COVID-19 briefing

COVID-19 briefing


In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns of European societies posed unprecedented challenges to European cities in their responses to new and old social needs. The pandemic dramatically overturned the social, economic, policy, migration and welfare landscapes of Europe. On the one hand, it exacerbated sanitary, social and economic vulnerabilities and exposed the risks of having groups of informal residents at the margins of society with limited or no contacts with the authorities. On the other, the new context revamped the policy debate over the opportunity of formally including (certain) irregular migrants into European societies, as a consequence of both public health considerations in relation to access to treatment for communicable diseases, but also reflections on the essential contribution to local economies and societies made by migrants, including those with irregular status, and particularly in the agricultural and care sectors.

Our COVID-19 briefing

This briefing aims to give a snapshot of how the pandemic impacted irregular migrants residing in European cities, analyse the new policy scenarios impacting irregular migrants, and explore local authorities’ initiatives and practices addressing the social challenges posed to this group of migrants by the pandemic and related lockdown measures and economic fallouts. As this paper was prepared (August-October 2020) only a few months since COVID-19 hit Europe and the situation is constantly and rapidly evolving, the aim is not to offer an exhaustive analysis, but rather the basis for cities to develop an evolving body of evidence.

For more information, you can download our full briefing here