EU think tanks: DG Mobility or DG Rights?

On April 9 Social Platform invited EU think tanks to a breakfast meeting to share their views on the Commission’s ‘post-Stockholm’ communication ahead of the new guidelines by the Council on the future of justice and home affairs.

Mr Pascouau, Senior Policy Analyst and Head of programme on European Migration and Diversity, European Policy Centre welcomes the Commission’s choice to be wise rather than bold in their communication, in this way there is a greater chance it will be accepted by the Council. The communication positions the current debate and proposes measures for programming. It lacks however attention to the synergies between irregular migration and international protection, neither does it mention anything about the new Parliament and structuring of new Commissioners.

Mr Carrera, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Programme, Centre for European Policy Studies argues that we do not need a new strategy when there already exists so many different ones that hasn’t even been evaluated, such the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, Task Force Mediterranean, European Migration Network and the Common Basic Principles for Immigration Integration. Instead, it is time for enforcement, implementation and identification of gaps and shortcomings, e.g. non-discrimination has not happened due to DG Justice not fulfilling its obligation to mainstream. We need an internal HR-strategy and more democratic ways of working; decisions are taken in secret and all civil society can do is damage control.

Mr Huddleston, Director for Diversity & Integration Programme, Migration Policy Group notes that it’s the Commission’s job to ensure enforcement but at the same time they don’t have enough resources to carry out monitoring which can lead to infringement procedures. We need more formal channels through the Commission and the Parliament to bring cases forward as well as training. The European Integration Forum is positive but civil society should have a greater role in agenda setting. Further, integration is relevant across policy areas but currently DG Home speaks on issues they don’t have competence for where other DG’s should be involved, e.g. DG EMPL, DG SANCO, DG EAC.

Mr Pascouau called for a change of software in order to de-link security issues and migration; migration is not about security, it’s about labour and family. His proposal was to create ‘DG Security’ dealing with both internal and external matters and ‘DG Mobility’ linked to e.g. employment. He urged for own initiatives in order to advance implementation by member states, such as, which offers professionals and practitioners information about EU legal and jurisprudential developments. Mr Carrera replied that it is a political decision by the Commission to not launch infringements and not a matter of lack of resources. Considering the security issue origins in the Schengen a ‘DG Mobility’ delinking security and migration won’t be possible, instead we need a DG Fundamental Rights that would monitor compliance internally and externally. We need to set up a strategy to advance with the next LIBE Committee on these issues. 

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