Preparatory Program for Integration and Migration Zones

A balanced, constructive proposal of an European asylum and migration policy

Why "closing the borders" does not solve all problems

Why "granting asylum to more refugees" does not solve all problems

Irrespective of the behavior of the individuals, these recent tendencies have been worsened by the counterproductive policy to grant integration support and access to the labour market only to recognised refugees after years of waiting for the decision of the asylum authority. But also a very forgiving and therefor apparently human and tolerant approach has unfavourable consequences: Denial of criminal acts and other problematic behaviour of migrants is also a blanket judgment, setting wrong incentives.

With a thoughtful guidance and control of migration, Europe can contribute more to the global demand in aid for refugees and bear less disadvantages and risks arising from the actual selection, that only the strongest pass the external borders. Such a guidance and control could be implemented as follows:

Preconditions for immigration and residence

In order to immigrate and stay within the regular territory of the European Union, with contact to the local population and the freedom of movement, the following preconditions must be fulfilled: After a decision of a target member state for the individual migrant, first language skills can be acquired in courses. With regard to the fact, that real integration can only happen within the society, this program should be rather a crash-course in order to prepare for integration: Immediately after arrival it must be made clear, which rules and values are fundamental for the functioning of the European societies and that those who want to immigrate have only the choice to accept them or to withdraw their intention to immigrate. The existing practise that refugees immediately enter parallel societies with often problematic moral concepts and then wait for years before receiving specific integration measures and labour market access, should be stopped as soon as possible. Of course, it might be difficult to prove, wether the content of the preparatory course for integration has been really accepted or if the participants just fake willingness to accept European social rules and values. Nevertheless it is a significant improvement over the current state as not anyone is a good actor and afterwards, nobody can say, he or she had not been prepared appropriately.

Two types of migration zones within the EU

In order to avoid collaboration with inacceptable regimes in countries of origin or transit, but also not to grant to migrants immediately after arrival full freedom of movement among the local population, special areas within the EU territory are required, where the mentioned procedures can be carried out. These "additional EU member state" could consist out of several enclaves, but each of them must have some minimum size as they should not have the nature of a camp or prison and a reasonable ratio of area and border length should be achieved. Larger former military training areas would be very suitable as they are usually already fenced and equipped with an airport. Further possible areas are recultivated mining areas or other larger, coherent, unpopulated areas which are already state-owned or can be purchased by the public. These zones are divided into two types This division shall prevent the case, that the preparation for integration of new migrants would take place in an environment that is already dominated by people who did not pass this preparation.

Possible migration movements

  1. Origin or transit country > regular EU territory: After prove of the preconditions including the preparatory program for integration abroad (e.g. at an embassy or cultural institute)
  2. Origin or transit country > transit zone
  3. External border or location of first contact with the authorities > Transit zone
  4. Transit zone > regular EU territory (after prove of the preconditions including the preparatory program in the transit zone)
  5. Transit zone > residence zone (in case of missing resp. not recognised preconditions and/or refused or unsuccessful preparatory program)
  6. Regular EU territory > residence zone (after relevant offences or other reasons to loose the right for residence in the regular EU territory)
  7. Residence zone > transit zone: "Second chance" to apply, mentioning changed circumstances or improved willingness for integration
  8. Transit zone > origin or transit country: voluntary return upon denial of the conditions for immigration
  9. Residence zone > origin or transit country: deportation if possible and acceptable concerning the human rights situation; otherwise only voluntary return

Administration and living standards in migration zones

This system of preconditions for immigration and special areas for those, who are in course of the immigration procedure or already refused to stay within the regular EU territory inhibits the business model of human traffickers and avoids dangerous attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea as effective as improved border protection, but at the same time, Europe would comply to its human rights obligations. Social cohesion would be much less threatened, than in case of uncontrolled migration. Nevertheless, the new rules must be intensely communicated in the origin and transit countries in order to be effective.
It is a question of transitional provisions, whether parts of the new concept should also be applied to people who immigrated in the past. Values and social rules which should be taught in the preparatory courses should be anyway communicated to those who came earlier too, either as media campaigns or as intensive courses at the occasion of real conflicts (similar to retraining concerning driving licenses after a severe traffic offence). In any case, the residence zones would be suitable for those people who should be already deported because of missing reasons for asylum and/or committed offences, but can not be deported as their countries of origin don't take them back.

Contact: Harald Buschbacher * * * E-Mail * * * Website