Survey 1 - Impossibility and hardship of family reunion for beneficiaries of international protection

Family reunification represents a safe and legal channel for beneficiaries of international protection to reunite with their separated family members. Family reunification is a crucial element to foster integration of beneficiaries of international protection in host societies and promote economic and social cohesion in the Member States. To this end, EU law recognises more favourable conditions to beneficiaries of international protection to apply for family reunification in comparison with ordinary third-country nationals.

Survey 2 - Responsibility sharing in asylum policy

As a result of the large number of asylum seekers arriving in the EU during 2015 and 2016, the debate on the distribution of asylum responsibilities in the EU has gained relevance, leading to the introduction of several new measures.

Survey 3 - Safe Third Country

The safe third country concept is based on the assumption that an applicant for international protection could have obtained it in another country and therefore the receiving state is entitled to reject responsibility for the protection claim. The safe third country concept is applied as a ground for declaring an application inadmissible and barring applicants from a full examination of the merits of their claim, as is the case for the “first country of asylum” concept, which covers refugees who have already obtained and can again avail themselves of protection in a third country.

Survey 5 - Migration-related conditionality in EU external funding

The need to respond quickly and effectively to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ has led in the last few years to the establishment of a set of “hybrid” financial instruments that combines EU and member states’ contributions. Since 2014, four EU Trust Funds for external action (EUTFs) have been established. Specifically, the Madad Fund in response to the Syrian crisis (established in 2014) and the EUTF for Africa (established in 2015) were presented by EU institutions as key instruments to address the perceived “refugee crisis’.

Survey 6 - Return Rates

Return of migrants staying irregularly in the EU has gained center stage on the EU agenda since 2015. In September 2015, the Commission presented a Communication on an EU Action Plan on return that defined a set of immediate and mid-term measures to be taken in order to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return system. The 'Return Handbook', adopted together with the EU Action Plan, provided a set of guidelines, best practices and recommendations to the member states for returning irregular migrants.

Survey 8 - Sustaining Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming refers to the systematic implementation of policies and measures in all areas relevant for the integration of migrants and refugees – be it housing, education, qualification, social services or health. All authorities and organisations providing public services, on all levels of government, become responsible for contributing to integration and for adapting their activities to the requirements of a diverse society.

Survey 9 - Cities as service providers

Cities are where integration measures and public services are provided to a vast majority of migrants and refugees in the EU. Whether services are adequate, respond to needs and are available across all relevant issue areas (like housing, social services, education,…), is a key determinant for long-term integration.