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NewsPublished: 1 February 2023

#Asylum2032: Four scenarios for asylum-related migration to Europe

scenarios for asylum-related migration to Europe

The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has published the results of a foresight project which looks at what international protection challenges could look like in 2032, based on several scenarios. While not predictions, the results aim to support policymakers with their strategic planning and come as lawmakers aim to agree on reforms to the Common European Asylum System by February 2024.

The project addresses key questions about the future of asylum, including the main challenges that European asylum and reception authorities should prepare for; whether applications would increase significantly by 2032; and how the scope of international protection might change in the next 10 years. This is done as policymakers seek to reform EU protection rules and future-proof the EU’s asylum system.

Among many possible scenarios affecting the international order, the EUAA elaborated on four in particular:

  • One scenario imagines a new Cold War between global powers, technological surveillance in authoritarian regimes, largely automatised and remote asylum application processing.
  • Another scenario supposes fewer conflicts globally and stronger respect for human rights, together with economic development in transit countries, global environmental awareness, and stronger digitalisation.
  • A third scenario looks at a world divided into spheres of influence, with support for economic development in transit countries, but increasingly threatened by climate change and the inability of technologies to protect personal data.
  • The final scenario envisages climate change-induced conflicts and spiralling civil unrest in the global South, along with discrepancies between legal frameworks and actual implementation of international protection systems.
More information is available on the project website, you can download the report with scenarios and related challenges and the summary report.



The EUAA has longstanding experience in providing policymakers with updated situational awareness on asylum and reception-related needs in the EU. The #Asylum2032 foresight project was prepared and carried out by the Agency’s Strategic Analysis team with the support of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, together with external experts, including those from national asylum authorities.


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