In the debate on “The Instrumentalisation of Migrants” on 12 May 2022 at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, Dr Emmanuel Comte, Senior Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, talked about “The illusions and perils of restrictive immigration policies”.

He argued that European restriction policies for lower-skill migrants have created the dependency towards strategic neighbours at the root of the current problem. He suggested encouraging research on the mechanisms that have made restriction policies the default option in Europe. Only such an investigation may offer the clues to go back in the restrictive spiral and allow for more open societies that are resilient to immigrants’ inflows.