The MIDAS Research Project

Irregular migration policies in Greece are understood primarily in terms of control and deterrence. Over recent years, extensive operations both in the interior and at the borders of the Greek territory have aimed at arresting the “trespassers” and – with the exception of asylum seekers – returning them to their country of origin, as well as discouraging newcomers in the long term. Amidst rising concerns over both the legitimacy and efficiency of these measures, the MIDAS project aspires to critically assess the Greek policy framework of “arrest-detain-return” by providing evidence-based answers to the lingering yet unexplored core question: To what extent is the Greek model of managing irregular migration cost-effective?

By measuring the human and material resources invested in the control of irregular migration in Greece within the last 5 years, we developed our research along three central questions:

a.How much do irregular migration control policies in Greece actually cost?
b.Are current policies cost-effective, when compared against their outputs and outcomes?
c.Is the Greek migration control policy cost-effective particularly if compared with alternatives?

MIDAS is the first major initiative in Greece, to catalogue and provide a comprehensive picture of the diverse policies and operational measures undertaken in the context of controlling irregular migration. It is also the first major attempt to calculate the actual cost of these policies and shed light into the sources and extent of their funding at both the Greek and European level. Through the critical assessment of the policies’ cost-effectiveness, MIDAS raises awareness among policy makers, civil society and the general public about the impact and costs of migration control practices, to discuss alternative modes of migration management and – looking at the bigger picture- provide evidence-based advocacy to the wider European debate on migration.

MIDAS : Assessing the Cost Effectiveness of Irregular Migration Control Policies in Greece (MIDAS)
Co-funded by the Open Society Foundations, Open Society Institute for Europe
Duration: January – October 2014
Scientific Coordinator: Professor Anna Triandafyllidou
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