MIrreM is centred around a unique comparative project design that enables us to study irregular migration and regularisation data and practices that structure migrant irregularity across 20 countries, including five transit countries.

This comparative design will allow us to cover the variability of irregular migration itself and the policies used to address this issue. The MIrreM project consists of eight work packages:


establishes the foundation for a nuanced and context-sensitive, systematic monitoring of quantitative dynamics of irregular migration and an assessment of effectivity, efficiency, and unwanted effects of policies


examines different data needs and purposes of measurements regarding irregular migrant populations. It will also examine practices of data interpretation and how data are used to assess policy effects and effectiveness.


reviews the relevant laws and regulations determining the legal status of migrants at different policy levels (EU, national, local). The analysis also covers rights and entitlements of irregular migrants, and legal pathways into and out of irregularity.


assesses the estimates, indicators and methods used for estimating stocks of migrants in an irregular situation, both at the national level and in selected cities.


examines data on geographic, status related and demographic irregular migration flows. It focuses on strategically selected types of irregular migration flows with different characteristics.


takes stock of emerging approaches to measure irregular migration. It develops and pilots new methodological approaches to estimate irregular migrant stocks and flows to assess the policy effects.


analyses regularisation practices and assesses the impacts of policies. It empirically assesses the costs and benefits of regularisation, while also paying particular attention to evaluating the so-called ‘pull effect’.


serves to map and engage relevant stakeholders, such as practitioners, knowledge brokers, knowledge producers, as well as different policymakers and policy influencers. Two expert groups – one on statistics on the irregular migrant population and a second on regularisation practices – will be established and consulted throughout the project lifetime.

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MIrreM is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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