Reference : Policy Report on Migration and Asylum (2016)
Reports : External report
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Policy Report on Migration and Asylum (2016)
[fr] Rapport politique sur les migrations et l'asile (2016)
Petry, David [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Jacobs, Sarah mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Nienaber, Birte mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
University of Luxembourg
[en] immigration ; asylum ; international protection
[fr] immigration ; asile ; protection internationale
[en] 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 – C2DH) 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.

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