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The enlarged EU and Ukraine: migration-policy challenges concerning the new eastern border of the EU

Together with the Osteuropa-Institut in Munich, the efms is working in the forost research association Ost- und Südosteuropa on a research project on the current migration situation and migration policy in Ukraine.

With the enlargement of the EU in 2004 the borders of the extended Europe moved eastward, and countries that had previously belonged to the USSR became the new immediate neighbours. Thus since 1 May 2004 the enlarged EU has shared borders with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In view of the emergence of new border regions, the EU presented a concept for the political arrangement of the future EU neighbourhoods, the so-called "European Neighbourhood Policy" as early as 2003.

A fundamental aspect in the regulation of relationships with the new neighbours is migration movements between the (eastern) non-EU states and the European Union. As the EU-15 and in the long term also the EU-25 describes itself in terms of the full free movement of labour within its borders, the management of external migration is not only of national interest for the EU states but also of interest with regard to EU policy. In view of the requirement to build up a close political, security-policy and socio-economic co-operation with the (new) neighbours but nonetheless to control the migrations into the EU from economically and politically less stable neighbouring countries, the EU member states are confronted at national and supra-national level with the task of organising the regulation of cross-border migration permanently and in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy.

In view of the current migratory movements and the migration potentials in the new eastern neighbouring states of the enlarged EU, this research project asks the following questions which are to be examined based on the example of the new EU neighbouring state Ukraine:

  • What migration traditions have so far determined the migration relations between Ukraine and the EU member states?
  • What current migratory movements can be observed and what migration potentials are developing between Ukraine and the EU countries most affected by these movements?
  • What migration-policy objectives are formulated by the EU states at national and supra-national level with regard to the new neighbouring country Ukraine?
  • What alternative migration-policy regulations concerning the new eastern neighbours are formulated in the EU at supra-national level and how are they to be assessed with reference to the migration movements and migration potentials in Ukraine?

On the basis of these questions the planned research project plans to assess the migration traditions, movements and potentials between Ukraine and the EU member states, to portray the migration-policy aims of the EU member states towards Ukraine at national and supra-national level and to examine the regulations of EU migration policy that are currently formulated with regard to Ukraine.

Funding: forost
Completion: 31.12.2007
Poject manager: Prof. Friedrich Heckmann
Researcher: Dr. Barbara Dietz, Osteuropa-Institut München

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