European asylum policy and statistics: a complementary strategy?

Didier Mouton, European Commission, EASO
Daniela Ghio, European Commission, EASO

According to the European political agenda, the Common European Asylum System CEAS should encompass all aspects related to asylum and international protection. Indeed, a systematic collecting data is crucial to target public activities and estimate their efficacy. The R.EC n. 862/2007 represents an important improvement towards this harmonization. However, the lack of consistency between national legislations and European statistical definitions could affect data comparability across countries and over time. This paper aims to explore the implementation of the R.EC. n. 862/2007 in line with political priorities for CEAS and statistical principles. First, our explanatory data analysis concerns European Member States EMS provisions for asylum and international protection seekers. Using multidimensional symmetric tables, we assess the stocks at the start and end of the reference period in comparison with fluxes. This systematic application of mirror tables captures replicate and duplicate data at aggregated levels causing discrepancies and affecting comparability. Second, we propose a method to support policy-makers involved in the CEAS. Transforming a number of possibly correlated variables into a number of uncorrelated variables, we carry out a set of indicators describing territorial units. As a result, we obtain a synthetic dimension to explain the variance in data collected by each EMS. The cluster analysis allows us to group indicators for asylum and international protection seekers into specific areas. If these logical clusters are geographically contiguous, we adopt similarities to form natural regions which should be interpreted with respect to their multidimensional, cultural, political and socioeconomic context. Finally, we simulate the interaction between these European regions and the main Extra European origin countries to define asylum and international protection seeker profiles. These regional specific shapes could be a useful instrumenta for European Asylum policymakers to understand asylum seekers’ routes and support Reception and Asylum Systems for countries subjects to particular pressures.

Presented in Poster Session 3