A father and his two sons walk up the stairwell of the shelter for refugees and migrants where they live in Marienfelde district in Berlin. Photo Credit: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

How McKinsey quietly shaped Europe’s response to the refugee crisis

Article in The Washington Post
25 July, 2017

Private consulting firms can help at better managing. But political leadership and human-rights based policy choices must be provided by public entities.

“Germany has paid McKinsey 29.3 million euros, the equivalent of nearly $34 million, for work with the federal migration office that began in October 2015 and continues to this day. The office also brought in two Europe-based firms, Roland Berger and Ernst & Young. 

Among McKinsey’s projects has been the development of fast-track arrival centers with the capacity to process claims within days. The company’s work on migration issues also has taken its consultants to Greece and Sweden. This year, McKinsey submitted a bid for a project with the United Nations. 

Experts in international law said the German case illustrates risks associated with McKinsey’s input. Today, asylum decisions handed down by the federal migration office come faster but are leaving an increasing number of migrants with fewer rights, above all the right to family reunification, triggering hundreds of thousands of appeals that have created a new backlog — not in asylum centers, but in German courts…

Legal experts said the shift to limited protection, which accompanied the introduction of fast-track asylum centers and expedited denial for certain classes of migrants, is inseparable from the overall drive toward administrative efficiency and control of the movement of migrants — goals championed by the firm.”

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