Europe’s refugee crisis: facts and policy responses

Pub. Date
14 September, 2015
Pub. Type

This Policy Brief was written by Yano Moussavi, who is currently a Research Intern at NIESR, and is a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics.  NIESR's work on mobility and immigration issues in the European Union is supported by the ESRC's "Britain in a Changing Europe" programme.


Europe's refugee crisis" has cost nearly 3,000 migrants their lives so far in 2015. The vast majority are refugees from war-torn and repressive nations, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. The aims of this policy brief are threefold. First, it explores migrant flows to Europe via the Mediterranean, discussing countries of origin and the motivations behind departure.  Second, it identifies migrant destinations, indicating the challenge of enforcing the Dublin Regulation, which states that asylum claims must be made in the first member state entered. Finally, it outlines several policy options available, identifying three key areas: search and rescue, relocation and settlement, and creating legal avenues to safety, the development of which is critical to prevent further tragedy.