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Policy background

Why was the EMN established?

In order to address the need to exchange information on all aspects of migration and to contribute to a common asylum and immigration policy, the European Commission was invited to consider the "development of a European system for exchanging information on asylum, migration and countries of origin" by the Laeken European Council in 2001. The result was the European Migration Network, which was launched in 2003 as a Pilot Project, and since 2004 as a Preparatory Action until the end of 2006.

The Council Decision 2008/381/EC, establishing a legal basis for the EMN, was adopted on 14th May 2008. The EMN is financially supported by the European Union.


EMN consists of 28 national contact points, i.e. all EU member states plus Norway. Denmark, in accordance with the exceptions they have in the policy area, participates only as an observer. The national contact points meet at least six times a year to discuss the work and to exchange information.