ROLE OF EUROPEAN MOBILITY AND ITS IMPACTS IN NARRATIVES, DEBATES AND EU REFORMS

Monitoring and Mapping Migration in the EU with Existing Data

Monitoring and Mapping Migration in the EU with Existing Data

November 4, 2019

Working Paper

This paper provides an overview and discussion of the main databases available to aid understanding of migration within the European Union. The paper maps existing data sources and evaluates them for their usefulness and quality in supporting intra-EU migration research. In addition to a desk review of sources, European migration data experts were interviewed for further insights. Despite a general trend of improving European migration statistics, some challenges and limitations regarding the measurement of intra-EU migration persist. Firstly, missing data on migrants’ previous country of residence, and/or lack of cross-tabulation opportunities, makes it impossible to assess those movements that truly take place within the external borders of the EU, and/or the share of EU versus third-country nationals within those flows. Second, more information on migration motivations and migration over the lifetime would be key to gaining a comprehensive understanding of migration patterns and tendencies within Europe. This connects to the third and final shortcoming of currently available statistics: the lack of data on circular and short-term migration, including cross-country commuting. Recommendations for bridging availability and quality gaps in the current state of European migration data are offered throughout the
paper.

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