Migration is of growing concern in the European countries. Each year, around 11 million EU citizens of working age migrate within Europe, in addition to the ones coming from non-European countries. Due to political unrest and conflicts around the globe, refugee migration into Europe has also increased substantially in recent years, bringing the Dublin asylum regulations to a breaking point. Labour migration (both within and from outside Europe) and refugee migration challenge us to reconsider how to organize the welfare state. Are European countries prepared to change social policies? Will the responses be adequate and sustainable?
At the conference in Stockholm, we will discuss the relationship between migration and existing systems of social protection from various viewpoints, share evidence on good practices, and identify obstacles that keep many immigrants from achieving full citizenship. The conference will offer rich opportunities for researchers from many countries to interact and exchange ideas about the social consequences of migration, particularly in relation to existing systems of social protection. Academic research has an important task in addressing some of the grand challenges of today, develop new perspectives, and ask questions of paramount interest also in the public debate and in politics. The 17th annual ESPAnet conference in Stockholm will increase the interest to bridge research on migration, social protection and European welfare states, thus creating a solid foundation for evidence-based policymaking, not only in Sweden but also internationally.