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Current European and Cross-National Comparative Research and Research Actions on Migration

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CROSS-MIGRATION (Current European and Cross-National Comparative Research and Research Actions on Migration)

Période du rapport: 2019-03-01 au 2020-02-29

To be able to respond to the current challenges and opportunities of migration, a better understanding is required of what drives migration towards Europe, what trajectories and infrastructures facilitate migration, and what the key characteristics of different migrant flows are. To improve the accessibility, integration, accumulation and communication of knowledge and data on migration, CROSS-MIGRATION puts together a cutting-edge consortium to bring together research and apply it to current migration challenges and opportunities to develop a better understanding of the role and place of migration in the new and emergent global order. CROSS-MIGRATION surveys and brings together migration research on why migration occurs (drivers), how it occurs (infrastructures), who migrates (flows) and what policies have been developed and applied to influence migration.

Bringing together available research in a systematic manner allows for a better understanding of the interaction between migration drivers, infrastructures, flows and policies. The insights in the interaction between drivers/infrastructures/flows/policies provide the foundation for the development (and visualization) of migration scenarios. Such scenarios aim to provide an overview of plausible migration trends that might occur under specific conditions. The synthesis, accumulation and application of current research is developed around on a number of key migration questions. These questions will be defined and elaborated in research-policy dialogues amongst a Policy Network, a Research Network and the project partners throughout various stages of the project.

CROSS-MIGRATION will establish an interactive migration research hub for stakeholders and scholars to get access to relevant knowledge and data on specific topics and that would be sustainable beyond this project. To develop this hub, a methodology has been developed that does not organize new research but rather develops a systematic approach to surveying and integrating existing research on current topics. This hub will allow for thematic searches, visualizations and the development of scenarios. This migration research hub also features synthesis studies on key migration questions and on cross-national knowledge regarding migration drivers, infrastructures, flows and policies.

Summary of key objectives:
- To define key migration questions in dialogues between migration researchers and policy stakeholders from the national and European level.
- To develop a methodology for surveying and bringing together current migration research, including a classification system to be established also beyond the scope of the project.
- To survey and integrate current research on migration in Europe (based on the classification system)
- To develop systematic cross-national knowledge (based on the survey) on why migration occurs (migration drivers), how it takes place (migration infrastructures), who migrates (migration flows), and how migration policies influence and are influenced by these drivers, infrastructures and flows.
- To identify interactions between migration drivers, infrastructures, flows and policies, to develop these interactions into indicators, and develop migration ‘scenarios’ based on these indicators.
- To develop a migration research hub for policymakers, scholars and others. This interactive hub will be developed around a database and provides access to research (projects, publications and databases) on migration drivers/infrastructures/flows/policies, to syntheses on current and future migration questions and to (visualizations of) migration indicators and scenarios.
- To develop a strategic research agenda for migration research and provide advice on future research policies regarding migration.
- To inform broader public debates on key migration questions, via the migration research hub and a broader dissemination and communication strategy that includes a migration fact checker and a migration research desk.
- To embed the project consortium in a broader Research Network, Policy Network and non-EU advisory Board in order to live up to the ambition of a broad and pertinent research synthesis.
The first year of the CrossMigration project has been primarily directed at developing the methodology and technology for the interactive migration research hub, and at establishing the broader Research Network and Policy Network in which the project is embedded. As a methodology for the interactive research hub, the project team has defined a taxonomy for the field of migration studies. To make sure this taxonomy is representative for the entire field, it was developed together with a broader Research Network, as well as with scholars from outside Europe. The taxonomy enables the project to map publications, projects, experts and datasets in migration studies based on topics that are addressed, countries, disciplines and methods.

The technology for bringing together knowledge from migration studies is unique and has not been developed before in this field nor in other fields. Using advanced techniques, including web crawling, the hub provides an interactive and sustainable structure that brings publications, projects, experts and datasets 'under one roof.' To give the research hub an interactive and 'social' character, it has been designed in a way that gives scholars themselves much opportunity to visible on the hub and update their information.

Finally, also as an important step towards year 2, key knowledge questions were defined together with members of the Policy Network and the Research Network. This allows the project in year two to focus specifically at gaps in knowledge that were defined, as well as to synthesise knowledge targeted at current knowledge questions.

In sum, key results so far include:
- The definition of key migration questions in dialogues between migration researchers and policy stakeholders from the national and European level.
- The development of a methodology for surveying and bringing together current migration research, including a classification system to be established also beyond the scope of the project.
- The development of a migration research hub for policymakers, scholars and others. This interactive hub was developed around a database and provides access to research (projects, publications and databases) on migration drivers/infrastructures/flows/policies, to syntheses on current and future migration questions and to (visualizations of) migration indicators and scenarios.
- The embedding of the project consortium in a broader Research Network, Policy Network and non-EU advisory Board
With the methodology and the technology for bringing a research field (migration studies) 'under one roof', the Cross-Migration project has clearly entered unchartered territory. No similar research infrastructures exist in migration studies nor in any other research field. Furthermore, this infrastructure is key to the accessibility and impact of migration research, but can also provide a stimulus to more systematic knowledge production and accumulation in migration studies. As such this project is a clear example of mutually beneficial coproduction by EU-H2020 and the IMISCOE migration research community.
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