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See detailImmigration und Integration
Nienaber, Birte UL; Willems, Helmut UL

Speeches/Talks (2017)

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See detailMaster in Border Studies - ein Praxisbeispiel
Nienaber, Birte UL

Speeches/Talks (2017)

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See detailThe effectiveness of return in EU Member States: challenges and good practices linked to EU rules and standards
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, David UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

The impact of EU rules on Luxembourg’s return policies and practices is substantial. This is not least a result of the transposition of Directive 2008/115/EC on return into national law by the Law of 1 ... [more ▼]

The impact of EU rules on Luxembourg’s return policies and practices is substantial. This is not least a result of the transposition of Directive 2008/115/EC on return into national law by the Law of 1 July 2011, which was then further developed through amendments in 2014 following the conclusions of the European Commission that Luxembourg was not fully in line with the directive. With regards to the European Commission Recommendation of 7th March 2017 ‘on making returns more effective when implementing the Directive 2008/115/EC’, Luxembourg did not introduce any specific legal or policy change. Most of the referenced provisions already form part of the national legal and/or policy framework. The government’s efforts to conclude and apply readmission agreements with third-countries to better organise returns have continued throughout 2016. The Benelux Member States concluded a readmission agreement and a protocol of implementation with the Republic of Kazakhstan on 2 March 2015, which was approved by Law of 31 August 2016. As a result of the relatively high influx of asylum-seekers in 2015/2016, a backlog in the processing of applications for international protection occurred and could only be properly addressed by the Refugees and Return Department of the Directorate of Immigration through an increase and a reorganisation of its administrative staff. On the other side, the impact of the migration situation 2015/2016 did not significantly affect the functioning of the Detention Centre nor its maximum occupation limits. However, the Detention Centre took over the management of the SHUK (Structure d’hébergement d’urgence Kirchberg) a new semi-open facility established for Dublin cases (single men) with a view of transferring them to the responsible Member State. Although vulnerable groups are generally not detained in Luxembourg, the permitted period of detention of families with children was recently (March 2017) extended from 72 hours to 7 days with a view to enhancing the organisation of their return. The controversial extension through law amendment was largely criticised by civil society organisations and hence debated in parliament. The definition of guarantees to avoid the risk of absconding remains a major challenge in the field of return and (alternatives to) detention. In most cases, the applicant fails to provide evidence enabling the reversal of the legal presumption of the existence of a risk of absconding, allowing the Minister to use a detention measure instead of another less coercive measure. As long as the concerned third-country national is unable to indicate a fixed address of stay (reception facilities are not taken into account), the competent authorities cannot rule out the existence of a risk of absconding. The practical implementation of ‘home custody’ as an alternative to detention is therefore considered problematic, with most potential candidates not having a fixed address in Luxembourg. The substantial amount of the financial guarantee, 5.000€, make it also difficult to practically implement release on bail as an alternative. Although the Law foresees the possibility of combining home custody with electronic surveillance, the electronic tag has not yet been implemented. [less ▲]

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See detailLe regroupement familial des ressortissants de pays tiers en UE: pratiques nationales
Jacobs, Sarah UL; Petry, David UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Article for general public (2017)

Cette note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2016 par le Point de contact luxembourgeois du European Migration Network intitulée «Le regroupement familial des ... [more ▼]

Cette note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2016 par le Point de contact luxembourgeois du European Migration Network intitulée «Le regroupement familial des ressortissants de pays tiers: pratiques nationales» ainsi que du rapport de synthèse, élaboré par la Commission européenne à parti r des études nationales de 26 points de contacts nationaux du EMN (AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, IT, LV, LT, LU, MT, NL, NO, PL, SK, SI, SE, UK). L’étude vise à comparer les politiques et pratiques nationales en matière de regroupement familial entre les différents États (membres). Plus précisément l’étude examine les: • critères d’admissibilité des membres de famille; • conditions pour le regroupement familial, ainsi que les mesures d’intégration avant et après l’admission; • aspects procéduraux de la demande de regroupement familial; • droits accordés aux ressortissants de pays ti ers réunis en famille dans l’Union européenne; • conditions de non-renouvellement ou de retrait du titre de séjour «membre de famille». L’étude se réfère à la situation telle qu’elle s’est présentée depuis 2011 et jusqu’à la fin de l’année 2016. Elle ne porte pas sur les ressortissants de pays tiers membres de famille d’un citoyen de l’Union ou d’un pays assimilé, tombant dans le champ d’application de la libre circulation des personnes. [less ▲]

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See detailChallenges and practices for establishing applicants’ identity in the migration process
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, Ralph UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

In Luxembourg, the procedure for identity verification/establishment in the context of international protection is separated from the decision-making procedure as such. While the authority for granting ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, the procedure for identity verification/establishment in the context of international protection is separated from the decision-making procedure as such. While the authority for granting international protection status lies with the Ministry in charge of Immigration (Directorate of Immigration), the Judicial Police is in charge of identity verification/establishment. For this means, the applicant will be interviewed with regard to his/her travel itinerary, including questions on border crossing and used means of transports to arrive in Luxembourg. During the last few years, the large majority of international protection applications in Luxembourg have come from persons originating from the Western Balkan countries (in 2016 they represent 35% of the applicants). Concerning these applicants, most of them (85% to 90%) have presented valid identity documents to the authorities in Luxembourg. However, with the migration crisis there is a growing number of international protection applicants coming from the Middle East and North Africa and who cannot produce valid identity documents. National authorities have always been confronted with lacking identity documents, predominantly observable among applicants from African countries. In some cases, identity documents were intentionally destroyed or withheld from the authorities in order to avoid being identified. If credible identity documents are lacking, the identification procedure can become complicated and resource consuming, and the responsible authorities, especially the Police, have a limited set of methods and means available (provided for in the Asylum Law). [less ▲]

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See detailIllegal employment of Third-Country Nationals in the EU
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, Ralph UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

Illegal employment by third country nationals is a reality in Luxembourg. However, as well as in the case of grey and informal economy, it is rather hard to grasp or quantify to which extent. Nevertheless ... [more ▼]

Illegal employment by third country nationals is a reality in Luxembourg. However, as well as in the case of grey and informal economy, it is rather hard to grasp or quantify to which extent. Nevertheless, the problem is not as significant as the one of the posted workers which is more relevant and worrisome and needs to be situated in the context of a labour market of the Greater Region. In the past, several labour related regularisation measures have been implemented in Luxembourg in order to provide both employers and employees the possibility to regularise situations of illegal employment. The last labour related regularisation measure was implemented in early 2013 in the context of the transposition of the Employers' Sanctions Directive 2009/52 by law of 21 December 2012. During this regularisation, the Directorate of Immigration received 664 applications. These regularisations give a partial indication of the extent of the phenomenon, even though these numbers do not provide a real picture of the problem because the conditions of this regularisation were very strict and in a very short time frame (less than two months) and a certain number of irregular migrants’ workers were not willing to expose themselves by applying and preferred to remain undetected. This regularisation also provided information on the main sectors were the phenomenon is found in order of importance: HORECA, cleaning, crafts, industry and construction. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidary Economy at the end of the regularisation has insisted in the need to increase the number of controls to employers. The law of 21 December 2012 established administrative as well as criminal sanctions for employers who illegally employ irregularly staying third country nationals, particularly in relation to offenses to the Labour Code in aggravating circumstances. This law amended also article 89 of the Immigration Law abrogating the possibility of making labour related regularisations. The Inspectorate of Labour (‘Inspection de Travail et des Mines’, hereafter called ITM), which is in charge of labour inspections and the control of illegal employment of TCNs in Luxembourg, is currently going through a restructuring phase following the latest audit of this administration from January 2015. Particularly the current insufficient number of staff of the ITM, which is in need of a significant short term increase of staff, represents a main challenge in the field of illegal employment in Luxembourg. It is also in the context of this restructuring phase of the responsible administration that the drafting of this study presented a number of challenges, especially in relation to the operational and statistical part of the template. The information regarding the conditions to be fulfilled by both the employers and the employees in the context of an employment relationship are available on the website of the concerned authorities. Furthermore, they are disseminated by the NGOs working in the field, even though there are no specific campaigns targeted to prevent illegal employment of TCNs. The matter was raised in the context of the ‘social identification badge’, which was introduced in 2013 in order to fight against social dumping in particular in the construction sector. One national stakeholder suggested that the ‘social identification badge’ could be revised and adapted to other economic sectors in order to better monitor and prevent illegal employment. In regards to access to justice and enforcement of rights of illegally employed TCNs, Luxembourg foresees the right for illegally employed TCNs to make a claim against their employer, including in cases in which they have, or have been, returned. This claim falls under the general provisions concerning the right to bring a case before civil courts. The Labour Code establishes that the employer who has employed an irregular staying third-country national must pay to the third-country national the following amounts: 1) salaries and any other emoluments, which a similar employee would have benefited for the same employment; 2) the total amount of outstanding remuneration as well as the cost of the transfer of these amounts to the third-country national to the country to which s/he is returned; 3) the total amount of unpaid social contributions and taxes, including administrative fines, as well as, court and legal fees. In addition, the Labour Code establishes that the third-country national who has been illegally employed before the execution of any return decision has to be systematically and objectively informed by the control agents of his/her rights to recover the outstanding remunerations and back payments, as well as the right to benefit from free of charge legal aid in order to attempt a recovery action against the employer, even if the third-country national has already been returned. Labour unions can support and assist TCNs in legal proceedings related to social and labour law, provided that they have been given a mandate to do so. Eventual costs of administrative and civil proceedings can be taken in charge by the labour unions if the TCN is a member of the respective labour union. The Law does not establish fines against TCN’s who were illegally employed. The TCN may be issued a return decision and lose his/her residence rights; however, the Directorate of immigration processes these situations on a case-by-case basis and inform the persons concerned to terminate the illegal employment situation. [less ▲]

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See detailFamily reunification of third-country nationals in the EU: national practices (country report Luxembourg)
Petry, David UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2017)

In Luxembourg, family reunification is one of the main reasons for immigration of third-country nationals. In fact, “family member” and “private reasons (family links)” residence permits (first deliveries ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, family reunification is one of the main reasons for immigration of third-country nationals. In fact, “family member” and “private reasons (family links)” residence permits (first deliveries and renewals) represented more than a third of all residence permits issued during the last three years. While the right to family reunification was solely provided by international law and regulated by administrative practice until 2008, the transposition of Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification led to a much more precise and detailed legal framework. A notable change in legislation has been proposed with the introduction of bill n° 6992 , namely the harmonisation of the conditions that apply to third-country national employees with those of Blue Card holders and researchers. Thus, family reunification requirements for certain categories of applicants shall be alleviated through the abrogation of the 12-month residence requirement for the sponsor. In order to apply for family reunification in Luxembourg, sponsors have to meet a number of requirements for exercising the right to family reunification, which include the provision of suitable accommodation for the size of their family; meeting health and safety standards; health insurance; as well as stable and regular resources to provide for themselves and their family members. As recommended by Directive 2003/86/EC, Luxembourg sets out more favourable conditions to beneficiaries of international protection for the exercise of their right to family reunification. Thus, they do not have to comply with the above-mentioned requirements in case they apply for family reunification within 3 months of being granted the status. Family members who have come to Luxembourg under family reunification have access to education, orientation, vocational training, lifelong learning and professional retraining once their residence permit has been issued. Family members furthermore have access to the labour market. In case the family member has resided in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted, it will be submitted to the labour market test. Family members can also, under a number of conditions, benefit from guaranteed minimum income, social aid, long-term residence status as well as citizenship. National stakeholders noted that the requirement of finding appropriate accommodation and proving stable and regular resources is one of the main challenges for sponsors. For family members as well as sponsors, having sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of family reunification can be another challenge to accessing family reunification. Family members of beneficiaries of international protection in particular face the more procedural challenge of providing proof of identity and family links, which can be difficult due to lacking documentation, differing administrative practices in the country of origin and/or the lack of cooperation of institutions. Gaining access to family reunification is also particularly difficult for beneficiaries of international protection who arrived in Luxembourg as unaccompanied minors but reached adulthood during the examination of their file, as they must provide proof of their family member’s dependency upon them. The limited number of diplomatic representations of Luxembourg abroad poses a challenge both to family members who must present themselves there, as well as for the Luxembourgish authorities who require information on certain countries. Perceived as a best practice with regard to family reunification are the information that NGOs and the lawyers in the field of migration and asylum provide to beneficiaries of international protection with regard to procedures of family reunification, thereby contributing to the beneficiary’s ability to enter an application for family reunification within the 3-month period. The practice of accepting the submission of an application of family members of beneficiaries of international protection that contains only a commencement of proof of family links and allowing for the finalisation at a later date is also perceived as a good practice, as it enables them to exercise their right to family reunification while benefitting from more favourable conditions. Furthermore, the issuance of a “laisser-passer” for beneficiaries of international protection who cannot obtain travel documents is perceived as a big step forward by national stakeholders. Lastly, Restoring Family Links, a service provided by the Luxembourgish Red Cross, is also considered a reliable tool with regard to tracing missing family members abroad. [less ▲]

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See detailRetour de demandeurs de protection internationale déboutés: défis et bonnes pratiques
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Dionisio, Linda UL; Marcus, Noemie UL et al

Article for general public (2017)

Cette note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2016 par le Point de contact luxembourgeois du Réseau européen des migrations intitulée « Retour de demandeurs de protection ... [more ▼]

Cette note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2016 par le Point de contact luxembourgeois du Réseau européen des migrations intitulée « Retour de demandeurs de protection internationale déboutés: défis et bonnes pratiques ». L’étude se situe dans le contexte de l’accroissement récent des demandes des personnes en recherche de protection et des demandeurs de protection internationale (ci-après dpi) déboutés. Elle s’intéresse plus particulièrement aux raisons qui font que les dpi déboutés ne peuvent ou ne veulent retourner ainsi qu’aux mesures adoptées par les États Membres pour faciliter et encourager les retours. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detail(Education for) Sustainable Development in Geography Education
Sprenger, Sandra; Nienaber, Birte UL

in Journal of Geography in Higher Education (2017)

Nearly 15 years after the Rio Conference and 10 years after the Lucerne Declaration on Geographical Education for Sustainable Development we are interested to what extent the goals of this declaration ... [more ▼]

Nearly 15 years after the Rio Conference and 10 years after the Lucerne Declaration on Geographical Education for Sustainable Development we are interested to what extent the goals of this declaration have been implemented? What role does Geography play in Education for Sustainable Development in higher education? We analyzed the modules of 107 degree programs with Geography as a degree major or as a teacher training subject at 55 German universities, technical colleges and universities of education. We conducted a quantitative text analysis in which we searched the key words “Sustainability”, “Sustainable Development”, “Education for Sustainable Development” and “Nature-Society Studies” in the Module Regulations. Our data indicate great heterogeneity between the degree programs. The key words were predominantly found in majors in “Human Geography”, “Geography” and teacher training programs for “academic high schools”. Aspects of the results considered in the paper include: (a) differences in the orientation of degree programs, (b) varying degree of implementation in the modules, (c) different conceptual understanding of the principles of sustainability, (d) the extent to which concepts of Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development are mixed, (e) heterogeneity between mandatory courses and electives. [less ▲]

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See detailThe changing influx of asylum seekers in 2014-2016: Member State responses (Country Report Luxembourg)
Jacobs, Sarah UL; Adao Do Carmo, Kelly UL; Petry, David UL et al

Report (2017)

Applications for international protection significantly increased in Luxembourg from August 2015 onwards, the total number of applications in fact more than doubling when compared to the previous year (2 ... [more ▼]

Applications for international protection significantly increased in Luxembourg from August 2015 onwards, the total number of applications in fact more than doubling when compared to the previous year (2.447 applicants in 2015; 1.091 in 2014). The number of applications remained high in 2016 (2.035 applications) and 2017 (2.322 applications) albeit slightly decreasing when compared to 2015. These figures are not unprecedented. The number of applications introduced in Luxembourg have fluctuated since 1999, the peaks and declines correlating with specific events. Luxembourg received 2.920 applications for international protection in 1999, an effect of the conflict in Kosovo. Later, the country saw two more peaks in applications after the turn of the century (2003 and 2004 with 1.550 and 1.577 applications respectively, 2011 and 2012 with 2.171 and 2.057 applications respectively). On the other hand, 2005 to 2010 can be characterised as a period of relative calm.The current period of higher arrivals of applicants for international protection is characterised by a change in cultural profile. Previously, most of the time, a majority of people applying for international protection in Luxembourg stemmed from European countries. The influx of applicants in 2015 and 2016 was characterised by the arrival of people stemming from Arabic-speaking countries, populations which had been relatively small in Luxembourg up to that point.While not necessarily unprecedented in magnitude,high numbers of monthly arrivals, especially in the last months of 2015, put those in charge of registering applications as well as of housing and providing social follow-up to the test and led to a number of measures being taken.Generally speaking, fromthe beginning of the increased arrivals in Luxembourg in 2015, the government adopted a relatively open and welcoming position. This position is illustrated for instance in the government’s stance in favour of a solution for the reception of applicants for international protection that is based on European solidarity and the government’s investment in relocation and resettlement. [less ▲]

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See detailPolicy Report on Migration and Asylum (2016)
Petry, David UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

The present report provides an overview of the main debates and developments in relation to migration and asylum in Luxembourg in 2016. The issue of migration remained on the forefront of public and ... [more ▼]

The present report provides an overview of the main debates and developments in relation to migration and asylum in Luxembourg in 2016. The issue of migration remained on the forefront of public and political debate, a debate axed on both planned legislative changes as well as the concrete migratory situation in Luxembourg. Four topics dominated public and policy discussions over the course of the year: the reform on Luxembourgish nationality, economic migration, the organisation of reception, as well as support and integration measures, linked to the continued inflow of applicants for international protection (AIPs) in 2016 and steps taken to adapt formal and informal education to the increasing heterogeneity of Luxembourg’s population. The debate on international protection that arose in 2015 was carried onward in 2016, the focus shifting towards reception, support and integration measures. As the inflow of AIPs remained relatively high in 2016 with 2.043 applications, Luxembourg’s Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) warned throughout the year that the country’s structures would soon reach the limits of their capacity. Linked to the high recognition rate, the legal challenges that local residents put to the plans for the construction of new reception facilities and the difficulty of beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs) in finding appropriate accommodation, the perceived dearth of housing was discussed broadly by the public, the media, as well as civil society and political actors. The continued inflow of AIPs also put a strain on the concerned administrations, both in terms of financial and human resources, leading to discussions regarding the duration of procedures and the variations of this duration. Moreover, the question of integration or support measures for beneficiaries and applicants stepped to the forefront: the changed profile of people arriving in Luxembourg posed new challenges to language learning and education for the newly arrived, and overall, emphasised the need to adapt existing and create new integration and support measures for beneficiaries and applicants. At the same time, the role of non-governmental organisations in supporting the government in the reception of applicants and in establishing new projects facilitating their integration also grew over the course of 2016, not least due to over 80 projects being granted funding by the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte (henceforth Oeuvre). The Luxembourgish Centre for Integration and Social Cohesion (LISKO), part of the Red Cross and supported by convention to the Ministry for Family and Integration opened its doors in April 2016. The newly created centre will take care of the integration of BIPs into Luxembourg’s society, putting its emphasis on facilitating access to housing. The planned extension of the maximum period of detention for families with children and unaccompanied minors (UAMs) from 72 hours to 7 days precipitated strong reactions from civil society and the public. Luxembourg furthermore followed through on its resettlement and relocation commitments made in 2015, with 167 persons being relocated from Greece and Italy to Luxembourg and with 52 being resettled in the context of the EU-Turkey agreement over the course of 2016. The adaptation of Luxembourg’s legislation in the domain of legal migration also took shape over in 2016 and was broadly debated during the law-making process, while warranting less public attention. With the introduction of one bill, the legislator started the process of transposing Directive 2014/36/EU on seasonal workers and Directive 2014/66/EU on intra-corporate transfers into national law. The same bill furthermore introduced an authorisation of stay for investors, the aspect most commented on by civil society; a mechanism for continuation of activity; detailed the conditions under which a TCN (third country national) corporate officer (mandataire social) can apply for an authorisation of stay, extended the period of validity of the "European Blue Card" residence permit from two to four years, modified dispositions regarding the change of status of students and facilitated family reunification. These developments are to be framed within a wider context of economic diversification, encouragement of entrepreneurship and the repositioning of the financial centre. The reform of the Luxembourgish nationality, another major subject of discussion, was recognised as the best way to counteract Luxembourg’s increasing democratic deficit after the electorate’s refusal to extend legislative voting rights to foreign residents, decided in the referendum of 2015. This reform further proceeded over the course of 2016, reintroduced the perennial language debate in Luxembourg, a larger debate on the role and status of the Luxembourgish language as well as its relation to integration of migrants into Luxembourgish society. In order to increase foreign residents’ participation in the upcoming municipal elections of October 2017, the government launched an awareness campaign encouraging foreign residents to register on the electoral roll, and provided support for organisations wishing to organise complementary actions. The Ministry of National Education and Youth made efforts to find responses to the growing heterogeneity of Luxembourg’s population, aiming to diversify and broaden the post-primary school offer, to develop plurilingual education in nurseries and to develop non-formal education by reforming in-kind benefits, this with the aim of promoting integration and equal opportunity. The transposition of Directive 2013/55/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications was also completed in 2016. The law further amended several national provisions, recast the legislation in the field of recognition of diplomas, combined all applicable provisions in a single legislative text and simplified the procedure for recognition. The debate regarding the return of irregular migrants circled around a number of issues in 2016: the exclusion of Kosovar nationals from the AVRRL programme, the Schengen evaluation and the aforementioned resulting changes to provisions on detention, the debate on the enforcement of the EU-Afghanistan ‘Joint way forward on migration issues’ agreement, as well as the continuation of the elaboration of readmission agreements. Luxembourg’s government took further steps in the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB) over the course of 2016. The Council of Government adopted the National Action Plan on trafficking in human beings, which focuses on the detection and protection of victims, the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators and a policy to combat trafficking. Luxembourg’s strategy on prostitution was presented, consisting of a National Action Plan on prostitution and a bill strengthening the fight against the exploitation of prostitution, procuring and THB. Additionally, the Consultative Commission on Human Rights (Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme – CCDH) published its first report on THB, which reviewed the years 2014-2016. In reference to migration and development, Luxembourg continued putting emphasis on vocational training and integration programmes in its indicative cooperation programmes with partner countries. Additionally, the Council of Government approved the bill on the agreement between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Republic of Cape Verde on the concerted management of migratory flows and solidarity-based development, facilitating the movement of persons and to encourage temporary circular professional migration between Luxembourg and Cape Verde. [less ▲]

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See detailCross-border residential mobility of people working in Luxembourg: Development and impacts
Nienaber, Birte UL; Pigeron-Piroth, Isabelle UL

in Boesen, Elisabeth; Schnuer, Gregor (Eds.) European Borderlands- Living with barriers and bridges (2017)

More and more work and residential cross-border mobilities are observed in border regions. The Greater Region, consisting of Luxembourg, Lorraine (France), Wallonia (Belgium), Saarland and Rhineland ... [more ▼]

More and more work and residential cross-border mobilities are observed in border regions. The Greater Region, consisting of Luxembourg, Lorraine (France), Wallonia (Belgium), Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), is one of the borderlands that is mostly affected by those cross-border mobilities. Inside this geographic space, around 213,000 people live and work in two different countries. The majority of cross-border workers commute from a neighbouring country to Luxembourg, where they constitute 44% of the salaried population in 2013. Beside work cross-border mobilities also residential cross-border mobilities become more and more important in the Greater Region. Associated with this is e.g. the move of a non-negligible number of former Luxembourgish residents into the Belgian, French or German borderlands. Most of them still maintain their job in Luxembourg meaning they commute from their place of residence to the Grand Duchy on weekdays. This paper aims on examining the development of the phenomenon of residential cross-border mobilities focusing on people who left Luxembourg and moved into the neighbouring countries but still work in the Grand Duchy. The period of time that the analysis takes into consideration is the last twenty years. In the 1990s, the majority of residential cross-border mobilities were oriented towards Luxembourg. But in recent years, the trend has changed into the direction of the neighbouring countries. Therefore, recently some Belgian, French and German villages are impacted by these trends in migration flows. These impacts concern e.g. housing prices, practice of languages, schooling as well as social integration of allochthonous and autochthonous population. It is followed by a discussion focusing on the one hand on the effects arising from these trends for the Greater Region and on the other hand analysing social, economic, and environmental issues municipalities are faced with. Furthermore the paper addresses the problem whether these residential cross-border mobilities could be seen as a strengthening (re-bordering) or a weakening (de-bordering) of the function of borders. [less ▲]

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See detailRapport politique sur les migrations et l'asile (2016)
Petry, David UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

Le présent rapport fait la synthèse des principaux débats et des évolutions concernant l’immigration et l’asile au Luxembourg en 2016. Au cours de cette année, quatre sujets ont dominé les discussions ... [more ▼]

Le présent rapport fait la synthèse des principaux débats et des évolutions concernant l’immigration et l’asile au Luxembourg en 2016. Au cours de cette année, quatre sujets ont dominé les discussions publiques et politiques : l’organisation de l’accueil, ainsi que les mesures de soutien et d’intégration, en lien avec l’afflux continu de demandeurs de protection internationale (DPI) en 2016, la réforme de la loi sur la nationalité luxembourgeoise, la migration économique, et les mesures prises ou envisagées pour adapter l’éducation formelle et informelle à l’hétérogénéité croissante de la population luxembourgeoise. Le débat sur la protection internationale soulevé en 2015 s’est poursuivi en 2016, en se concentrant cette fois-ci sur les mesures d’accueil, de soutien et d’intégration. L’afflux de DPI demeurant relativement élevé en 2016 avec 2 043 demandes, l’Office luxembourgeois de l’accueil et de l’intégration (OLAI) n’a cessé, tout au long de l’année, de mettre l’accent sur le fait que les structures du pays atteindraient prochainement les limites de leur capacité d’accueil. Les difficultés que rencontrent les bénéficiaires de protection internationale (BPI) pour trouver un logement approprié et la contestation tant populaire que judiciaire des résidents locaux pour contrer les projets de construction de nouveaux foyers d’accueil, ont donné lieu à des débats à grande échelle auxquels ont participé le public, les médias ainsi que la société civile et les acteurs politiques. L’afflux continu de DPI a également exercé des pressions sur les administrations concernées, aussi bien en termes de ressources financières que de ressources humaines, et ont entraîné des discussions sur la longueur des procédures et les variations de ces délais. L’accueil des DPI et l’intégration des BPI est devenu un défi important alors que le nouveau profil des personnes entrant au Luxembourg a induit de nouveaux enjeux en termes d’apprentissage de la langue et d’éducation des nouveaux arrivants et dans l’ensemble, a souligné la nécessité d’adapter les mesures de soutien existantes et d’en créer de nouvelles pour les bénéficiaires et les demandeurs. Parallèlement, le rôle des organisations non gouvernementales en matière de soutien du Gouvernement dans le cadre de l’accueil des demandeurs et de mise en place de nouveaux projets venant faciliter leur intégration, a également pris de l’ampleur en 2016, notamment du fait des plus de 80 projets financés par l’Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte (ci-après l’Œuvre). De nouveaux acteurs sont apparus sur la scène publique avec l’instauration du Centre luxembourgeois pour l’intégration et la cohésion sociale (LISKO) de la Croix Rouge conventionné par le ministère de la Famille, de l’Intégration et à la Grande Région, qui a pour objet de promouvoir l’intégration des BPI au sein de la société luxembourgeoise, en privilégiant l’accès au logement. Toujours, sur le plan de la protection internationale, le Luxembourg a poursuivi les engagements pris en 2015 en matière de réinstallation et de relocalisation, 167 personnes ayant été relocalisées de Grèce et d’Italie vers le Luxembourg et 52 ayant été réinstallées dans le cadre de la Déclaration UE-Turquie en 2016. La lutte contre la traite des êtres humains (TEH) était un autre sujet de préoccupation important en 2016. Le Conseil de gouvernement a adopté le Plan d’action national sur la traite des êtres humains qui comprend des mesures relatives à la détection et la protection des victimes, la poursuite judiciaire et les sanctions imposées aux auteurs et qui vise la mise en place d’une politique active et efficace de lutte contre la traite. La stratégie du Luxembourg sur la prostitution a été présentée : elle consiste en un Plan d’action national sur la prostitution et en un projet de loi qui renforce la lutte contre l’exploitation de la prostitution, le proxénétisme et la traite des êtres humains. De plus, le rapporteur national, la Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme (CCDH) a publié son premier rapport sur la traite des êtres humains, qui couvre les années 2014 à 2016. L’adaptation de la législation luxembourgeoise dans le domaine de la migration légale a également pris forme en 2016, bien que suscitant moins d’intérêt et de débat public. Avec l’introduction d’un projet de loi, le législateur a lancé le processus de transposition de la Directive 2014/36/UE sur les travailleurs saisonniers et de la Directive 2014/66/UE sur les transferts temporaires intra-groupe en droit national. Ce même projet de loi a également introduit une autorisation de séjour destinée aux investisseurs et un mécanisme de continuité d’activité, a détaillé les conditions dans lesquelles un mandataire social ressortissant d’un pays tiers (RPT) pouvait demander une autorisation de séjour, a prolongé la période de validité du titre de séjour « Carte bleue européenne », a modifié les dispositions concernant le changement du statut des étudiants et a facilité le regroupement familial. Ces évolutions sont à situer dans un contexte plus large de diversification économique, d’incitation à l’entreprenariat et de repositionnement du centre financier. Dans le domaine de la migration et du développement, le Luxembourg a continué de mettre l’accent sur les formations professionnelles et les projets d’intégration dans ses programmes indicatifs de coopération avec les pays partenaires. Par ailleurs, le Conseil de gouvernement a approuvé le projet de loi sur l’accord entre le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg et la République du Cap-Vert sur la gestion concertée des flux migratoires et le développement solidaire facilitant la circulation des personnes et visant à encourager la migration professionnelle circulaire temporaire entre le Luxembourg et le CapVert. Sur le plan du retour des migrants en situation irrégulière ou sans droit de séjour il convient de mentionner l’exclusion des ressortissants du Kosovo du programme AVRRL, le processus d’évaluation Schengen et les changements qui en résultent sur les dispositions en matière de rétention : L’extension prévue de la période maximale de rétention pour les familles avec enfants et pour les mineurs non accompagnés (MNA) qui devait passer de 72 heures à 7 jours, a suscité de vives réactions de la part de la société civile. La mise en œuvre de la Déclaration UE-Afghanistan « Joint Way Forward on migration issues », ainsi que la poursuite de l’élaboration des accords de réadmission ont constitué d’autres aspects importants de la politique migratoire. Sur le plan des politiques d’intégration, le projet de réforme de la loi sur la nationalité luxembourgeoise a été considéré comme moyen important pour lutter contre le déficit démocratique croissant du Luxembourg suite au refus des électeurs d’accorder le droit de vote aux résidents étrangers pour les législatives lors du référendum de 2015. Avec ce projet de réforme a été relancé le perpétuel débat sur les langues au Luxembourg, en particulier sur le rôle et le statut de la langue luxembourgeoise et son lien avec l’intégration des migrants au sein de la société luxembourgeoise. Afin de renforcer la participation des résidents étrangers aux prochaines élections municipales du mois d’octobre 2017, le Gouvernement a lancé une campagne de sensibilisation, pour encourager les résidents étrangers à s’inscrire sur les listes électorales. Le ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse s’est efforcé de trouver des réponses à l’hétérogénéité croissante de la population luxembourgeoise, en visant à diversifier et à élargir l’offre d’enseignement, à développer l’éducation non formelle et l’éducation plurilingue dans les crèches dans le but de promouvoir l’intégration et l’égalité des chances. La transposition de la Directive 2013/55/UE sur la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles a également été menée à bien en 2016. La loi a modifié plusieurs dispositions nationales, et regroupé toutes les dispositions applicables en un seul texte législatif tout en simplifiant la procédure de reconnaissance. [less ▲]

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See detailResettlement and Humanitarian Admission Programmes in Europe – what works?
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, David UL; Marcus, Noemie UL et al

Report (2016)

Luxembourg has a long tradition in “resettling” refugees from various parts of the world, but a more structured policy has only recently been implemented. National legislation does not include any ... [more ▼]

Luxembourg has a long tradition in “resettling” refugees from various parts of the world, but a more structured policy has only recently been implemented. National legislation does not include any provisions relating to resettlement policy and there are no specific national programmes. The resettlements have always been implemented on an ad-hoc basis or within broader programmes set up by the European Commission and/or UNHCR. Since 2014, Luxembourg additionally applies a quota of refugees to be annually resettled (15-20 persons). The implementation and organisation of the resettlement process may vary case by case and there is no standardised procedure applicable except for regular resettlements for which the framework is to a large extent outlined in the UNHCR’s Resettlement Handbook. The selection and identification of resettled persons is coordinated by the Directorate of Immigration in close collaboration with UNHCR, who performs in principle an eligibility assessment for the refugee status, which the Luxembourgish authorities shall take over once the person arrives in Luxembourg. For each resettlement mission Luxembourg sets a general profile as well as the number of persons they intend to resettle. These criteria do basically not differ from UNHCR’s Global Resettlement Submission Criteria and thus include women, children, elderly refugees as well as refugees with disabilities and diseases, except for those suffering from pathologies for which there is no adequate treatment available in Luxembourg. Apart from the vulnerability criteria, Luxembourgish authorities also take the “integration potential” into consideration when selecting candidates eligible for resettlements. This might explain the general preference of resettling entire families rather than single persons. Resettlement implemented within the EU Turkey 1:1 scheme, based on the agreement between the EU and Turkey of 18 March 2016, is considered separately by national authorities. For UNHCR, who is not a party to this agreement, engagement in the resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey is considered part of its regular resettlement activities. Procedurally, UNHCR continues to receive resettlement referrals from Turkey’s Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) and further continues to undertake phone and face-to-face interviews with eligible candidates. However, as opposed to regular resettlement, the assessment undertaken by UNHCR is streamlined. The Luxembourgish Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) coordinates the reception and integration phase of the resettled refugees. Although policy and law are the same for both, resettled refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection, in practice the support provided may differ in an initial phase. Thus, resettled refugees are accommodated upon arrival within a common reception centre where they shall be provided with a more intense support, especially during the first weeks after their arrival in Luxembourg. Since April 2016, a newly created service of the Luxembourgish Red Cross (Lisko) has been mandated, under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region, to take charge of the social support and integration of benefeciciaries of international protection, including resettled persons. Other national NGOs and associations also provide counselling and assistance. The present report identifies several challenges faced by both, the resettled persons as well as the competent authorities. These challenges prove particular significant in the post-arrival and integration phase. While some of these challenges are common to beneficiaries of international protection in general, some others may be more specifically relevant for resettled refugees, namely the absence of a transition period, coordination with local stakeholders, as well as timely provision of information to selected candidates for resettlement. [less ▲]

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See detailReturning Rejected Asylum Seekers: Challenges and good practices
Dionisio, Linda UL; Marcus, Noemie UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2016)

The issue of non-return of rejected international protection applicants does not enjoy a high political profile on its own, but has been discussed as part of a global debate on asylum. Significant efforts ... [more ▼]

The issue of non-return of rejected international protection applicants does not enjoy a high political profile on its own, but has been discussed as part of a global debate on asylum. Significant efforts are required when considering the wide spectrum of possible reasons of non-return, some reasons depending on the countries of destination, others on the returnee himself/herself. In this respect, reasons of non return range from the non-respect of deadlines, the issuance of travel documents, postponement of removal for external reasons to the returnee, for medical reasons, the resistance of the third-country national and the lack of diplomatic representation of Luxembourg, to name but a few. In regards to the procedure, in Luxembourg the rejection of the international protection application includes the return decision. The Minister in charge of Immigration, through the Directorate of Immigration, issues this decision. The return decision only becomes enforceable when all appeals are exhausted and the final negative decision of rejection of the competent judicial authority enters into force, as appeals have suspensive effects. This decision also sets out the timeframe during which the rejected international protection applicant has to leave the country. In case the applicant does not opt for a voluntary return, the decision will also include the country to which s/he will be sent. In general, the decision provides for a period of 30 days during which the applicant has the option to leave voluntarily and to benefit from financial support in case of assisted voluntary return through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There are two exceptions to this rule: the applicant who is considered a threat to national security, public safety or homeland security and the applicant who has already been issued a return decision before. The declaration and documentation provided during the procedure of international protection can be used to facilitate return. Subsequent applications are possible, in particular if new evidence of facts appears resulting in an increased likelihood of the applicant to qualify for international protection. For rejected international protection applicants who did not opt for voluntary return and did not receive any postponement of removals, a certain (limited) support is available while waiting for the execution of the enforceable return decision. As such, they continue to stay in reception facilities and to receive certain social benefits unless they transgress any internal rules. If an urgent need exists, rejected applicants may be granted a humanitarian social aid. However, they are not entitled to access the labour market or to receive ‘pocket money’ or the free use of transport facilities. They benefit from an access to education and training, however this access cannot constitute a possible reason for non-return. These benefits are available to rejected applicants until the moment of their removal. In order to enforce the return decision and prevent absconding, the Minister may place the rejected international applicant in the detention centre, especially if s/he is deemed to be obstructing their own return. Other possible measures include house arrest, regular reporting surrendering her/his passport or depositing a financial guarantee of 5000€. Most of these alternatives to detention were introduced with the Law of 18 December 2015 which entered into force on 1st January 2016. As a consequence, detention remains the main measure used to enforce return decisions. A number of challenges to return and measures to curb them are detailed in this study. A part of these measures have been set up to minimize the resistance to return from the returnee. First and foremost is the advocacy of the AVRR programme and the dissemination of information relating to this programme but also the establishment of a specific return programme to West Balkan countries not subject to visa requirements. Other measures aim at facilitating the execution of forced returns, such as police escorts or the placement in the detention centre. Finally, significant efforts are directed towards increasing bilateral cooperation and a constant commitment to the conclusion of readmission agreements. No special measures were introduced after 2014 in response to the exceptional flows of international protection applicants arriving in the EU. While the Return service within the Directorate of Immigration has continued to expand its participation to European Networks and in various transnational projects in matters of return, this participation was already set into motion prior to the exceptional flows of 2014. As for effective measures curbing challenges to return, this study brings to light the AVRR programme but especially the separate return programme for returnees from West Balkan countries exempt of visa requirements. The dissemination of information on voluntary return is also considered an effective policy measure, the information being made available from the very start of the international protection application. Among the cases where return is not immediately possible, a considerable distinction has to be made in regards to the reasons for the non-return. Indeed, in cases where the delay is due to the medical condition of the returnee or to material and technical reasons that are external to the returnee, a postponement of removal will be granted. This postponement allows for the rejected applicant to remain on the territory on a temporary basis, without being authorized to reside and may be accompanied by a measure of house arrest or other. In cases of postponement for medical reasons and of subsequent renewals bringing the total length of postponement over two years, the rejected applicant may apply for a residence permit for private reasons based on humanitarian grounds of exceptional seriousness. Nevertheless, apart from this exception, no official status is granted to individuals who cannot immediately be returned. Several measures of support are available to beneficiaries of postponement to removal: they have access to accommodation in the reception centres they were housed in during their procedure, they may be attributed humanitarian aid, they continue to be affiliated at the National Health Fund, they continue to have access to education and professional training and they are allowed to work through a temporary work authorization. The temporary work authorization is only valid for a single profession and a single employer for the duration of the postponement to removal, although this is an extremely rare occurrence in practice. OLAI may allocate a humanitarian aid might be allocated if the individual was already assisted by OLAI during the procedure of her/his international protection application. All of these measures apply until the moment of return. The study also puts forth a number of best practices such as the Croix-Rouge’s involvement in police trainings, their offer of punctual support to vulnerable people through international networking or the socio-psychological support given to vulnerable people placed in the detention centre among others. A special regard has to be given to AVRR programmes and their pre-departure information and counselling, the dissemination of information and the post-arrival support and reintegration assistance. Indeed, stakeholders singled the AVRR programme out as a best practice and the Luxembourgish government has made voluntary return a policy priority for a long time. However, this increased interest in voluntary returns has to be put into perspective as research shows that sustainable success of voluntary return and reintegration measures is only achieved for a very restricted number of beneficiaries (namely for young, autonomous and dynamic returnees with sizeable social networks and who were granted substantial social capital upon return). Hence, returning women remains a sensitive issue, especially if they were fleeing abusive relationships. Another factor contributing to hardship set forth by research is the difficult reintegration of returnees that have lived outside of their country of return for a prolonged period of time and are therefore unable to rely on social networks for support or for a sense of belonging. Based on these considerations, NGOs and academia cast doubts on the ‘voluntary’ nature of these return programmes, their criticism targeting the misleading labelling of these policy measures. [less ▲]

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See detailRapport Politique sur les Migrations et l'Asile 2015 - Luxembourg
Petry, David UL; Marcus, Noémie; Li, Lisa et al

Report (2016)

2015 could be described as historic in terms of migratory phenomena and its effects on Luxembourg society. Although population growth in the Grand Duchy continued to rise in 2015, net immigration accounts ... [more ▼]

2015 could be described as historic in terms of migratory phenomena and its effects on Luxembourg society. Although population growth in the Grand Duchy continued to rise in 2015, net immigration accounts for over 80% of demographic growth. Given their prominence in the debates that took place in 2015, this report focuses on the following three issues: international protection, the referendum and more specifically voting rights for foreign residents,as well as the reform of the law on nationality. [less ▲]

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See detailRefugees in rural Europe – potentials for the local labour market?
Nienaber, Birte UL

Scientific Conference (2016, June 22)

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See detailDéterminer les pénuries de main d’œuvre et les besoins de la migration économique en provenance des pays tiers dans l’Union Européenne
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Becker, Fabienne UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Article for general public (2016)

La note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2015 « Déterminer les pénuries de main d’œuvre et les besoins de la migration économique en provenance des pays tiers dans ... [more ▼]

La note de synthèse présente les principaux résultats de l’étude réalisée en 2015 « Déterminer les pénuries de main d’œuvre et les besoins de la migration économique en provenance des pays tiers dans l’Union européenne ». L’utilité de cette étude est basée sur le fait que le marché du travail européen est confronté à de nombreux défis : une société vieillissante, des changements technologiques de plus en plus rapides, un besoin croissant de main d’œuvre qualifiée et des incertitudes quant à la future croissance des économies européennes et l’employabilité de la population autochtone. [less ▲]

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