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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  October 2017  /  Is Europe’s ‘Migration crisis’ over?

Is Europe’s ‘Migration crisis’ over?

John Salt at his last Paris SOPEMI gathering

Is Europe’s ‘Migration crisis’ over?

At the beginning of October, Professor John Salt was once more the UK Correspondent at the annual 3-day meeting in Paris of the OECD’s Group of Experts on international migration (SOPEMI).

Some three dozen countries, from Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, were represented by university researchers or government officials, each Correspondent contributing a comprehensive report on the latest trends and policies in their country.

A variety of trends were addressed, including in labour and economic migration, temporary and seasonal movements, family reunification, student recruitment, and asylum seeking and integration policies.

  • A theme running through the conference was the current stage reached by Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. The general feeling was that, for the most part, this had passed.
  • A presentation from Frontex, which monitors the EU’s external border, highlighted the recent reduction in people smuggling across the central Mediterranean, particularly following the withdrawal of NGO vessels from near the African coastline.
  • A special half-day session reviewed the policies and experiences of countries with respect to their entrepreneurial and investor visas. John chaired the first session, and also gave a presentation on UK policy in relation to investor visas, whose numbers have increased substantially in the last three years.
  • It is clear that in respect of these visas, as well as skilled labour more generally, countries are in competition with each other to attract such immigration. Unlike the UK, countries also generally encourage their international graduates to stay on and enter the labour market.

After some 32 years, this was John’s last meeting as the UK SOPEMI representative, and he received many warm compliments, as well as two magnums of excellent French wine!

The UK report will shortly be available on the Migration Research Unit website.


John Salt

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