The project will contribute to the development of an effective and humanitarian European response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean through integrating quantitative and qualitative evidence into a comprehensive migration database. The project has four specific objectives:
Firstly, the research will disentangle the category of ‘mixed migration’, often referred to in both scholarly and policy literatures, and shed light on the transitory dynamics of migration processes. It will do so by establishing who the migrants are that arrive in Europe via the central Mediterranean route; which routes they take; and, where they seek to go.
Secondly, in addition to mapping this diversity, the research will record the inconsistent implementation of supposedly uniform practices of migration governance, and the impact this has on migrants and the journeys the take.
This is specifically relevant in relation to the policy of finger printing. Under the Dublin Regulation, migrants are to be finger printed at the point of arrival in the EU, however, as this policy is not uniformly implemented, finger printing might occur elsewhere, which could have significant implications for migrant journeys and experiences.
Thirdly, the research will document these transitory dynamics of migration and governance through the production of a database or a “map”, which will be publicly accessible via the project website. The aim is to offer a comprehensive picture – including both quantitative figures and migrant narratives – that will be a useful tool and resource on the migration crisis for academics, practitioners and policy makers.
Finally, in addition to documenting the crisis, the research will propose a durable solution to it.
Specifically, the research will develop policy recommendations directly relevant to the European Agenda on Migration, recently announced by the EU Commission.
A key part of this Agenda is an agreement on relocation and resettlement of refugees on the basis of a complex distribution key.
However, these redistribution policies will only function in an effective and humanitarian manner if they are based not only on ‘objective’ quantitative measurements but also on the qualitative knowledge about migrant experiences and journeys produced by this research.