This policy brief reviews the state of legal migration across the Mediterranean: it examines the existing migration links between the South Med countries and the EU, attempts to uncover the obstacles to legal migration and suggests ways to improve migration management. We argue that, if used strategically, even small-scale projects to foster legal migration can contribute to expanding legal migration opportunities and reducing irregular crossings in the longer term. However, this can only occur if projects are implemented in close cooperation with governments of the South Med countries and if they can contribute to capacity building of the national labour market and educational institutions. Further, given the prevalence of the family migration channel between the South Med and the EU, one way to foster legal migration is to leverage existing social networks, i.e. by engaging the South Med diaspora residing in the EU and supporting labour market integration of family migrants.
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