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New policy research centre to address European migration issues

Sunday 6 April 2008

The European Commission has signalled its support for the establishment of a European Migration Policy Centre (EMPC). The new centre, which may be launched as early as autumn 2008, is to be set up by the European University Institute (EUI). The EUI, based in Florence, Italy, specialises in European and international migration policies research.

The EMPC is intended to provide short-term policy advice and address the increasing need for migration governance, an effective and forward-looking European Migration Policy being one of the European Union’s self-declared political priorities. At the same time, it will link policy-making and research and conduct long-term, policy-oriented, structural research in the field of migration. More specifically, the Commission expects the EMPC to develop tools for policy-makers and other stakeholders to address migration governance issues such as methodologies for implementing and monitoring migration policies and assessing their impact on the economy and society.

Furthermore, the EMPC is set to attract ’a large pool of scholars and influential thinkers to advance European and global thinking on migration issues and therewith provide a forum for confronting and discussing ideas and opinions among participants with diverging interests,’ the Commission states.

’Although well-managed migration can be beneficial to the EU, it also poses major challenges,’ comments Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security. ’More than ever, policy-makers need to adapt their strategies to a rapidly shifting environment.’

’It is urgent and vital that research on migration issues should focus more on the ever-changing challenges posed by globalisation,’ Commissioner Frattini added. ’The main goal of the new European Migration Policy Centre will be to translate research findings into realistic policy recommendations and thus help guide Europe’s policy options in the future. Europe needs to have research on its side.’

Primary financial support will be provided by the EUI in addition to external funding from private and public sources and contributions by sponsoring institutions and foundations. The European Commission is also looking into the possibility of EU funding.

The centre will be based in the Robert Schuman Centre in Brussels and governed by a director supported by a scientific committee.

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