Organizer: EMN Austria
NATIONAL EMN CONFERENCE 2020
Forecasting the Future of Global Migration
29 September 2020, 09:00 – 17:00
Researchers as well as decision makers at EU and national level are interested in rendering the magnitude and nature of future migration developments more predictable, enabling them to recognize opportunities and respond to challenges. Migration forecasts, scenarios and early warning systems are important for improving our understanding of global migration. Predicting migration trends is an inherently complex task, however. No single approach can capture all relevant aspects of migration and a careful interpretation of results is required to avoid misguided conclusions.
In this context, the conference provided a critical reflection and a differentiated understanding of future migration scenarios and proactive migration policies. The speakers included international migration researchers, national and European policy makers with experience in developing and applying migration forecasts and scenarios. Together with 180 virtual participants they discussed how policy makers can make use of predictive methodologies.
Some of the conference presentations are reproduced in a Migration Policy Practice Special Issue published in January 2021.
Panel 1: Snapshots of Migration Predictions
A comprehensive understanding of the nature of future migration requires a multitude of perspectives and a comparative analysis of findings generated by forecasts, narrative scenario studies and big data analyses. This session provides insights into key findings of recent forecasts and scenario studies.
Panel 2: Predicting Migration and the Implications on Europe
This session identifies common components of future migration trends to Europe and challenges of accurately predicting migration, particularly in view of unexpected events such as COVID-19.
Panel 3: The Nexus between Predictions and Policy Making
The results of migration forecasts and scenarios do not easily translate into policy recommendations and decision-making, with uncertainty as an important challenge. This session explores the extent to which predictive methods have been used to inform policy decisions and how policy has influenced migration forecasting.
Panel 4: The Future of Migration Forecasting
A concluding panel explores different options to prepare for future migration patterns to Europe. Special attention is placed on effective communication strategies, which are important to translate forecasts and scenarios into sustainable migration management. Panelists also discuss the role of forecasting in managing the external migration policy dimension.