Research and practical policy design is essential for governmental and non-governmental stakeholders who seek more effective management of immigration, immigrant integration, and asylum systems. It is also crucial for successful outcomes for newcomers, families of immigrant backgrounds, and receiving communities throughout Europe.

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe provides a forum to exchange information on migration and immigrant integration governance within the European Union and across Europe. The organisation focuses on the whole of the policy cycle, from conception to evaluation. It also seeks to promote a coherent, well-governed and comprehensive immigration system capable of addressing the economic, social, and security challenges of the 21st century.

Admir Skodo, senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute Europe, explains that MPI Europe’s role, as a COMET partner, is to help develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework. MPI’s work also includes gaining clarity on project objectives and getting partners to agree on how to best achieve these objectives. The organisation monitors whether the objectives are being met, and will make recommendations on how to solve any issues or challenges that may delay or prevent the completion of the project.

MPI Europe will also provide strategic research on topics and themes that come up. These issues can be further be discussed with the partners and MPI Europe will propose studies that will analyse these issues in depth and find a way to resolve them.

Mr. Skodo notes that, so far, monitoring has helped partners to gain a broader picture of the project, a better understanding of every partner’s role and activity, and to promote cooperation when issues have arisen.

Through a preliminary monitoring exercise, he observed that the essential preconditions for Comet are successfully met. However, there are some challenges related to external circumstances that still need to be faced. The first one is the major political shift seen in Europe, not to mention the war in Ukraine that has displaced a record number of people and has created operational challenges for our partners that are now taking mitigating measures.

Another external factor is the influence of far-right parties across Europe. As the partners of Comet rely on Memorandum of Understanding or other agreements with their governments, they depend on the governments’ political positions on immigration.

Even though some partners have already welcomed newcomers, the project will be at the peak of its implementation phase in a few months. It will then be a good occasion to follow up and ask Mr. Skodo for new observations and his monitoring information on the project.