Roads to Irregularity

7 April 2011. From 11:00 | Workshop | English | IEMed, Barcelona

The continuous flow of irregular immigration to different EU countries shows not only the ineffectiveness of migration policies but also their adverse effects as they sometimes contribute to increased irregular immigration.

One of the main causes of irregular immigration is the lack or difficulty of legal channels to settle in Europe. Contradictory legislation, a complicated bureaucracy in the processing of papers, changes in internal regulations, the difficulty of acquiring work permits and an organizational culture aimed at protecting the host country from immigration and not at providing services to immigrants, these are other aspects that increase irregular immigration.

The migration policies of EU countries differ from each other and are ambiguous or contradictory in terms of implementation. In this sense, one of the main problems is the concept of irregular immigration, which is defined in many ways: “illegal entry”, “illegal stay”, “illegal work”.

Contradictions and lack of clarity in legislation make law enforcement ineffective and lead to legal loopholes that end up increasing the number of people in an irregular situation. In this regard, sociologist Franck Duvell advocates promoting a unanimous and shared definition at EU level on the concept of irregular immigration that facilitates the development of coherent legislation in terms of objectives, implementation and results.

Franck Duvell explains to the IEMed the legal and political framework of irregular immigration in EU countries. Duvell, of the Center on Migration Policy and Society at Oxford University, is an expert on irregular immigration and refugees and collaborates with European agencies that ensure the protection of the rights of these groups.

Duvell is currently working on projects related to human rights and irregular immigrants in Europe, immigrant trafficking through Turkey and Ukraine, and immigrants ’perceptions of Europe. Prior to working at Oxford, this sociologist had collaborated with the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Exeter and the Jean Monnet Center for European Studies at the University of Bremen. Duvell follows in his blog the increase in migratory pressure that the crisis in Libya and the revolts in the Arab world mean for the southern shore of Europe.


Xavier Aragall

Xavier Aragall

Franck Duvell

Franck Duvell

Researcher Oxford University


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