The future of migration in Europe

This project contributes to the foresight and anticipation capacity of the European Commission in the policy areas of migration, asylum and integration. It runs under the umbrella of the European Commission Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography and contributes to the work of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.


Responding to the need for long-term, strategic thinking about migration, asylum and integration.

The large inflows of migrants to Europe in 2015 and 2016 have linked migration to the notion of a crisis, prompted quick institutional response and triggered the rethinking of EU’s capacity to deal with such situations. However, migration of various kinds and the integration of newcomers have always been an integral part of Europe’s history and will certainly shape its future. They are complex phenomena influenced by multiple and interlinked factors, and present both a challenge and an opportunity for Europe’s future development. There is an increasing need to think long-term about the matter and look beyond the current crisis to be better prepared for the next 15 years. This project will improve understandings of what drives migration, identify possible future implications of today’s policy decisions and suggest areas for future policy initiatives.


A set of migration scenarios for Europe

The project will result in a set of global scenarios for the future of migration in Europe and a new version of the Scenario Exploration System board game on migration. Both the global scenarios and the game aim to help policy-makers and other stakeholders to think systematically about future challenges and opportunities of migration and integration.


Scenario-building and serious-gaming approach

The project follows four guiding principles:
1. future-oriented: this project considers interplay between global trends and migration drivers, different policy areas and possible future modes of EU governance towards 2030;
2. systemic: drawing on the expertise of an interdisciplinary group of experts, diverse stakeholders and policy-makers from different parts of the European Commission the aim is to ensure a holistic understanding of migration, its multiple causes and diverse outcomes;
3. strategic: the focus is placed on how this key topic in the EU policy debate will play out in different possible futures of the EU;
4. innovative: the project utilises the JRC award-winning board game Scenario Exploration System (SES) as an interactive tool to facilitate long-term thinking and stakeholder engagement.

The project combines in-house research and a series of expert and stakeholder consultations, interviews and focus groups.

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