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Future Migration Scenarios for Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FUME (Future Migration Scenarios for Europe)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-11-30

Local circumstances play a major role in the migration process, from the decision to migrate through the transit process up to the settlement in the destination countries. Nearly all international migrants generally move to the largest cities in destination countries, either directly, or after one or more internal moves. This is also the case across Europe, where population growth in many cities can be largely attributed to an influx of migrants.

At the same time, in countries of origin the largest cities often function as gateways to destinations abroad. Many potential migrants in villages and small towns in origin countries first move to these larger cities before leaving their country. Cities, therefore, both in countries of origin and destination, are significant determinants of global migration and small-scale local knowledge on migration is necessary to avoid misleading results associated with the limitations arising from the use of global or national patterns only.

Consequently, the Future Migration Scenarios for Europe project looks at specific case areas, combined with an overall analysis of migration patterns within and between these, to create scenarios for how migration may evolve in Europe. Using the new migration scenarios that will be developed in the project, Europe will be able to better assess and prepare for the different ways in which migration to the region will be unfold in the future.
During the first 12 months of the project, the team has been considered with much of the groundwork for the actual research. The team has collected and harmonised detailed data on migrant communities and their socio-economic status for the four destination case studies (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cracow and Rome). Moreover, global data on migrants per country have been collected and harmonised for use in migration modelling. The Delphi study has been prepared, which will be conducted with migration policy experts in 2021, and interviews with prospective migrants in four countries of origin (Senegal, Iraq, Ukraine and Tunisia) have been prepared with the help of local partners. Finally, a comprehensive literature review on migration scenarios and migration modelling has been conducted to ensure that the scenarios to be developed in the project do provide a novel angle on future migration to Europe.
Migration scenario studies seldom quantify the impact of different storylines on the size and composition of future migration. The small number of studies that did provide a quantification of migration scenarios typically only did so after formulating complete storylines, and therefore give limited insight into how specific elements of each scenario may lead to higher or lower future migration levels. To address this limitation, we propose a new method for migration scenario building. This method will focus on quantifying the key drivers of migration prior to combining them into different scenarios. This way, we aim to connect migration scenarios to future population projections in a less arbitrary, more systematic fashion.

Moreover, the project also aims to connect global flows of migrants to the local circumstances both at the origin and the destination of the migration process. While the former provides input to the migrations scenarios, the latter helps us understand how migrants shape the places that they move to. The goal is to achieve this through geosimulation techniques based on Machine Learning that use high-resolution maps of a large range of socio-economic variables to assess where future migrants are likely to settle. The goal is to help cities better understand migrant settlement patterns, so they can better plan for an inclusive development, reduce segregation, and avoid the development of socially deprived problem areas.
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