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Protecting Irregular Migrants in Europe: Institutions, Interests and Policies

Project description

National institutions and European policies on irregular migrants

European countries tend to cluster around various types of labour markets and welfare states, and these different "institutional models" are associated with different economic and social outcomes for citizens and migrants. The EU-funded PRIME project will study how variations in national institutions, and the interests with which they are associated, shape the rights and conditions of irregular migrants in law, policy and practice across EU Member States. PRIME will carry out large-scale surveys, structured policy analysis and qualitative interviews with migrants, employers, policy actors, interest groups and voters in eight European countries. The findings will generate new understandings of the role and effects of institutional variations in shaping outcomes for migrants and citizens, which is critical for more effective national and EU policy-making.


There is little knowledge on how and why the conditions of irregular migrants vary so dramatically across Europe. Key to this variation are countries’ and sectors’ different institutional landscapes. Understanding the role and effects of institutional variations, and the interests with which they are associated, is a critical precondition for effective national and EU policies on irregular migrants. PRIME will provide a new comparative institutional approach to understanding the conditions and vulnerabilities of irregular migrants in Europe. Understanding ‘irregularity’ as a complex, gendered status it will conduct large-scale surveys, structured policy analysis, and qualitative interviews with irregular migrants, employers, policy actors, interest groups and voters across eight European countries. PRIME will generate new analysis on how migrants’ outcomes and experiences are shaped by national socio-economic institutions (including national labour market regulations and welfare institutions), sectoral policies, and the actions and interests of migrants and citizens. PRIME will examine the inevitable goal conflicts that arise in policy-making toward irregular migrants, and propose strategies for how they may be best managed across different institutional settings to enable more effective policy-making that benefits both migrants and host communities. To engage its key target groups (national and EU policy actors, interest groups, and the scientific community), PRIME will create a ‘PRIME-Hub’ for joint knowledge creation and exchange which will extend beyond the project life-time. In this way PRIME will go beyond simple ‘best-practice’ models by providing evidence on context-sensitive strategies and policy tools as a basis for achievable and sustainable policy-making on irregular migrants.



Net EU contribution
€ 883 598,00
Via dei roccettini 9
50014 Fiesole

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Centro (IT) Toscana Firenze
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (4)

Partners (2)