The European Migration Network (EMN) is an EU-wide network, consisting of National Contact Points and providing information on migration and asylum.
The EMN was set up in 2003 by the European Commission on behalf of the European Council in order to satisfy the need for a regular exchange of reliable information on migration and asylum-related issues at European level.
Council Decision 2008/381/EC has served as the legal basis for the EMN since 2008.
The DG Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission coordinates the EMN in cooperation with National Contact Points in each Member State and in Norway, assisted by one service providers. The EMN Steering Board provides strategic guidance on the EMN’s activities.
In 2003 the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Country Office for Austria, was nominated as National Contact Point Austria by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The objective of the EMN is to meet the information needs, of Community institutions and of Member States’ authorities and institutions on migration and asylum, by providing up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and asylum, with a view to supporting policymaking in the European Union in these areas and to providing a factual basis for current discussions.
The EMN responds to information needs through reports, studies, Ad-Hoc Queries, so called “EMN Informs”, the EMN Bulletin and the EMN Glossary. It does not normally engage in primary research: instead, its key focus is to collect data and information existing at national and EU level and to document and make this information available more widely. The EMN analyses and synthesizes such information to improve its comparability and support harmonization at EU level.
As early as 1994, the European Commission proposed a mechanism for observing migratory movements within the European Union (EU). As a consequence a feasibility study was conducted in 1996. The European Council at Laeken in December 2001 invited the European Commission to investigate establishing a system to fulfil this purpose. As a result, the European Migration Network (EMN) was launched as a pilot project in 2003.
The Hague Programme (2005–2010) reinforced the need for the provision of up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information and data on asylum and migration. Correspondingly, after a transitional period Council Decision 2008/381/EC was adopted as of 14 May 2008, providing the legal basis for the EMN as a permanent structure to meet the identified needs. The Council Decision obliged all Member States (with the exception of Denmark) to set up a National Contact Point (NCP). Thus the EMN consists of 28 NCPs established in each Member State as well as Norway. Denmark holds observer status.
The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (2008) as well as the Stockholm Programme (2010–2014) more strongly identified the need for a debate on immigration and asylum issues, which could be accomplished primarily through improved exchange of information among EU Member States. The EMN has since then served as a tool to meet this need.