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Devising an effective EU migration and asylum policy requires reliable data on the scale patterns of migration and asylum flows (both in and out of the EU), as well as where immigrants are coming from. For more than ten years now, the EU Statistical Office collects monthly and annual statistics from EU States. Since the adoption of the Migration Statistics Regulation in 2007, the availability, reliability and comparability of migration data at EU level has improved significantly.

The Migration Statistics Regulation

The 2007 Migration Statistics Regulation establishes a common framework for the collection and compilation of EU statistics on international migration and asylum. The data cover:

  • immigration and emigration to and from EU States (including intra-EU migration)
  • acquisition of citizenship
  • asylum: applications, decisions, appeals, Dublin transfers
  • irregular immigration: refusals at the border, apprehensions once inside the EU territory, returns
  • residence permits and long-term residents.

Role of statistics in the distribution of EU funding

Since the adoption in 2007 of the General programme ‘Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows’, which includes four different Funds (Integration, Refugee, Return and External Borders), the importance of migration and asylum statistics has become even more pronounced. The Funds are distributed to EU States in accordance with pre-established statistical criteria that take into account migration flows and stocks, asylum applications, returns of non-EU nationals living unauthorised in an EU State and other migration-related statistics.

Additional tools

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Related legislation
and documents


Non-EU national

Any person not having the nationality of an EU State.


Irregular immigration

The immigration of a person to a new place of residence using irregular or illegal means, without valid documents ...


General Programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"

Funding programme for the period 2007 to 2013, which is made up of four financial instruments that support EU ...



The Statistical Office of the EU within the European Commission.


European Refugee Fund

A financial instrument for the period 2008 to 2013, which supports national and EU efforts in receiving refugees ...


European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals

A financial instrument for the period 2007 to 2013, which supports national and EU initiatives that facilitate the ...



The particular legal bond between an individual and his or her State, acquired by birth or naturalisation, whether by ...



A line separating land territory or maritime zones of two States or subparts of States. It can also refer to a region ...


Asylum application

An application made by a non-EU national or a stateless person that can be understood as a request for international protection from an EU State, under the Geneva Convention. Any application for international protection is presumed to be an application for asylum unless a non-EU national or a stateless person explicitly requests another kind of protection that can be applied for separately.



A form of protection given by a State, on its territory, based on the principle of non-refoulement and internationally ...


Acquisition of citizenship

Any mode of becoming a national, i.e. by birth or at any time after birth, automatic or non-automatic, based on ...