Why do people move to certain countries and why do they choose particular destinations? The aim of this research brief by Valentina di Iasio and Jackline Wahba for the QuantMig project is to bring together lessons learnt about the main non-economic pull drivers of recent migration to the EU: policy uncertainty, asylum policies, as well as attitudes and perceptions.
Results suggest that migration policy uncertainty has an important role in discouraging the inflows and encouraging the outflows of economic migrants. On the other hand, when focusing on forced migration (asylum seekers), we find that policy matters less in driving destination choice and that the most important pull factor is social networks. In addition, despite the importance of economic factors, public attitudes and public hostility also play a critical role when migrants are deciding where to go within the EU, and this holds for both EU and non-EU migrants. Overall, our findings underline the complexity of migration drivers and the importance to account for different pull factors, along with the traditional ones, to better understand this complexity and address the migration challenges with more robust policies.