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NGOs and the Making of EU Migration Policy

In: Journal of Migration History
Author: Tineke Strik1
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This article analyses the role of NGOs in the decision-making process of EU legislation on asylum and migration. It shows that during the first phase NGOs struggled to benefit from the Europeanisation of migration policy. The Commission and European Parliament were the most receptive to the lobbying activities of NGOs but they had only little influence themselves. NGOs faced many difficulties in being able to follow and influence the Council negotiations. As the institutional context of that time had made the Council extremely powerful, the final outcome of the ngo lobbying was close to zero. Their shift towards outsider tactics by using their moral authority did not mobilise the public either. The Europeanisation of asylum and migration nevertheless provides NGOs with additional avenues to use their expert and logistical authority. The current institutional context has strengthened their possibilities, though the political climate and the revival of intergovernmental methods constrain their success.

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