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Rober Schuman Center MPC European Commission

March 2012

The Migration Newsletter

The Migration Policy Centre regularly publishes this newsletter to share recent developments in its research activities


In this issue: VIII Migration Summer School | Carim-East | Carim-India | Carim-South | KNOW RESET | ACP Observatory on Migration |


A new centre to address a global challenge: the Migration Policy Centre 

by Philippe Fargues, Director of the Migration Policy Centre

Migration is the result of an imperfect world, wracked by inequalities, a world that sets people on the move. All nations have migrants, either emigrants or immigrants, and generally both, who represent, at the same time, a hope and a worry with regard to major societal issues such as progress, welfare, cohesion, security and rights. It is thought that migration brings a net positive gain to the global economy. At the sending end migrants’ remittances improve the lives of families and communities left behind and, at the receiving end, migrants’ contribution to the labour force increases the productive capacities of the host economy. Whilst it is sometimes feared that migrants will bring some of world’s misery to the wealthiest nations, there is also a widely-shared sense that a world without international migration would be a more dangerous place; migrants are bridges, not only between labour markets and economies, but, perhaps more importantly, between systems of values and cultures.The European Union has become the world’s second receiver of international migrants and, once the current financial and employment crisis is over, it will again need sustained flows of migrants to maintain its competitiveness at a global level. Migrants will also help Europe to address its internal demographic imbalances, imbalances that are gaining unprecedented momentum. There is no doubt that policy making on immigration and the integration of migrants will remain high on the EU agenda in the coming decades. The mission of the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) founded in January 2012, with the support of the European Union, as part of the RSCAS, is to conduct research on global migration to serve migration governance needs at the European level. [...] Read More




International migration has become an all-important issue for the world as a whole, and for the European Union and its neighbourhood in particular. History has shown that migration is not only an important force driven by and driving economic phenomena, it is also a pivotal element of social change. But what is the relation between migration and the social movements that bring about the systemic change? Participants in the VIII Migration Summer School on Social Movements, Systemic Change and Migration will explore the answers to these questions. Through this lens we will analyse the interactions of the regions of origin and the regions of destination; migration policies and the regulation of migration; not to mention processes of integration.

The VIII Migration Summer School on Social Movements, Systemic Change and Migration is co-funded by the European Union through the CARIM-East project, by the Migration Policy Centre and by the Erste Foundation.

The MPC is offering fellowships for qualified nationals of Eastern Partnership countries and Russia to participate in this year’s Summer School on international migration.

Applications are open and should be received by 15 April 2012 in English, using the online application form. Read more on the website.




Our database is ready!

The first phase of the CARIM-East (co-funded by the European Union) database has been completed. You can find there c. 500 documents in the demo-eco module, more than 100 in the socio-political module and well over 450 in the legal module. Apart from original data, there are also a series of Explanatory Notes on various topics, shedding light on the contents of the database. Most of the documents are available in two languages, English and Russian.


Demo-Eco database

If you are looking for numbers, use the demo-eco module search engine. CARIM-East demographic and economic module in the database offers, for the first time, a detailed and exhaustive comparative analysis of the main strengths and gaps in migration data collection systems in the post-Soviet region, enriched by a detailed description of single data sources. For more info, please visit the section “Explanatory Notes”.


Socio-Political database 

If you want to understand the migration context in the CARIM-East countries, the socio-political module offers rich material on migration policy developments in this region, focusing on both EU migration-related policies and the national migration policy framework there. The socio-political module also contains documents that highlight the main social and political debates surrounding migration, such as human trafficking, citizenship, diasporas, border management and border control, etc. Explanatory Notes offer, instead, a deeper understanding of the migration policy framework and the institutional structure regulating migration in the region.


Legal database

If you are interested in the legal framework regulating migration in CARIM-East countries, you will find in our database a large number of legal instruments from international, through regional to national frameworks. Ratification statuses from each country covered by the project are attached to all international and regional treaties. National legal frameworks are divided into 12 thematic sections: visas, border checks, entry and stay conditions, labour migration, rights and obligations, asylum, etc. Read More


CARIM-East Warsaw

The Center of Migration Research (CMR) team in Warsaw is expanding. In March, it will be joined by two visiting PhD fellows. The Warsaw team is also negotiating mini-projects on: circular migration in Ukraine; the changing social identity of Ukrainian migrant women; migration trends in the post-Soviet region (to complement its work on the region’s migration potential); internal and cross-border migration in the Russian Federation; and the mobility of highly-educated labour in the region.




In light of the growing importance of EU-India ties, as seen in the ongoing free trade talks between the EU and India, the Migration Policy Centre is happy to present a series of research reports that will be of interest to European policy-makers, migration scholars, as well as India-EU specialists.

Ties between the EU and India have been steadily increasing over the last decade, reflected in both multilateral and bilateral agreements with India in several sectors. India was made one of the EU´s "strategic partners" in 2004, and in June 2007, negotiations started on a free trade agreement between the EU and India, with the EU seeking a reduction in tariffs on key goods and access to India´s market in the financial services, retail, postal, and legal sectors. India, in turn, hopes to achieve greater access to the EU job market for its skilled professionals and make intra-EU mobility for them easier. The current stalled state of the Free Trade Agreement, which has been delayed several times, reinforces the need for informed research on India-EU relations, particularly in the field of migration, which has proved to be one of the most sensitive points in the negotiations.

The following reports of the CARIM-India (project co-funded by the European Union) are now available on our website:

The German Case Study, by Pierre Gottschlich, outlines the century-old history of the Indian population in Germany, with a particular focus on how despite its small size, the Indian community (ies) in Germany have become influential and well-integrated in the political sphere.

The Swedish Case Study, by Kristina Myrvold, examines the socioeconomic and religious facets of Indian immigration to Sweden, as well as Swedish migration and educational policy, highlighting the extremely heterogeneous nature of the Indian population in Sweden.

The Dutch Case Study, by Ellen Bal, describes the unique division of the Indian population in the Netherlands between the Hindustanis from the former Dutch colony of Surinam and Indian nationals, mostly highly skilled professionals, who have migrated to Holland for temporary work assignments in recent years. The paper also provides a general discussion of Holland´s policy towards the highly skilled.

The Italian Case Study, by Kathryn Lum, discusses the Punjabi and Malayali Indian groups in Italy, and traces their different migration trajectories and occupational/socioeconomic profiles. The gender, caste and religious characteristics of each of these regional groups are explored in detail, as is the impact of changes in Italian migration policy on Indians residing in Italy.

Attracting Highly Skilled Migrants: US Experiences and Lessons for the EU”, by Philip Martin, which analyses US policy in attracting and retaining highly skilled professionals from India, and compares the US experience with the new EU blue-card scheme, UK policy and German policy. It examines the challenges and opportunities for the EU in this area and concludes with policy recommendations designed to make the EU more competitive in attracting the highly skilled.

Developing a Knowledge base for policy-making on India-EU Migration: Skill-Matching”, by Göran Hultin, describes the current state of skill-matching in highly-skilled, medium-skilled and low-skilled categories across Europe, and highlights how the EU needs medium-skilled workers in a range of sectors. However, the commercial skill-matching model, employed for example by Manpower, and well suited to highly-skilled professionals, has yet to reach this critical group of workers, who still rely on informal recruitment mechanisms.

The paper by Natalia Buga and Jean-Baptiste Meyer, entitled Human Resources Mobility: Brain Drain Versus Brain Gain traces the overall profile and geographical distribution of the highly skilled diaspora from India, assesses the magnitude of India´s brain drain and discusses how India has become a "brain reservoir" in the new knowledge-based economy. The authors argue that in India´s case, there are indications that the brain drain can be converted into a brain gain in a win-win situation for both India and the EU.




The Arab Spring looks set to become a watershed for the Arab world, the consequences of which will be felt for years to come. In migration terms an essential change will be the new responsiveness of regimes to citizens. One possibility is that regimes will prove responsive to their populations and that populations will, as a result, feel invested in these governments, both in political and economic terms. If this happens then migration will likely fall off, at least to some extent: there may even be significant return migration.

However, if governments fail to open the channels of communication with their citizens then it is very likely that migration from these countries will increase, perhaps dramatically. Given that the stakes for migration are so very high, the impact of the Arab Spring on migration has become a core research topic within the MPC. CARIM-South (co-funded by the European Union) has, therefore, commissioned a series of short studies regarding the effect of these events on migration.

Click here to read more on the CARIM-South Series on the Impact of the Arab Spring on Migration




The Know Reset Project (co-funded by the European Union) is completing the collection of data related to refugee resettlement in the EU. The EUI-led team, composed of 21 intra- and extra-EUI researchers, has gathered a set of qualitative and quantitative information in each of the 27 Member States, with different attitudes to resettlement, through desk research and through interviews. Our partner ECRE (European Council for Refugees and Exiles) has also solicited its national contact points in 16 EU countries to add their expertise to the research with a focus on resettlement practices and the contribution of NGOs to the resettlement of refugees.
A part of the collected data is to be posted on our website, while all accumulated knowledge will constitute the basis for further analysis and recommendations relating to resettlement frameworks and practices in the EU.

Know Reset’s website is now online. Still under construction, it will progressively give access to the “refugee resettlement country profile” of each of the 27 Member States and to a series of national and EU primary and secondary sources: legal and policy documents, statistics, financial data and other relevant information. It will also provide a comparative database of resettlement in the EU enabling visitors to consult graphics and tables comparing data or to launch their own country-comparison research. The website will offer centralised and easy access to updated information relating to the state and the evolution of resettlement in the EU and it will contribute to raising awareness about a still little-known tool of refugee protection. It aims at providing knowledge for a better understanding of the motives and challenges of resettlement in the 27 Member States, whose commitment in resettlement reflects the variety of situations, policies and intentions related to asylum and refugee protection in the EU. Together with further outputs, to be delivered by next year, Know Reset’s website should help enhance an EU-concerted approach to resettlement.



In the framework of the ACP Observatory on Migration which is co-funded by the European Union and coordinated by IOM, BRIDES (Bureau de Recherche en Informatique et en Développement Economique et Social), a leading Haitian company specialized in social and economic surveys, has been selected to carry out a survey of the living conditions of IDPs (in the camps and outside the camps) in post-earthquake Haiti, under the scientific coordination of the MPC.

BRIDES (Bureau de Recherche en Informatique et en Développement Economique et Social), a leading Haitian company specialized in social and economic surveys, has been selected to carry out a survey of the living conditions of IDPs (in the camps and outside the camps) in post-earthquake Haiti, under the scientific coordination of the MPC. In February, the MPC conducted a coordination mission in Haiti to finalize the survey’s methodology and questionnaire, which will be implemented in March.

In addition, the MPC organized training and research seminars at the BRIDES that were attended by more than 40 participants, including members of the National Consultative Council of the ACP Observatory on Migration. The first two seminars focused on natural disasters. Sandrine Revet’s (CERI, Paris) presentation dealt with the sociology of natural disasters, and Claude Preptit (engineer) focused on natural disasters and risk management. Then, the MCP and BRIDES discussed the survey’s methodology. Finally, the International Organization for Migration in Haiti presented the DTM (Displacement Tracking Matrix), a multi-sector tracking system for the rapid and regular assessments of disasters and their impact on victims.

The Call for Tenders for a study on the facilitation of labour migration within the ECOWAS region ended on 23 February. The ACP Observatory on Migration and the MPC received a significant number of applications from independent researchers and research centres based in West Africa. The selection decision will be made soon. The MPC will strengthen the research capabilities of the selected research team through training on data collection and the legal frameworks of migration. The study will last for nine months.
Finally, the MPC participated in the Third AAB (Academic Advisory Board) of the ACP Observatory on Migration in Bridgetown, Barbados. The AAB is composed of representatives of various universities and research centres based in the EU and in the ACP countries. During the three-day meeting, the members of the AAB presented the on-going studies in the pilot countries, and discussed the future of the ACP Observatory after the end of its first phase in 2013.

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