14 Nov 2011

Protecting and Delivering Fundamental Rights of Irregular Migrants at Local and Regional Levels in the European Union

Sergio Carrera / Joanna Parkin

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This study addresses the role of local and regional authorities (LRAs) in preserving the dignity and access to fundamental rights by undocumented immigrants in the EU. It does so by examining the following research questions:

  • What are the guiding policy approaches and gaps in EU irregular immigration policy?
  • What have been the main effects of current policy priorities and practices on the phenomenon of irregular immigration in Europe?
  • What are the main obstacles preventing undocumented immigrants from enjoying fundamental rights in the domains of health, education, housing and fair working conditions?
  • What has been the role of LRAs in the delivery of fundamental rights to undocumented immigrants and which practices can be underlined for having played a positive role in ensuring access to fundamental rights by undocumented people?

On the basis of their analysis of these four questions, the authors draw conclusions and propose a set of ‘points for reflection’ at the 3rd Annual Dialogue on Multi-level Protection and Promotion of Fundamental Rights organized by the Committee of the Regions and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on 17 October 2011 in Brussels.  On this occasion, practitioners and policy-makers met to discuss with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, CoR Members and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency promising practices developed to support access to fundamental rights for irregular migrants at different levels of government.

This study was carried out by CEPS researchers as part of CEPS’ Framework contract with the Committee of the Regions for the provision of advice in the following areas: the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice; European citizenship; fundamental rights; the fight against discrimination and exclusion; and policies in the fields of migration, integration and asylum. Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Research Programme at CEPS. Joanna Parkin is Research Assistant at CEPS.

The report is also available for downloading from the Committee of the Regions website (http://www.cor.europa.eu/pages/CommissionDetailTemplate_CIVEX.aspx?view=folder&id=cca61405-455e-458a-b4fc-535055673449&sm=cca61405-455e-458a-b4fc-535055673449).