Integration of migrants in the labour market takes time, flexible labour markets help migrants to better access the labour market. Immigration complements rather than substitutes trade flows between origin and destination countries (more immigration means more trade). These are two of the many key findings of the ERA-NET Cofund migration programme. The NORFACE Migration in Europe: Social, Economic, Cultural and Policy Dynamics programme consisted of 12 transnational research projects that started in 2009 and finished in 2014. The programme received funding through the European Commission 7th Framework Programme. Researcher Kim Caarls has summarised the main findings and implications, and suggestions for further research. The report was issued by the NORFACE Coordination Office.
Migration is currently at the top of the European agenda due to the large-scale flows of asylum-seekers. At the same time, migration has been part of Europe’s history, evidenced by Europe’s substantial share of immigrant (first and second generation) populations. To engage fruitfully with these diverse realities, Europe is in dire need of high-quality research on migration to develop coherent migration policies. This is what the NORFACE Migration programme provides: valuable insights on migration in Europe – at the national, European and international level – based on large-scale, comparative, multi-disciplinary and multi-level research.
The NORFACE Migration in Europe programme had important outcomes. The innovative use of existing data sets has resulted in a more complete and consistent picture of international migration flows among 31 countries in Europe from 2002 to 2008. In addition to mapping migration flows, the various projects touched upon different aspects of migration processes like integration, families and children and labour market outcomes. Also, the migration programme brought together researchers on migration from various European countries and from different disciplines. As a result, the NORFACE Migration programme has fostered a global debate among migration researchers, with a specific focus on European migration research. And last but not least, primary data collection resulted in various unique and publically available datasets that allow for comparative research. This, combined with the harmonisation of the data-infrastructures in Europe, allows for further enhancing the evidence base for policy formulation.
More information about the programme and the projects is available on the programme website: http://www.norface-migration.org/
More information on the author: Dr. Kim Caarls, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)/ Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)/ University of Groningen (UG).Migration news, News.