Migration EU

This section compiles information about the migration phenomenon within the European Union.

Migration to Europe and the EU Member States is not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, the number of inmigrants has grown considerably in the last few years.


The picture depicts recent immigration in absolute terms (left panel) and relative to countries’ population sizes (right panel).


Currently, the most popular immigrant destination countries in Europe are Germany, Spain, Great Britain and France. However, their figures are relatively low when compared to the countries’ population size. In per capita terms, the top immigrant recipient countries are Luxemburg, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland, Switzerland, and Sweden.


Migrants seek → better job opportunities

                            → international protection

                                      → residence permite in an EU Member State

                                   →  access the EU irregularly


The countries receiving most immigrants in absoulte terms are also among the top recipients of asylum applications. We can observe this in the following picture:



The right of residence in a Member State is a key principle within the EU legal framework on the social rights to which foreign citizens have access. Consequently, its management applies to the national legislation on social affairs in each EU country.


Income levels, the prevalence of poverty and inequality, and the provision of social security benefits can directly affect migrants’ choices for a destination country. These factors are intimately connected to the capacity of destination countries to integrate migrants into the labour market and societies.



In all European countries, women are more likely to be unemployed compared to men. This observation is corroborated in the following picture, which visualises the development of unemployment rates in selected countries.



In sum, a wide range of socio-economic indicators and considerations
can both, directly and indirectly, affect migrant decision-making as to the desired destinations.

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