implement the commitments of the Code in the first year of implementation of the Code (October 2018 to October 2019). For this reason, ongoing efforts made by the Signatories to combat disinformation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered.

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EPIM Covid response initiative: solidarity with the most vulnerable people seeking refuge in Greece

In the refugee camps of Greece, the coronavirus crisis is hitting an already vulnerable population hard. Emergency funding from the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), of which the King Baudouin Foundation is a founding member, is supporting the work of eight NGOs on the islands.
In Greece’s overcrowded refugee camps, Covid-19 is a crisis on top of a crisis on top of a crisis. Following the country’s financial collapse and its subsequent struggle to deal with the huge numbers of vulnerable people seeking refuge on its shores, today’s public health disaster presents tremendous challenges medically, politically and socially.

KBF.EPIM Covid response initiative.pdf