Mediterranean and Eastern European Countries as new immigration destinations in the European Union (IDEA)



The first out of three IDEA interim meetings took place at the Ossoliński Palace in Sterdyń, on 20-21 June 2007. The meeting was devoted to historical background and current migration trends in the EU countries of established immigration. The discussion on the project’s methodological guidelines initiated during the early March IDEA workshop followed up.

Amongst diverse migration trends in Europe, the emergence of new immigration countries seems particularly important. The transition of migratory status followed economic development induced by the participation in the common European market and political stability. The socio-economic conditions of the change as well as policy responses to the new situation varied considerably between the countries of North-Western, Southern and Eastern Europe and led to various structures of immigration and impacts on labour markets. These differences provide interesting research basis which could shed light on the immigration mechanisms in Europe. In this 30-month project, the consortium of scientific institutions from 9 EU states, all with tremendous experience in migration research will analyse the causes, characteristics and impact of migratory flows in the new European immigration destinations – Southern and Eastern Europe, and with reference to the “established” European immigration countries.

Project objectives

The project proposes scientific support to the much-needed development and improvement of migration policies in the European Union. It will be based on a comprehensive and coherent approach including past, present and future trends, number of countries analysed, and interdisciplinary methodology (sociological, economic, demographic, and political). The project will also address new forms of migration and new countries included in the migration processes as a result of globalisation.

The project’s specific objectives are as follows:

1. Reconstruction of past immigration patterns in all investigated countries to test two basic hypotheses, that (a) patterns of immigration in new destination countries recall historical patterns in old immigration countries, and (b) in the process of transformation from net emigration to net immigration, each individual country displays a number of important distinctive features that depend among others on its specific geographic location, past migration links or routes, historical time of the transformation, and the state of global migration at time of the transformation;

2. Analysis of migration policies in investigated countries and their effectiveness thereof, as well as the capability of state institutions in different countries to reach the goals of these policies;

3. Collection and analysis of information on current immigration patterns in selected parts of the European Union with a focus on common problems resulting from new immigration waves, and on emigration trends from the most important sending countries for the Eastern European and Mediterranean destinations, including Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Sub-Saharan countries, and Turkey;

4. Devising analytical tools suitable for forecasting migration – a model of future immigration and its possible consequences with the use internationally comparable time-series of demographic, statistical, and economic, as well as relevant political information. Designing supplementary tools applicable to making the future scenarios of qualitative variables.

Project management

The organisation of IDEA includes 11 partners of the consortium, Advisory Committee, and Administrative secretary.

IDEA will be managed by a Project Coordinator (M. Okólski, WU, Poland), and a Coordinating Committee, that will comprise leaders of each partner’s team (Mirjana Morokvasic-Müller (UPX), Dušan Drbohlav (UKP), Corrado Bonifazi (CNR), Anna Triandafyllidou (ELIAMEP), Joaquín Arango (IUIOG), Marek Kupiszewski (IOM), Ágnes Hárs (MTA), João Peixoto (SOCIUS), Swanie Potot (CNRS), Heinz Fassmann (OEAW)). The Project Coordinator and the Coordinating Committee will be responsible for overall management of the project activities. In addition, the following members of the Coordinating Committee will be responsible for the meetings and a final conference.

The Coordinating Committee will be supported by the IDEA Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will ensure the policy-oriented direction of research, its quality and accountability. It will consist of 15 persons – representatives of policy makers at the European and national levels, representatives of NGO’s and national institutions active in the field of immigration. It may also include researchers from important reference countries outside the EU.

Implementation plan – for full duration of the project

Research activities

1. First immigration countries – overview

1.1 Preparation of the country studies
1.2 Preparation of the overview and structuring of further research

2.Mediterranean countries as new immigration destinations

2.2 Immigration history and policy
2.3 Current trends of legal and illegal migration

3. Eastern European countries as new immigration destinations

3.1 Immigration history and Policy
3.2 Current trends of legal and illegal migration

4. Qualitative scenarios for MEDEEA countries

4.1 Adoption of policy perspective to the qualitative scenarios
4.2 Setting up qualitative scenarios of the migration processes in MEDEEA countries

5. Collection of data for quantitative model

5.1 Collection of available statistical data concerning migration

6. Model of migration and quantitative scenarios

6.1 Preparation of a model of migration
6.2 Preparation of quantitative forecasts of migratory flows to and from MEDEEA countries

7. Policy recommendations based on migration forecasts

7.1 Policy recommendations based on qualitative and quantitative migration forecasts

Consortium management activities

8. Quality management

8.1 Quality control by Advisory Committee
8.2 Quality review and assessment by the partners (short reports)

9. Management and co-ordination of technical activities in the project

9.1 Management and co-ordination of IDEA
9.2 Co-ordination of data and information processing, analysing, reporting, and dissemination
9.3 Promotion of the project




2007 - 2009

Source of funding

Sixth Framework Programme Priority SSP-5A AREA 8.1. B.2.5.


Université Paris X Nanterre (Institut Sciences du Politique – ISP), former Laboratoire d’Analyse des Systemes Politiques (LASP)
Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development – DSG)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies -IRPPS), Italy
The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Greece (ELIAMEP)
Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset, Spain (IUIOG)
International Organisation for Migration (Central European Forum for Migration Research – CEFMR), Poland
Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia (Centre for International Migration and Refugee Studies, Institute of Ethnic and National Minority Studies – CMRS), Hungary
Research Center on Economic Sociology and the Sociology of Organizations, Portugal (SOCIUS)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie – LAMES)
Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Das Institut für Stadt- und Regionalforschung – ISR), Austria