MIrreM analyses policies defining migrant irregularity, stakeholders’ data needs and usage, and assesses existing estimates and statistical indicators on irregular migration in the countries under study and at the EU level.

Using several coordinated pilots, the project develops new and innovative methods for measuring irregular migration and explores if and how these instruments can be applied in other socio-economic or institutional contexts.


A core aim of the project is to address the uncertainty and contested nature of evidence on irregular migration by fostering a shared understanding of basic features of and policy options to address the phenomenon.

Based on a broad mapping of regularisation practices in the EU, as well as detailed case studies, MIrreM will develop ‘regularisation scenarios’ to better understand conditions under which regularisation should be considered as a policy option. Together with expert groups that will be set up on irregular migration data and regularisation, respectively, the project will synthesise findings into a Handbook on data on irregular migration and a Handbook on pathways out of irregularity. The project’s research covers 20 countries. MIrreM will analyse policies defining migrant irregularity, stakeholders’ data needs and usage, and assess existing estimates and statistical indicators on irregular migration in the countries under study and at the EU level. In addition, it will develop innovative methodological approaches for estimating different aspects of irregular migration.

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

Stronger <br> Data


Generate more accurate information about the size and characteristics of the population in an irregular situation and innovative and scalable estimation methods.
Knowledge <br> Exchange


Establish a stakeholder network for knowledge exchange about estimates on irregular migration and regularisation.
Enhanced <br> Policies


Develop a systematic and in-dept understanding of how management policies and practices shape migrant irregularity across EU member states, the UK, Canada and the USA.
Feasible <br> Solutions


Disseminate strategies for assessing the costs and benefits of regularisation and develop new pragmatic and evidence-based regularisation programmes.

MIrreM builds on the earlier efforts of the FP6 funded CLANDESTINO project (2007-2009), the first-ever research project on estimates of irregular migration in the EU, in which several partner institutions as well as individual researchers now based at other institutions were involved.

In addition, MIrreM draws on the insights and framework of other projects, such as the REGINE (Regularisations in Europe) project (2007-2008) that examined regularisation practices in 27 EU Member States as well as studies commissioned by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the Situation of migrants in an irregular situation in the EU (2009-2011) and The Treatment of third-country nationals at the EU’s Southern maritime borders (2010-2013) led by Albert Kraler and involving several other MIrreM researchers and institutional partners. Moreover, MIrreM draws on the City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe (C-MISE) based at MIrreM’s project partner the University of Oxford. MIrreM will also engage in extensive collaboration with a series of ongoing research projects funded under the EU’s Horizon Europe Programme.
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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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