Periodization of the european union’s immigration policy: from the beginning to modern times


The historical development of the European Union’s immigration policy has been described in the article. The main four phases of common immigration policy of the EU have been examined. Each phase is characterized by the adoption of important agreements and programs. In particular, the principles of Amsterdam Treaty and the Treaty of Lisbon and five-year program have been analyzed in the paper: Tampere (1999), The Hague (2004), Stockholm (2009) and guidelines Ypres (2014). The program contains guidelines for a common politics on the topics of protection of fundamental rights, privacy, minority rights and rights of groups of people in need of special protection, as well as a citizenship of the European Union. Such different spheres as domestic and public security, migration (European pact on immigration and asylum), the combat against the organized crime, and even family law, private law, inheritance law and others have been described in the program.

The Ypes guidelines don’t constitute a program any more, but they rather guide focusing on the objective of transposition, implementation and consolidation of the existing legal instruments and measures. The guidelines point out the necessity to adopt a holistic approach to migration, making the best possible use of the regular migration, affording protection to those who need it, combating irregular migration and managing borders effectively.

The need for the formation of the migration policy is becoming more apparent in view of the fact that globalization increases due to migration flows and its effectiveness depends largely on the cooperation with other Member States, countries of origin and transit countries.

Nowadays, regulation of migration flows in the EU is a political process, which is legally coordinated from the acquit of the EU and national legislation of the Member States. Transfer of the migration policy to the supranational level allows tracking changes, made at the national level, in order to respond to the challenge of migration character without significant delay.

The main conclusion of the article is that, on the one hand, immigration has become a relevant issue in all the EU countries. On the other hand, as a consequence of different timing of immigration, different socio-economic contexts and varying governmental migration and integration policies, different forms of migration, with different governmental policies of migration and integration, and with different types of migrants have evolved. Such different starting positions should be taken into account when studying the consequences of the immigration and the presence of migrants in society.

Keywords: migration; the Amsterdam Treaty; the Treaty of Lisbon; migration flows; the EU institutions; migration flows; European immigration policy



Dr. Khrystyna Fogel, member and researcher of NGO AEI. Khrystyna has been granted an ERASMUS MUNDUS Action 2 scholarship through the BACKIS project financed by the European Commission. She has been working at University of Antwerp (Belgium) as a volunteer PhD student. Currently, her main research topic is problems of migration. Expert of Innovation policy project.

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