Start 01.11.2021 - End 01.08.2025

FWO - Escaping gridlock through financial instruments? Analyzing change in EU funding for migration and asylum

The increase in migration flows since 2011 has plunged the EU in its second existential crisis in the space of five years after the Eurozone crisis. In contrast to a stalemated policy-making process in the realm of migration and asylum, the financial responses have been remarkable. The EU substantially increased the budget allocated to migration, launched new instruments such as the EU Trust Fund for Africa, restructured its financial toolbox several times, and recently created for the first time a targeted budgetary heading under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. What explains this dynamism of the EU instrumentation process? The project addresses this puzzle. By integrating EU politics theorizing, the theories of instrument choice, and policy change, it gauges the extent and the direction of change in EU funding tools for migration and asylum and sets theoretical expectations to understand the combination of causes affecting change in financial instrument mixes across time. The project brings about theoretical and empirical innovation. Theoretically, it advances the theorization of policy instrument change, by inductively combining theories of instrument choice, policy change, and EU integration theories. Empirically, it unpacks and studies the complex landscape of EU funds for migration which has been, with few exceptions largely neglected by the literature.