FAiR: Finding Agreement in Return

#Return and Reintegration #Research #Policy

Austria / Bulgaria / Czechia / Georgia / Germany / Greece / France / Italy / Iraq / Netherlands / Nigeria / Poland / Romania / Spain / Sweden / Switzerland / Türkiye / United Kingdom
May 2023 to October 2026
European Commission (HORIZON-RIA) & Switzerland
Erasmus University Rotterdam (coordinator), the University of Geneva, Samuel Hall, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Milan, University for Continuing Education Krems, Koç University, the Migration Policy Group (MPG), the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), and the Foundation for Access to Rights (FAR)


Europe’s return policies are currently under the spotlight. On average, only one in five non-European migrants receiving an order to leave effectively ends up leaving European Union territory (Eurostat, 2022 data). Such limitations in the effectiveness of return frameworks increase pressure on hosting states to “intensify“ returns of individuals not meeting legal residence requirements. Yet, while return often represents a key step in a migrant‘s journey, and an advocated policy outcome in certain contexts, the drivers and alternatives to return remain critically overlooked. In addition to fostering vulnerability amongst non-returned migrants, this leads most EU policy responses to fall short on objectives related to migrant return, including in the readmission and reintegration processes. New insights are therefore required to overcome these operational and policy shortcomings and contribute to fairer return outcomes in the EU.


The Finding Agreement in Return (FAiR) project aims to strengthen the governance of return migration in the EU, addressing the legitimacy issues around return migration policies and alternatives. In the coming years, the project will generate new insights into the factors and processes that either foster or impede the legitimacy and effectiveness of related policies. The initiative places the perspectives of non-EU realities centre stage and brings together multidisciplinary expertise from academic, policy research, governmental, and migrant advocacy organisations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.


FAiR aims to:

  • Improve the measurement of return policies and enforced return outcomes and enrich the analysis on the drivers of enforced return.
  • Additionally, FAiR will help to improve the human rights monitoring of returns and will use survey experiments to test the public acceptability of alternatives to return policies in Europe.
  • Finally, FAiR will develop a negotiation and implementation game to assist international actors in reaching agreement on return.

Visit the website: www.fair-return.org