The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has recently published a new report entitled:

Europe’s refugees and migrants: hidden flows, tightened borders and spiralling costs

by John Cosgrave, Karen Hargrave, Marta Foresti and Isabella Massa, with Justin Beresford, Helen Dempster and Joanna Rea

Copyright: Overseas Development Institute.

Copyright: Overseas Development Institute.

Published in September 2016 at a launch event hosted by the ODI in London, the report highlights the European response to migration over the last two years and details the impact this has had on the routes migrants choose when attempting to flee to Europe.

The infographic shown here, produced by the ODI to accompany the report, highlights how Europe has spent in the region of 17 billion Euros during the two years from 2014 to 2016 in an attempt to reduce both refugee and migrant numbers.  According to the inforgraph, this has included at least 1.7 billion Euros on border controls inside Europe and a further 15.3 billion Euros spent trying to discourage migration outside of Europe.

Research for the report indicates that somewhere in the region of 330,000 people seeking asylum are expected to arrive by the Mediterranean sea this year, a further 890,00o are expected to claim asylum during this period.  This implies that whilst 330,000 people will be travelling via “overt” routes, many more will be attempting to travel by more dangerous “covert” routes in order to try and reach Europe.

The conclusions reached by the ODI researchers when writing this report, argue that:

As a result of the analysis in this report, we conclude that Europe needs a new approach. It needs to shift from an emphasis on controlling and deterring migration, towards a pragmatic and effective approach to manage it better. This report makes four key policy recommendations:

  1. European governments should facilitate and increase legal pathways so that they can monitor and more effectively manage flows of refugees and migrants.

  2. A new global alliance of migration and displacement data is needed.

  3. Governments should commit to more transparency on deterrence costs, as well as the significant reception and procedural costs in both national and EU budgets.

  4. Forge new international and regional coalitions built around common interests and objectives that aim to ensure safe, controlled and well-managed migration.

The report is available online both in a full and executive summary formats and these can be downloaded as follows:

Further media coverage of this research can be found online as follows:

EU Observer: Report: EU border crackdown puts migrants in danger.

The Telegraph: UK facing more than 40,000 asylum applications this year as migrants turn to ‘covert methods’, report finds.