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Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography

Deepening our understanding of opportunities and challenges related to demographic change and migration.

Topic / Tool | Last updated: 20 Jun 2021

International migration governance

Data collection, dissemination, analyses, monitoring of trends to contribute to the management of international migration.

International migration governance refers to the complex framework of laws, regulations, partnerships, that national, subnational and international institutions adopt to manage and shape migration across countries, settlement and returns. In its process, governance interacts with several non-institutional actors, both in countries of destination and origin, and the agency of individuals. One specific aspect of migration governance deals with ‘irregular migration’, which refers to a form of mobility (irregular entry into the EU) or a residence status (irregular stay). Managing international migration needs timely data collection and high-quality knowledge production on mobility patterns and trends, drivers and aspirations.


  • EU policy initiatives (EU Trust Funds, EU Neighbourhood policy, etc.)
  • Migration drivers, pathways, aspirations
  • Multi-level governance approaches to migration
  • Relationship between migration flows and migration policies
  • Mixed migration flows towards Europe
  • Irregular migration
  • Return decisions and effective returns
  • Migration management and cooperation with third countries