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Climate-induced displacement and migration: What role for the European Union?

The climate crisis is arguably the most pressing issue the European Union (EU) is and will face in the decades to come. But with the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the food and energy crises that emerged as a result, the EU has been faced with not just one, but several overlapping crises with far-reaching consequences. This has diverted some of its attention to tackling the climate crisis, limiting, in turn, opportunities to demonstrate its global leadership capabilities, speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to invest in crisis preparedness and response. This is concerning given that climate change is expected to have a serious impact on displacement and migratory movements, including in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood. However, there is currently no blueprint or strategy outlining how the EU intends to tackle this issue. Instead, up until this point, it has engaged with the topic only in a fragmented way across several different policy areas and tools, including climate, migration, development, humanitarian, and foreign policy. Now more than ever, the gap between what the EU is doing versus what it should be doing to address climate change impacts on populations in its Southern Neighbourhood has become even clearer.

The EPC will investigate this gap through in-depth mappings of the state of play and relevant climate scenarios, the EU’s institutional capacities, as well as its policy instruments and tools. Project activities include an Expert Group meeting, a closed-door expert roundtable, as well as a Discussion Paper featuring the main findings and recommendations for a stronger, more coherent, and more evidence-based EU approach to climate-induced displacement and migration for the future. This project is a joint effort by the EPC’s Migration and Diversity as well as Sustainable Prosperity for Europe programmes and is supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB).


The EU’s approach to climate mobility: Which way forward?
By Helena Hahn , Melanie Fessler - 26/10/2023


Head of European Migration and Diversity and Senior Policy Analyst
Common European Asylum System, refugee law, migrants' integration, multiculturalism, politics of migration, EU citizens rights, free movement
Policy Analyst
Migration governance, climate change and migration, EU migration cooperation, EU funding, borders and technology, resettlement, refugee integration, think tank cooperation

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