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The EMN aims to improve the availability, comparability and harmonisation of existing information, as well as contributing to evidence-based policymaking.
The EMN does not normally engage in primary research, instead bringing together, analysing and making accessible already available data and information.
With regard to the methodology for undertaking a study, the Steering Board is responsible for approving the selection of study topics which are normally proposed by the EMN NCPs and/or the Commission, based on their relevance to policymaking in the Member States and the Commission and its agencies. Topics may be proposed for in-depth, strategic studies, with long-term relevance, or for shorter, focussed studies to meet a short-term information need.
Common specifications for a main study, and a common template for a focussed study are first developed, to facilitate better comparability. Each EMN NCP produces a National Report/Contribution, according to the common specifications/template and often involving contributions from members of their national network. A comparative Synthesis Report is then produced, bringing together the main findings from the national responses, and placing these within an EU perspective (e.g. by relating to recent policy initiatives). Great emphasis is placed on presenting the information in an impartial, objective manner - a statement of facts from which policymakers themselves can then decide how to proceed. The EMN also produces policy briefs - EMN Informs - which provide key findings and messages to policymakers on a specific topic based on the results of information gathered and analysed by the EMN, for example, from Reports and Studies.
EMN Ad-Hoc Queries represent an important, flexible and very useful tool for collecting information. Each EMN NCP and the Commission may launch an Ad-Hoc Query. Usually, EMN NCPs have four weeks to respond to an Ad-Hoc Query, after which a compilation of all responses is produced and circulated within eight weeks of the date the query was launched. Subject to the agreement of an EMN NCP(s), the responses provided are also made available to the wider public via this website.
The aim of the EMN’s Annual Policy Reports is to outline the most significant political and legislative (including EU) developments, as well as public debates in the area of migration and asylum, within the Member States. These reports also include, to the extent possible, any relevant statistical data (even if tentative) to quantify the explanation of developments.From 2009 onwards, this activity has included reporting on progress towards the commitments included in the Tracking Method (Méthode de Suivi) for monitoring the implementation of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. The National Reports being contributing elements to the Commission's Annual Report, in particular the accompanying Staff Working Paper.
These reports present an analysis of the statistical trends on migration and international protection (asylum), including also illegal entry, apprehensions and returns and within the context of legal and policy developments. To the extent possible, statistics from Eurostat, who are responsible for the collection of statistical data, are used. Continuing a series since 2001, the EMN produced Annual Reports on Migration and International Protection Statistics up to and including 2009. For 2008 and 2009 the analysis used data provided in accordance with Council Regulation 862/2007 on Migratory Statistics.
From 2012 onwards, statistics will instead be presented in other formats, including in EMN Quarterly Reports.
Given the objective of the EMN, particular attention is paid in the selection of study topics to their relevance in providing information needed to support policy development. As mentioned elsewhere, the EMN Steering Board in particular has an important role to play in this respect. Examples of studies include on unaccompanied minors; assisted return and reintegration; satisfying labour demand through migration; non-EU harmonised protection statuses granted by the Member States; temporary and circular migration; visa policy; and irregular migration.
Studies completed to date are listed below and the Executive Summaries of these studies outline their main findings.