Facts and Findings

Ambitious plans, difficult implementation

An interim review of the European migration and refugee policy

Three years after the beginning of the migration crisis, the debate on the EU's Migration and Asylum policy is still ongoing. Where does the EU stand with its efforts to address the most urgent challenges but also to fundamentally reform the EU's Migration and Asylum Policy? What are the current and future challenges? This paper attempts to highlight the global context and to take stock of the most important successes and challenges. Finally, it presents a number of short- and long-term policy recommendations for the development of a more sustainable EU Migration and Asylum Policy.

Key Points

  • The highest number of refugees worldwide was recorded in 2016 – a rapid decline is not to be expected. For that reason, migration and refugee protection will continue to preoccupy the EU.
  • Since the beginning of the migration and refugee crisis, the EU has made considerable progress with short-term crisis management in particular. The creation of the European Border and Coast Guard, hotspots as well as the cooperation with third countries, can be considered as successes.
  • The measures adopted over the past few years have bought the EU some time. It is imperative that this time is used now to determine long-term reforms beyond short-term crisis management.
  • First and foremost, there is a need for agreement on how to reform the Common European Asylum System. The concerns of the various states must be taken into account. Yet, this does not alter the fact that a binding mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers is essential.
  • The upcoming EU financial framework must provide far more resources for migration policy – in particular also for the control of external borders.

Single title
May 24, 2018
In short: Between Crisis Management and Sustainability – An Interim Review of the EU’s Migration and Refugee Policy

About this series

The series informs in a concentrated form about important positions of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on current topics. The individual issues present key findings and recommendations, offer brief analyses, explain the Foundation's further plans and name KAS contact persons.


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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.


Sankt Augustin Deutschland

Dr. Kristin Wesemann


Head of Strategy and Planning

kristin.wesemann@kas.de +49 30 26996-3803

Sophie Steybe

Referentin Publikationen

sophie.steybe@kas.de +49 30 26996-3726