Immigration has declined because of COVID-19. The root causes of migration are more complex.
A European consortium of scientists is developing a simulation system that will make it easier to predict migration flows in the future. However, uncertainties cannot be avoided.
Since the so-called migration crisis of 2015, policymakers have been focusing not only on European border protection but also on dealing with causes of displacement in countries of origin. As scientists from the University of Southampton and the Danube University in Krems show in a recent policy brief from the research network Population Europe, simple answers are not helpful here. Neither armed conflicts, overpopulation nor economic problems can alone explain the decision to emigrate. Like climate change, migration is a complex process in which a multitude of factors must be taken into account. Therefore, according to the researchers, not only must politicians make decisions under uncertainty, but also should communicate this uncertainty to the public. As part of the EU-funded project QuantMig, (www.quantmig.eu) the researchers are developing a simulation system that combines different scenarios using information on the factors that influence migration. This simulation can be used to better forecast migration flows. It is intended to support decision-makers in politics, business and civil society – also after the COVID-19 pandemic migration will remain high on the policy agenda.
About the Policy Brief series
Population Europe’s policy brief series summarises the most recent research results and provides policy recommendations: https://population-europe.eu/policy-briefs
About Population Europe
Population Europe is the network of 35 leading European research centres in the field of population sciences. The secretariat in Berlin is hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. The aim is to inform decision-makers in politics and society, as well as the public, about current demographic research findings, mainly through policy dialogue events (stakeholder seminars, expert workshops, webinars), regular publications (discussion papers, policy briefs, popdigests) and on social media.
Dr Daniela Vono de Vilhena, Population Europe (firstname.lastname@example.org)