Migration and asylum statistics as a basis for European border control

Author(s)

Publication date

2017

Document type

Abstract

This article shows how the Migration Statistics Regulation plays a central role in EU/ Schengen external border control. It develops and applies an analytical framework, which shows analogies between how historical nation states produced statistics as a basis for politics and the harmonisation of European migration and asylum statistics. In contrast to national processes, the Migration Statistics Regulation aims to harmonise statistics from established national administrative traditions. The first part shows how the Member States have agreed on the application of common statistical categories, but they have not reached agreements on how to measure migration. As long as different measurement techniques constitute the basis of comparability, the statistics used as basis for European external border control remain incomplete. The second part exam- ines how statistical information is used in the management of border control. While Eurostat is responsible for coordinating statistics, Frontex, EASO and eu-LISA have gained the tasks of managing new types of migration and asylum statistics. This implies new combinations of performing operative tasks with the management of statistics at European level. Moreover, the statistics have increasingly become the basis for calculat- ing funding allocation and relocation of asylum seekers among Member States. While EU Member States harmonise the statistics on migration and asylum, this does not mean that the countries harmonise their understanding of the phenomenon. When EU insti- tutions use incomplete statistics to legitimate migration and asylum politics, this is not only a technical and practical problem. Behind this incompleteness, there are concep- tual and political differences among the Member States

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acceptedVersion

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/5054