Eu Legislation

The European Migration Network (EMN)



Council Decision 2008/381/EC of 14 May 2008 establishing a European Migration Network.


This decision establishes a European Migration Network (EMN), whose objective is to meet the information needs of Community institutions and of Member State authorities and institutions through the provision of up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and asylum, with a view to supporting policy-making in the European Union (EU). It will also provide this information to the general public.

To attain this objective, the EMN will:

  • collect and exchange up-to-date and reliable data and information from a wide range of sources;
  • undertake analysis of this data and information and provide it in a readily accessible format;
  • in collaboration with other relevant EU bodies, contribute to the development of indicators and criteria that will improve the consistency of information and help in the development of Community activities related to migratory statistics;
  • produce and publish periodic reports on the migration and asylum situation in the Community and the Member States;
  • create and maintain an internet-based information exchange system, which provides access to relevant documents and publications in the area of migration and asylum;
  • raise awareness of the EMN by providing access to the information it gathers and by disseminating the output of the EMN, unless this information is of a confidential nature;
  • coordinate information and cooperate with other relevant European and international bodies.

The EMN shall ensure that its activities are consistent and coordinated with the relevant Community instruments and structures in the area of migration and asylum.

The Commission coordinates the work of the EMN in cooperation with National Contact Points (EMN NCPs) appointed in each Member State. The EMN NCPs, in turn, develop a national network comprising a wide range of entities representing all relevant stakeholders. A steering board provides political guidance on the activities of the EMN in order to ensure, along with the Commission, that its activities appropriately reflect the political priorities of the Community in the area of migration and asylum. A service provider will assist the Commission in its coordination tasks.

The EMN steering board is composed of one representative from each Member State and one representative with observer status from the European Parliament. It is chaired by the Commission. In line with its task of providing political guidance to the EMN, the board’s responsibilities incorporate approval of the EMN's annual work programme, including budget (followed by formal adoption by the Commission); reviewing progress made by the EMN; producing succinct status reports at least once a year; identifying strategic co-operations; and advising, when necessary, the EMN NCPs on how to improve their operations.

Each EMN NCP is composed of at least three experts who may come from the same or different entity(ies) within a Member State, and who collectively must have expertise in the area of asylum and migration, covering aspects of policy-making, law, research and statistics. Their activities include:

  • attending EMN meetings (5+/year) to inter alia review progress, exchange data and views, provide input for the development of a work programme, improve comparability through, for example, the development of a glossary and thesaurus;
  • preparing national reports, following common specifications so as to facilitate better comparability of topics relevant to the needs of policy-makers, including policy developments and analysis of statistical data;
  • contributing national information to the information exchange system in a comparative manner and, through the development of an EMN glossary and thesaurus, facilitating structured searching;
  • developing capacity to issue and quickly respond to ad-hoc queries;
  • establishing a national migration network, with a wide range of entities representing all relevant stakeholders, including the organisation of meetings.

From the national reports, the Commission will produce a synthesis report, bringing together the main findings and placing them within an EU policy perspective (e.g. by relating them to recent policy initiatives).

Ireland and the United Kingdom have opted-in to the decision establishing the EMN. Denmark, however, has opted-out, although it does participate in some EMN activities.


In order to address the need to exchange information on all aspects of migration and to contribute to a common asylum and immigration policy, the Commission set up the EMN in 2003, at the invitation of the European Council, initially as a pilot project. From 2004 until the end of 2006, the EMN was a preparatory action.

The Hague Programme reinforced the need for a common analysis of migratory phenomena (the collection, provision, exchange and efficient use of up-to-date information), and the EMN is one means towards this goal.

Following the successful conclusion of the EMN's preparatory phase, a public consultation on the future role and structure of the EMN was held, which was launched with the publication of the Green Paper of 28 November 2005 on the future of the European Migration Network (COM(2005) 606 final). Subsequently, in August 2007, a proposal was published for a Council decision establishing a legal basis for the EMN, which was then adopted as Council Decision 2008/381/EC on 14 May 2008.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2008/381/EC



OJ L 131 of 21.5.2008


Last updated: 03.09.2008