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Immigration event held in European Parliament

The European Social Survey joined forces with Migration Policy Group to hold an event on immigration, hosted by Jean Lambert MEP at the European Parliament on Monday (19 June).

‘Attitudes towards immigration in Europe: myths and realities’ brought together leading academics to present research using data primarily from the ESS Round 7 (2014/15) module on immigration.

The event was held partly to coincide with the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, which took place on Tuesday 20 June.

The Migration Policy Group is responsible for the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX 2015), which is jointly run by MPG and Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB).

MIPEX is one of the most comprehensive, reliable and used tools to monitor migrant integration policies across the developed world.

The ESS produced a programme for the event that includes short summaries provided by each of the academic experts who presented.

Rob Ford (University of Manchester), part of the ESS immigration module questionnaire design team, made clear in his findings that skills have a powerful impact on views of labour migrants.

Marie-Sophie Callens, from Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) presented findings from a review of 18 papers using MIPEX data, of which 10 used data from the ESS.

Callens found that people in countries with more inclusive integration policies were found to have less ethnic threat perceptions and lead to more positive immigrant attitudes.

James Dennison from the Migration Policy Centre (European University Institute) introduced their new project - the Observatory of Public Attitudes to Migration (OPAM) and their early analyses.

Lindsay Richards of CSI Nuffield at the University of Oxford expanded on some of the research that was produced with her colleague, Anthony Heath, for our 2016 publication on immigration.

The researchers also presented public policy recommendations, most notably by Dominik Hangartner of the Immigration Policy Lab, ETH Zurich.

Hangartner’s proposal that refugees be allocated to countries within Europe based on GDP figures was supported by public opinion, even in countries where this would lead to a higher number of refugees.

ESS Director, Dr. Rory Fitzgerald, and Thomas Huddleston from the Migration Policy Group also spoke during the event.

Around 40 people attended the event, including guests from the OECD, The UN Refugee Agency, Médecins du Monde and European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

Representatives from the office of the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and the European Economic and Social Committee were also in attendance.

Jean Lambert MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, opened and closed the event. The ESS is extremely grateful to Jean Lambert’s office for helping to organise and host the event.

The questions included in the rotating module on immigration were first fielded in Round 1 (2002/03), and repeated in Round 7 (2014/15). Some immigration questions are included in every round of the ESS. View our immigration data using ESS Online Analysis.

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Stefan Swift
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