The Effects of Voluntary Return Programmes on Migration Flows in the Context of the 1973/74 and 2008/09 Economic Crises

Piotr Plewa


The article analyses Spain’s voluntary return policies, including the programme instituted specifically to assist migrants affected by the 2008/09 crisis. Voluntary return policies were implemented in Europe in the context of the 1973/4 crisis. Just like the Western European programmes of the 1970s and the 1980s, the current Spanish voluntary return policies also only elicited the cooperation of small numbers of migrants and countries of origin. The article recommends four broader policy measures to tackle the emerging trend whereby a considerable proportion of migrants will stay in Spain rather than repatriate.


Voluntary returns; Return migration; Spain; Development; Crisis

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