In the last few years, the Mediterranean gained more and more importance in Migration Studies in Europe and, currently, it is a regional focal point where several types of large-scale human displacement converge. This is a global and local challenge with major effects on origin/transit/destination countries, and with implications for migration dynamics, border/integration/diversity policies, and geopolitical strategies. EuroMedMig´s main mission is to develop a Mediterranean migration research agenda, promote advanced training, and encourage policy/social dialogues on Mediterranean Migration.
This initiative is related to the academic and strategic necessity to establish a platform of researchers and research institutions that articulate a systematic production exchange and accumulated corpus of knowledge linking Mediterranean and Migration Studies. The aim is to draw attention to the regional dimension of migration, and to contribute to have a comprehensive understanding of the drivers, causes and means of flows and human mobility, border/emigration and diaspora policies, and the diversity, intercultural, integration, and governance challenges Mediterranean states and cities must face, both in the North, South and the Eastern.
EuroMedMig´s ambition is to establish a permanent platform of exchange between North and South, East and West contributing to place Mediterranean migration challenges within the migration a global agenda, preventing Euro-centric narratives, excessive simplifications, and generalizations on one of the most challenging and complex issues our Mediterranean societies must face today.
These initial purposes are in line with some recent recommendations coming from key international institutions advising about the necessity to find instruments reducing the gap between research insights and knowledge, public opinion and policies. In the Valetta declaration on Innovation and Research in the Euro-Mediterranean region (Ministerial meeting 2017), it has been underlined the key role that research and innovation are playing in developing an understanding of the migration dynamics, the drivers of migration and their interdependence, while also maximising its benefits to the Euro Mediterranean area and coping mechanisms at origin and destination. It should be also underlined La Valetta 2015 summit on migration and its references to knowledge research on migration that was stressed as a crucial element of EU-African cooperation, including Mediterranean countries; and whereas Research Facilities have been established for East Africa and Lake-Chad/Sahel windows of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the same is not the case for North Africa so far.
This regional approach is also in line with the global trends in the international policy approaches. The most significant being the UN Global Compact for Migration (December 2018), underlining as one of the first objectives, the importance of the research and data platforms at a global level as well as the need for regional approaches.
Both international political documents insist on the need to overcome the fragmentation of knowledge and data, aimed at understanding and addressing the challenges posed by migration in the Mediterranean. EuroMedMig covers the overall Mediterranean regional dimension of migration, with the long-term approach of being a centre of reference providing a solid basis for complementarities and future EuroMed research synergies. This cross-cutting and inter-disciplinary approach, the broad geographical scope of its components, as well as the key-fact that the network is integrating regional, national, and North-Eastern-South complementarities are the distinctive features of its focus and provide the added value and social/policy relevance in the impact of the research produced of such a unique network in the region.