Migration and Asylum Data for Policy-making in the European Union – The problem with numbers

Thursday, 17 March 2016
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Author: Ann Singleton

Series: Liberty & Security in Europe  No. of pages: 9

Among many other problems, the migration, humanitarian and policy crises in the European Union in 2015 and early 2016 have highlighted a pressing need for reliable, timely and comparable statistical data on migration, asylum and arrivals at national borders. In this fast-moving policy field, data production and the timeliness of dissemination have seen some improvements but the sources of data remain largely unchanged at national level.

In this paper the author examines the reasons for some of the problems with the data for policy and for public discussion, and makes a set of recommendations that call for a complete and updated inventory of data sources and for an evaluation of the quality of data used for policy-making.

Ann Singleton is Senior Research Fellow in the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, the UK.