Follower, Pioneer, Foot-Dragger? The Role of Germany in Global Migration Governance (December 2015 – March 2016)

International migration doesn’t just affect one single country. The international migration of labour in particular affects the countries of origin and destination in a variety of different ways. The international laws that govern migration, however, – unlike other global issues like trade or climate change and with the exception of the international refugee regime – are a patchwork quilt at best. The reluctance of governments to enter into multilateral treaties on migration is evident, e.g. in the very low ratification rate of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers from 1990: until now, not a single destination country in Western Europe or North America has ratified this treaty. In the meantime, the debate about migration and how to deal with it, particularly in the context of “migration and development”, has been rapidly gaining momentum since the turn of the century.

The milestones in this debate include the Global Commission for International Migration appointed by the UN (2003-2005), the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (2006/2013), the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) which has convened annually since 2007, the inter-agency Global Migration Group (GMG) as well as various initiatives of relevant international organisations. Germany is increasingly active in global migration policy; this is clearly evidenced, among other things, in its assumption of the role of co-chair of the 2017/18 Global Forum on Migration and Development together with Morocco.

The research project thus aimed to illustrate the rapidly changing global governance of migration and the role of Germany in this process. It undertook an analysis of the actors, forums and interests involved to create more transparency and ultimately provide policy recommendations.

The research project was initiated by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Expert Council’s Research Unit and was funded by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has increased its focus on issues related to fair migration management around the world and awarded the 2015 Reinhard Mohn Prize to Prof. Rita Süssmuth. The results of the research project were published in the spring of 2016.



Global Migration Governance: Germany as an Architect of International Migration Policy


Weitere Beiträge

Holger Kolb bei den Hohenheimer Tagen zum Migrationsrecht


Holger Kolb beim Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft


Impulsvortrag von Jan Schneider bei der offiziellen Vorkonferenz der Ukraine Recovery Conference