Circular Migration between Fact and Fiction

Evidence from Germany

in European Journal of Migration and Law
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Political actors in the European Union and in the eu member states have arrived to maintain that managed circular migration can generate benefits both for the destination countries and for the countries of origin of the migrants. Despite the fact that Germany so far has barely engaged in fostering circular migration through distinct programmes, a not inconsiderable share of foreigners from third countries living in Germany today can be viewed as circular migrants. This paper takes an inventory of the extent and characteristics of such spontaneous back-and-forth cross border movements by providing a specific, clear-cut definition for circular migration and thus analysing stock data on third country nationals residing in Germany. Furthermore, we scrutinise the German legal framework with a view to its propensity to encourage patterns of circular migration.

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References

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Ibid., p. 2.

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J.-P. Cassarino (2008), Patterns of Circular Migration in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Implications for Policy-Making, carim Analytic and Synthetic Notes 29, San Domenico di Fiesole: European University Institute, p. 9. Critically, human rights and migrant organisations as well as parliaments have taken firm points on the conceptually weak or unsolved issues surrounding these policy proposals; see for instance the European Parliament’s 2006 resolution on development and migration, which emphasises the necessity to accompany circular migration with integration measures for both outgoing and returning migrants and to boost the number of countries linked by agreements that guarantee for the transferability of pensions and social security benefits, cf. European Parliament (2006) Development and Migration. European Parliament resolution of development and migration, Doc. 2005/2244(ini), P6_ta(2006)0319, Nos. 27, 28, and 68.

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Cf., Fakhoury, supra note 10, p. 451.

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Cf., A. Triandafyllidou (2013), Circular Migration: Introductory Remarks, in: A. Triandafyllidou (Ed.), Circular Migration between Europe and its Neighborhood. Choice or Necessity?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1–21, at p. 12.

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Constant and Zimmermann, supra note 9, pp. 7–21.

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Cf., Statens Offentliga Utredningar, supra note 35, p. 39; S. Vertovec (2007), Circular Migration: the way forward in global policy?, International Migration Institute Working Paper 4/2007, Oxford: University of Oxford, p. 3.

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Constant and Zimmermann, supra note 9, p. 15, 17.

55

On 3 July 2014, the German Parliament adopted legislation that allows young people of migrant background, who were raised in Germany and who are in possession of dual citizenship, to keep both nationalities upon becoming of legal age. Hitherto, these young adults would have to opt for one nationality at age 23, the latest.

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Bundesministerium des Innern (2014), Migrationsbericht des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge im Auftrag der Bundesregierung – Migrationsbericht 2012, Berlin, p. 156.

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G. Hugo (2013), What We Know About Circular Migration and Enhanced Mobility?, mpi Policy Brief September 2013, Washington, dc: Migration Policy Institute.

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