The right metrics to handle European migration

As European leaders meet to discuss the European migration crisis, what metrics should we be measuring, what does success look like? What should we score?

The most popular is the number of migrants. Number of people found in lorries on European borders, number of asylum applications, number of people received in each country, and so on.

These are all measurements, they are a pretty negative way to score. The only lever a country has is to try and close its borders – which is why Austro Hungarian border crossings are taking over 6 hours at the moment. It is also disheartening, we can only ever lose unless the number is 0 which is totally unrealistic. 

Setting arbitrary targets for net migration, such as the last government tried, is also setting up for a failure.

Because it’s not a score of you can’t control it

So what should we be measuring? 

Migration itself is not the problem. Freedom of labour movement optimises economies as people travel to where the work is. The problem is really integration, can local services ‘cope’ with an influx of newcomers, are existing residents being unfairly discriminated against? These are really the questions we should be measuring.

After all, success is our streets swept, hotel rooms made, babies born safely, communities strengthened, parties had, great internationsl food had…

Perhaps the best metrics is really percentage of migrants with jobs after six months, number of social connections made with existing residents. Why not be proud of who we accept and integrate into our community and economies
We are what we count…

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