Migrate Policy Scotland Lauches: A New Think Tank on Migrate in Scotland

Published: 29 October 2021 
Author: Rebecca Ferguson-Grant 

Supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Shared Ground Fund, Migration Policy Scotland (MPS) is an independent think tank, Rebecca Ferguson-Grant, Events Officer, Migration Policy Scotland outlines how MPS aims to take a constructive approach to migration.

MPS launched on 29 October. After a year and a half of endless Zoom meetings, people were excited to meet face-to-face once more. The atmosphere in the room was friendly and welcoming. Everyone took the opportunity to greet old friends, make new ones, and get into detailed discussions about migration, even during the coffee breaks.

Jenny Gilruth, Scottish Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, opened the event, which brought together academics, government, business and civil society. The opportunities and challenges presented by migration for Scotland today were the subject of a keynote panel and the focus of a launch publication bringing together the views of leading experts and key stakeholders. The launch also provided an occasion for stakeholders to discuss ideas for developing better networks on migration and fostering policy capacity on the issues.

MPS’ aim is to benefit policy-makers and other stakeholders by creating a stronger evidence base and providing more opportunities for open dialogue and information exchange. We want to engage with decision-makers, communities, and migrants themselves on the questions migration raises for them. Our programme for 2021–23 outlines our priorities and ways of working.

Migration impacts a range of policy areas. It cuts across the economy, health, education, public service provision and human rights. Migration policy concerns not only migration flows and the rules seeking to govern them, it also impacts the experiences of people who migrate and the communities of which they become a part. In Scotland, the issues affected by migration span the divide between reserved and devolved policy. This adds complexity to an already challenging and politicised topic. And yet, outside asylum and refugee migration, there is markedly limited capacity on migration issues in Scotland with policy work generally remaining concentrated nearer London.

Migration Policy Scotland aims to encourage a balanced, evidence-based, constructive approach to migration policy in Scotland. If you’d like to find out more about MPS, visit the website or follow us on Twitter.

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Events Officer, Migration Policy Scotland