Migration predictions are an indispensable part of improving our understanding of global migration from both a research and policy perspective. Predicting migration trends is an inherently complex task, however, and no single approach can capture all relevant aspects of migration. In 2020, the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic added another layer of uncertainty, as the global health crisis results in mobility restrictions that are likely to challenge the accuracy of current migration predictions and future scenarios.
This year’s national EMN Conference will provide an overview of existing models, studies and tools to predict migration, including their underlying assumptions and key results. The second part of the conference will explore how migration predictions can best inform policy and how policy makers can make use of predictive methodologies. We aim to contribute to the future of policy relevant migration forecasting, developing synergies between research, policy, and practitioners.
PART I: Migration Forecasts and Scenarios. Assessing the State of Play of Predictive Migration Research
Overview of Existing Models and Tools to Predict Migration: Approaches to predict future migration offer an array of possibilities to apply lessons from past developments in migration to policy decisions. This presentation introduces the basic concepts of migration forecasting and highlights the purposes and time horizons of different predictive methods.
Snapshots of Migration Predictions: A comprehensive understanding of the nature of future migration to Europe requires a multitude of perspectives and a comparative analysis of findings generated by forecasts and narrative scenario studies. This panel provides insight into recent forecasts and scenario studies, their key assumptions, data sources and findings.
Predicting Migration and Implications for Europe: This session will reflect on forecasts and scenario studies to identify common components of future migration trends to Europe as well as challenges of accurately predicting migration. Special emphasis will be placed on the implications of COVID-19 on migration forecasting.
PART II: Migration Predictions and Proactive Migration Management
How Predictions Inform Policy Making: The results of migration forecasts and scenarios do not easily translate into recommendations for policy and decision making and uncertainty will remain as a key feature of developments in migration. In this context, the presentations will explore the extent to which predictive methods have been used to inform policy decisions and contribute to the future of policy relevant migration forecasting.
The Future of Migration Forecasting: A concluding panel discussion will explore different options to better prepare for future migration patterns, benefiting migrants and EU Member States. Special attention will be placed on effective communication strategies, which are considered important to translate forecasts and scenarios into “future-proof” migration management.