| Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

Research activities on contemporary international migration

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Dr. Angeliki Dimitriadi, Prof. Dia Anagnostou

ELIAMEP, acknowledging early on the importance and significance of migration, developed innovative research projects in response to new and old challenges of contemporary human mobility.


The Migration Unit for the past decade provides research, analysis, evaluation of migration and refugee policies at national and European level and seeks to offer pragmatic recommendations to the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to Greece and the European Union.

The aim is to support evidence-based decision-making in the field of immigration and integration and through the research inform policy, and to identify emerging issues.

Through projects funded by the European Commission (FP6,FP7, H2020, EEA Grants) as well as private foundations (e.g. Open Society Foundation) ELIAMEP’s Migration Unit has conducted research, either as coordinator or partner, on issues of irregular migration and migration management, relationships with third countries, integration, Fundamental Rights, and smuggling.

In parallel, it has undertaken in the past decade a series of open and closed workshops, conferences and events geared towards the dissemination of policy recommendations and analysis grounded in research and hard data. Recognising that the role of individual agency is crucial in migration, all researches conducted incorporate and include field data generated through interviews with migrants and refugees at a local, national and European level as well as in neighborhing countries like Turkey.

Research is organised along three pillars:

Pillar I: Migration policy & effectiveness

Migration policy, and particularly the efforts to control and regulate irregular migration are at the core of the research of the Migration Unit.

ELIAMEP’s research team contributed recently to the “Study on Smuggling project (led by ICMPD), which partly focused on the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes.

Recent research project has focused on cataloguing and providing a comprehensive picture of the diverse policies and operational measures undertaken in Greece throughout the period 2012-2015, in the context of controlling irregular migration (MIDAS project).

Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou, member of the Scientific Board of ELIAMEP, participates in the OECD Network of International Migration Experts producing the annual reports for Greece. The reports document labour market and overall social and political integration, as well as the recent issue of emigration from Greece as a result of the economic crisis.

Pillar II: Routes, journeys and experiences

In response to the refugee crisis of 2015 ELIAMEP conducted research assessing the impact of policy interventions under emergency conditions.

The Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat project focused directly on the impact of policies upon people on the move, drawing together policy analysis and observational fieldwork with in-depth analysis of qualitative interview data from people making – or contemplating making – the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. The  project provided the first detailed assessment of policies associated with A European Agenda on Migration in terms of policy effects both across routes (eastern and central Mediterranean) and over time (2015 and 2016). Similarly, the Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis-MEDMIG project examined the complex and dynamic forces that underpin the very rapid changes in migration patterns currently being seen in the Mediterranean region.

Both projects received media attention and findings were included in reports submitted before Parliament in the UK and the Council of the European Union.

From 2012-2015 ELIAMEP implemented a three year research project on the “Governance of Irregular Migration: States, Actors and Intermediaries (IRMA)”. The project sought to achieve a better understanding of the actors and factors that are involved in the governance of international irregular migration and specifically how do these actors affect the decision making of potential migrants, and why specific actors and state policies are more effective than others, in shaping migrant plans and decisions. The findings of the project have been incorporated in the academic literature and widely disseminated by the media.

Pillar III: Immigrant integration

Enhancing the Integration of Women, Beneficiaries of International Protection by Development and Implementation of Multifaceted Integration Trainings (INTEGRA-TRAIN) project aims to strengthen the integration of women beneficiaries of international protection via the development and implementation of integration training.

ELIAMEP  is the national coordinator for Greece at the European Integration Web Site since 2010. The EWSI is coordinated by the Migration Policy Group (MPG) in Brussels and sponsored by the European Commission under the responsibility of the Directorate-General Home Affairs..

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