What Drives Migration from the Middle East? Why People Want to Leave Arab States

Drivers of migration include conflicts and instability, but are mostly economic. Over half of migrants and displaced persons originating from MENA stay within the region. Most likely to emigrate are young educated men seeking temporary stays to find work. EU public debate focuses on potential security threats from population inflows, but ignore economic benefits both to host countries and to countries of origin. EU policy must avoid falling victim to short-term electoral calculus and focus on long-term solutions to causes of migration.

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