Migrants disembark from the Spanish ship 'Rio Segura' in the harbor of Salerno, Italy. Credit: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO
Migrants disembark from the Spanish ship 'Rio Segura' in the harbor of Salerno, Italy. Credit: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO

The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) organized a workshop in order to identify false myths about migration as well as EU migration and integration policy.

The first four myths identified by JRC experts concern the perception of the migration phenomenon, the role of the media and the importance of European and state policies concerning management of flows.

MYTH #1: EU policy responses to the recent increase in migrant arrivals have been driven by substantial shifts in European citizens' opinion on immigration.

In reality, citizens' attitude to immigration would seem to be more stable than might be expected in the context of the rhetoric of the crisis and the exploitation of migration issues by some political parties.

MYTH #2: The so-called "refugee crisis", as it played out in the EU, was a result of unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers arriving to Europe in an uncontrollable manner.

In reality, "rather than the crisis of numbers and the loss of control over arrivals", the refugee phenomenon "revealed an institutional crisis driven by inadequate allocation of responsibilities among the Member States and the lack of effective burden-sharing mechanisms within the EU".

MYTH #3: The level of attention paid by the media and policy-makers to refugee and irregular migration as opposed to other migrant flows is justified by the numbers.

 The experts showed that in reality there is a discrepancy between the flows that are talked about and other flows that count, and that media coverage has contributed strongly to prejudice towards migrants and shifted the debate towards the need to regain control of national borders.

MYTH #4: Migration policy determines migration flows

Though "migration policy is naturally seen as a key tool to control and manage migration flows", only "a small proportion of migration flows can be directly controlled by migration policy".        


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