Why are we running this project?

Currently, movements to Europe and Germany can be characterized as mixed migration, in that they include both people seeking protection from persecution as well as people who leave their homes in search of better economic opportunities. Although both groups frequently use the same routes and means of transportation, their motivations and legal status are different and can change before they reach a destination country. The current policy system for migration and refugee protection is not equipped to adequately handle the nature or scale of mixed migration. In order to better address mixed migration to Europe and Germany, changes and updates to the current protection and migration management systems are necessary.

What are our goals?

The current round of the MSG will discuss how migration-related foreign and development policy can contribute to addressing the phenomenon of mixed migration. A particular emphasis will be placed on the cooperation with African countries and discussions will include perspectives from origin and transit countries. Among others, the following questions will be considered:

  • Is a disentanglement of mixed migration movements — that is, the distinction between those seeking protection and those that migrate for other reasons — realistic and sensible?
  • What innovative approaches for the disentanglement of mixed migration flows are currently in place or just beginning to emerge in Germany or abroad?
  • Where, how, and at what stage of migration movements are these solutions practical, and how have they contributed to the improvement of the situation?
  • How can alternative options for asylum seekers and refugees be created near their home countries?
  • What are the chances and risks up to this point, and what are possible new forms of cooperation with partner countries, including in the economic sector and through training partnerships?
  • Which concrete courses of action are available to German politicians and stakeholders in other sectors?

Currently, there are no concrete courses of action and strategies that make the coherence of policy fields relating to migration feasible, and there are more questions than answers. What tools do the different policy sectors have at their disposal to pursue a coordinated migration policy, both at national and EU levels?

In a first round, from 2016 to 2017, the Migration Strategy Group on International Cooperation and Development focused on relevant matters of policy coherence in Germany’s external migration policy and discussed and developed potential solutions.

These are relevant for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, for developing the Global Compact on Migration, and for Germany’s co-presidency of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, hosted in Berlin in June 2017.

How does the project work?

The MSG aims to develop solution-oriented policies for questions related to the external dimension of migration policy, encourage the thinking and critical reflection processes of participants, and promote network-building between government ministries and other relevant sectors. This is achieved by:

  • An innovative and participant-oriented dialogue process with policymakers that encourages out-of-the-box thinking
  • Networking and exchange across policy disciplines, administrative levels, regions, and societal sectors
  • Collaborative development of concrete policy options for Germany policymakers, drawing on concrete examples from Germany and abroad
  • Inputs by the project team from on-site research trips to the Western Balkans and Nigeria

All sessions will be held under the Chatham House Rule. The participative development of policy options in a non-partisan, trustful environment which takes into account experiences and good practices, provides a unique platform for solution-oriented thinking and ideally contributes to better policymaking.

The current MSG round follows two previous project cycles. From 2013 to 2015, the MSG focused on the theme of labor migration and global competitiveness. From 2016 to 2017, it focused on the issue of policy coherence in Germany’s external migration policy.

The patron of the Migration Strategy Group is retired Ambassador David Donoghue, Co-Facilitator of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. Scientific support for the group’s activities is provided by Dr. Jan Schneider, Head of the Research Unit at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR).