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EU Funds Giant Research Project on Migration

Migrants being loaded on to a cargo plane in Kufra. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS

OSLO, Jun 20 2018 (IPS) - What is the relationship between migration and development? And why do people choose to leave or stay in their home countries? Those are among the questions an international research project will explore.

The project, estimated to cost about 5 million euros, is the largest ever EU-funded research project on migration .

It will be Ledheaded by the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Norway, in collaboration with research communities in both Europe, Africa and Asia, a. A total of 36 researchers will be involved in this research project.

“We will contribute to long-term solutions to migration challenges, among other things, by looking at the links between Europe’s immigration policy and development policy”, says PRIO researcher and project manager Jorgen Carling to IPS.

Should I stay or should I go?

Among the questions the researchers are asking is what it takes for people to want to stay and create a future in their home countries.

The connection between migration and development is essential in developing constructing a more effective and sustainable migration policy, and tackle the challenges and opportunities that migration brings, Carling states believes.

The researchers will also take a closer look at the term “development”.

“This is not as simple as it sounds, because more development has proven to create more migration, not less. We’re going to analyze this gap and figure out what’s going on”, says Carling.

“We will try to understand how different types of changes work. Development is often used as a collective term for all possible social changes in a positive direction, but in reality some things can be better, for example more prosperity. At the same time, crime can increase, as well as the gap between the poor and the rich,” he adds.

Important piece in political game

The project will start in September.

“I am looking forward to using research in a way that can create a better policy. We’re sure to get new knowledge”, says Carling, who acknowledges that research probably is just a piece in the political game on migration.

“But it’s an important piece”, he emphasizes.

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