Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies

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Measuring Irregular Migration and related policies  (MIrreM)

Dr Franck Düvell, photo: DeZIM


Dr Franck Düvell
Osnabrück University
Institute for Migration Research
and Intercultural Studies (IMIS)
Seminarstr. 19 a/b, room 03/126
49074 Osnabrück

phone +49 541 969 4846

Funding: European Commission, Horizon Europe, Call “Inclusiveness in Times of Change”, Call Topic “Estimates of irregular migration – stakeholder network” (HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-01),

Duration: 1.10.2022-30.9.2025
Project Coordination: University for Continuing Education Krems – Danube University Krems (Scientific Coordinator: Albert Kraler)
PI at IMIS: Dr. Franck Düvell
Research Assistant at IMIS: Dr. Norbert Cyrus

Other Project Partners
European University Institute (PI: Ettore Recchi)
University of Maastricht (PI: Arjen Leerkes)
University of Turku (PI: Jussi Jauhiainen)
Complutense University Madrid (PI: Claudia Finotelli)
Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) (PI: Haris Malamidis)
University of Milan (PI: Maurizio Ambrosini)
University of Potsdam (PI: Jasper Tjaden)
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migration (PICUM) (Director: Michele Levoy)
International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) (PI: Veronika Bilger)
Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPI-E) (PI: Hanne Beirens)
University of Warsaw (PI: Pawel Kaczmarczyk)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (PI: Tuba Bircan)

Associated Partners
Toronto Metropolitan University (PI: Anna Triandafyllidou)
University of Leiceister (PI: Alan Desmond)
University of Oxford (PI: Carlos Vargas-Silva)

The project Measuring irregular migration and related policies (MIrreM) examines estimates and statistical indicators on the irregular migrant population in Europe as well as related policies, including the regularisation of irregular immigrants. Led by Albert Kraler at the Department for Migration and Globalisation, the 17-partners-consortium has developed the MIrreM project in response to a call under the European Commissions’ Horizon Europe Programme, building on the broad expertise assembled in the consortium and as well as past projects some partners were involved  in, such as CLANDESTINO (2007-2009) the first-ever research project on estimates of irregular migration in the EU, the REGINE project (2007-2008) that examined regularisation practices in 27 EU Member States or the ongoing City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe (C-MISE).

A core aim of the project is to address the uncertainty and contested nature of evidence on irregular migration by fostering a shared understanding of basic features of and policy options in regard to the phenomenon. MIrreM will analyse policies defining irregularity, stakeholders’ data needs and usage, and assess existing estimates and statistical indicators on irregular migration in the countries under study and on the EU level. Using several coordinated pilots, the project will develop new and innovative methods for measuring irregular migration and will explore if and how these instruments can be transferred or scaled up to other socio-economic or institutional conditions. Based on a broad mapping of regularisation practices in the EU as well as detailed case studies, MIrreM will develop ‘regularisation scenarios’ to better understand conditions under which regularisation should be considered as a policy option. Together with expert groups to be set up on irregular migration data and regularisation, respectively, the project will synthesize findings into a Handbook on data on irregular migration and a Handbook on regularisation that will support evidenced-based and targeted policymaking concerning irregular migration. The project’s research will cover 20 countries, including 12 EU countries and the United Kingdom, Canada and the US and five transit countries.

Apart from its research objectives, a core task of the project will also to be engage stakeholders involved around issues of irregular migration across the EU, including NGOs, service providers, migrant led organisations, researchers and policymakers on local, national and EU levels, in order to involve stakeholders in the research, take into account their needs and feedback results from the project into their work.

IMIS contributes to all work packages. In particular, IMIS is responsible for the tasks on (1) concepts of migrant irregularity, (2), reviewing ethical issues in the production and dissemination of data and estimates about the irregular migrant population. Drawing on the wider literature about ethics in research on migrant irregularity and critical literature on political and statistical categories, we will create benchmarks for evaluating ethical practices (lead), (3) data on irregular migration flows in Europe and (4) case studies of irregular migration flows in Europe (including rejected asylum seekers and possibly also Ukrainians) (lead), (5) comparative analysis of regularisation practices and their effects in selected European countries and the US and (6) organising expert and policy workshops.

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