Migration is a highly politicised issue which has been at the heart of numerous debates in Europe and across the international community. Since 2015, the European Union (EU) has received a rising number of individuals arriving from across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through Southeast Europe. This period has been denominated the “migrant/refugee crisis” by mainstream media. 

The varied ways in which European countries have devised and implemented their immigration policies are a source of debate and concern at the local and global level. Tensions are rising between and within member states, as depicted by closed ports in Salvini’s Italy, Calais and Dover routes, and detention centres. Furthermore, the period post-2015 is marked by Germany’s “open-door policy” and push for the Turkey deal, the fragmented European front towards the crisis in Libya and overall mismanagement of migration flows, divergent health and integration policies.

Adding to the discord are the dramatisation of the issue by media channels and the growing political shifts happening in Europe. Countries are now torn between nationalist and internationalist values, the latter hoping to maintain European values of “In varietate concordia” (unity in diversity) despite growing distrust in the EU. In light of the difficulties in achieving a united front on migration-related policies, the EST Working Group on Migration has decided to shed light on current disjointed approaches in order to find a more cohesive solution.

The EST Working Group on Migration will publish a technical report aiming to understand this fragmentation. It will compare and evaluate the impact of the different immigration policies through diverse perspectives such as: gender, the global/local judicial systems, health and social care systems, the non-governmental sector, and the EU’s external action and cooperation with international stakeholders. 

Throughout the project, the working group will also publish monthly articles to address the most current and relevant events related to migration. 

The EST Working Group on Migration believes migration discourses and policies have been politicized and often used as a scapegoat to foster communities united by fear rather than solidarity. Thus, it is relevant to understand where and how Europe has failed to respond to migration flows in order to find feasible and sustainable long-term solutions.

Team Members

Claire Byrne

Contact: LinkedIn

Claire is currently finishing a joint Master in Global Affairs program with the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). She completed her Bachelors of Arts at the University of Prince Edward Island with a double major in Political Science and Diversity & Social Justice Studies. During her semester abroad to Malta in 2017, she volunteered with the Migrant Women Association Malta and came to develop a deeper understanding and interest in migration to Europe. Coming from Canada, she is particularly interested in the comparison between refugee resettlement policies in Canada and in Europe and is currently researching the role of NGOs within the context of asylum processes in Europe. In her hometown of Charlottetown, she is a member and organizer of the NDP PEI and in her free time she is a singer in I and the Village for the DiverseCity Festival across the island every summer.

You can contact Claire, the head of the Working Group on Migration, via email:

Camille Bou

Contact: LinkedIn

Camille is a French MSc candidate in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research interests lie in the areas of humanitarian aid, mental health, social care and social justice. After graduating from the University of Toronto, where she pursued biology for health sciences and psychology, she was a policy advocate and researcher for the Mental Health Foundation (London, UK). Her research work touched upon learning disability hate crime, mental health comorbidities and best-practice recommendations for trauma-informed care for women, including those of the BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethic) and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) communities.

As part of EST’s Working Group on Migration, Camille is looking into the social determinants of health influencing migrants’ access to public healthcare institutions in Europe, and consequently health outcomes. This is in line with her dedication to improving humanitarian, social care and health systems through evidence-based policy to ensure they are accountable and sustainably fit for purpose.

When she is not studying or working, Camille enjoys playing the ukulele and piano. She enjoys exploring topics of moral ethics, philosophy of the mind and the self. She hopes to continue her personal and professional growth by pursuing a PhD.


Laura Schmeer

Laura is currently completing her master’s degree in European Studies at the Université libre de Bruxelles with a specialisation in EU policy. At the moment, she is working on her thesis on regionalist parties. Originally from Germany and having lived in France, she is fascinated by international politics and European integration. She is particularly interested in EU asylum policy and the challenges it currently faces. Her other areas of interest include human rights and nationalism studies. In her free time, Laura enjoys literature, learning foreign languages, gardening and traveling whenever possible.


Laura Senziani

Contact: LinkedIn

Laura is a law graduate from University of Milan with a major on international law. She has concrete experience as trainee lawyer and consultant in immigration law and in legal protection of victims of human trafficking and domestic abuses, such as women and minors.  Currently she is a Masters student in Rome at Luiss Guido Carli University in Law and Government of the EU with a focus on European migration policy and fundamental rights. She also writes for an online magazine about civil rights, migration, integration and women’s rights. She is particularly interested in the EU policy and legislation on migration related to the gender perspective and in the protection of the most vulnerable subjects in the migration context. Last but not least, she is a fan of the European Union as community of people who shares values and culture!


Shadi Firouzi Tabar

Contact: LinkedIn

Shadi Firouzi Tabar is a graduate student in the MA in International Security and Development (Jagiellonian University), with a BA in Intercultural and Linguistic Mediation (University of Milan). She has worked as a project writer and teacher within the project “active citizenship in a global society” and as International Relations officer in La Chaine de L’Espoir – Teheran office, following up medical projects that provided treatment to underprivileged minors. Her research interests revolve around Italian and EU migration policies, migration securitization discourse, Italy-Libya cooperation, Identity and Multiculturalism. In her free time she plays Touch-Rugby and Rugby Sevens.