Environmental migration governance: Debate in the European Union




Somerville, W.


Environmental migration governance: Debate in the European Union




Government Office for Science UK


There is growing interest in the impacts on migration and people movement resulting from environmental change (Martin, 2010). The difficulties of conceptualising and measuring the nexus of the two (Dun and Gemenne, 2008; IOM, 2009; Laczko and Aghazarm, 2009) has led to some sharp disagreements between scholars both in and between disciplines on causality, patterns, and legal and policy remedies.
This paper outlines the state of the debate on the governance of environmental migration, focusing on the European Union (EU). The aim of the paper is to analyse what laws and policies may emerge to deal with the issue among European governments.
The paper proceeds in five sections. Section 1 is a brief reprise of the discussion on definitions and numbers, crucial to all policy discussions on environmental migration governance. Section 2 is a short summary of the debate on environmental migration in the international community to provide context to an in-depth analysis of European policy making on environmental migration in Section 3. In section 4, the analysis broadens to examine the migration policy tools used by the EU. This analysis is intended to inform discussions on environmental migration, especially what may drive governance developments. Section 5 provides some concluding observations.


Somerville, W. (2011). Environmental migration governance: Debate in the European Union. London : Government Office for Science UK.