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In order to address the need to exchange information on all aspects of migration and to contribute to a common asylum and immigration policy, the European Commission was invited to consider the "development of a European system for exchanging information on asylum, migration and countries of origin" by the Laeken European Council in 2001. The result was the European Migration Network, which was launched in 2003 as a Pilot Project, and since 2004 as a Preparatory Action until the end of 2006. The Thessaloniki European Council (2003) stated that it would welcome the establishment of a European Migration Network and would examine the possibility of setting up a permanent structure in the future. The Hague Programme reinforced the need for common analysis of migratory phenomena (the collection, provision, exchange and efficient use of up-to-date information), and the EMN is one means towards this goal. More recently, the successor Stockholm Programme contains many elements for the better exchange of information between Member States across the wide range of asylum and migration policy developments. To achieve this most effectively, the information needs to be comparable between the Member States.
To meet the information needs of Community institutions and of Member States’ authorities and institutions by providing up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and asylum, with a view to supporting policymaking in the European Union in these areas. The EMN also serves to provide the general public with such information.
The European Commission (under the direct responsibility of the Directorate General Home Affairs, Contact: Magnus.OVILIUS@ec.europa.eu) co-ordinates the EMN assisted by two Service Providers (GHK-COWI: firstname.lastname@example.org and iLiCONN (email@example.com), in co-operation with National Contact Points (EMN NCPs) appointed in each Member State, who, in turn, develop a national network consisting of a wide-range of entities representing all relevant stakeholders. EMN NCPs, which have been designated by their Member State government, consist primarily of Ministries of Interior and of Justice; plus Research Institutes; Non-Governmental Organisations; and a national office of an International Organisation. A Steering Board, chaired by the European Commission and consisting of one representative from each Member State plus, acting as an Observer, from the European Parliament, provides political guidance on the activities of the EMN.
Firstly, the EMN responds to information needs through specific Reports, Studies and Ad-Hoc Queries.
The EMN does not normally engage in primary research, instead bringing together, analysing and making accessible already available data and information. The EMN also aims to improve the availability, comparability and harmonisation of existing information, as well as contributing to evidence-based policymaking. The "desk research" undertaken ranges from a longer-term detailed analysis of a particular migration phenomenon to short-term Ad-Hoc Queries, responding to the information needs for the development of a particular policy by a Member State and/or the European Commission.
The EMN produces yearly Annual Policy Reports, which 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 – since 2009, these also contribute to the Commission’s Annual Reports to the European Council, reviewing the implementation of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum; Studies, on topics (see below also) relevant to policymakers; yearly Annual Reports on Asylum and Migration Statistics, which present an analysis of statistical trends in the Member States; and compilations of the responses to Ad-Hoc Queries.
Study topics are selected based on proposals made by an EMN NCP(s) and/or the European Commission and are based on their relevance to Member States and the Commission to policy development. Particular attention is paid to the relevance of such studies to their target audience, i.e. policymakers at both EU and Member State level. It is the role of the Steering Board to formally approve the selection of topics within the context of an annual EMN Work Programme.
Initially, a common study specification is developed, in order to facilitate better comparability, and then each EMN NCP produces a National Report, according to the common specifications and often involving contributions from members of their national network. Subsequently a comparative Synthesis Report is produced, bringing together the main findings from the National Reports and placing them within an EU perspective (e.g. by relating to recent policy initiatives).
These are listed here and via the hyperlinks you can download both the Synthesis Report and the corresponding National Reports.
vi) Return Migration;
vii) Family Reunification;
xii) Temporary and circular migration: empirical evidence, current policy practice and future options in EU Member States (to be published end 2010);
xiii) Satisfying labour demand through migration in EU Member States (to be publishedend 2010).
The information on the legal, demographic, economic, social, and political dimensions of migration includes: national legislation, case-law, publications, and contact details of EMN NCPs and their national network members, as well as links to other relevant information sources.
In order to collect this information in a comparative manner and to facilitate structured searching, an EMN Glossary and Thesaurus is being developed. The EMN Glossary uses terms, and their definitions, from a variety of sources, primarily those given in the EU asylum and immigration acquis.
The information and resources that EMN Members collect and document forms the basis of the EMN Information Exchange System, which is accessible for the EMN NCPs and their national network members via the EMN’s website.
All the EMN studies, including the National Reports and Synthesis Reports are published on the European Migration Network’s website and are accessible to all. The database, because it is in a developmental stage, is currently restricted to EMN NCPs and their national partners, plus other relevant EU entities, only.
Thirdly, the EMN has the task of establishing a multi-level network to aid its activities. On the European level, EMN Members (Co-ordinator, NCPs, Observers) meet regularly, as well as network and collaborate with other European level institutions and organisations.
At national level, each EMN NCP aims to develop a network involving partners within their Member State with an interest in migration and asylum from a wide range of stakeholders in order to have a cross-section of views and information, e.g. from Member State governments, (academic) research community, NGOs.