About C-MISE

The City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe (C-MISE) is a knowledge-exchange programme supporting European cities in sharing knowledge on city practices and policies responding to the presence of migrants with irregular status in their area. It was established in response to cities’ need to find legal and effective measures to manage this group of migrants and the social and economic implications of their presence.

C-MISE is facilitated by researchers at the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, part of the University of Oxford's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS). It is chaired by the City of Utrecht, and partners with the Eurocities Working Group on Migration and Integration. It is informed by extensive research carried out at COMPAS before and during the project, on national, regional and municipal policy and practice in this field.

Participating cities

C-MISE directly engaged almost 50 cities across 18 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK).

Municipal representatives interested in being included in the invitation list, or who would like further information on C-MISE, are invited to use the contact details below.


Aims of Phase 1 (2017-2019)

C-MISE in its first phase consisted of a working group of 11 European cities from 10 European countries. It met over two-years with four aims: to (1) build a stronger body of evidence on city practices in relation to migrants with irregular immigration status; (2) share learning on policy and practices in relation to service provision to adults and children; (3) develop and disseminate guidance material on key areas of service provision, relevant to municipalities across Europe; and (4) develop a shared, city perspective on ways in which migrants with irregular status could be mainstreamed into EU policy agendas. The cities in the working group were Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Ghent, Gothenburg, Lisbon, Oslo, Stockholm and Utrecht. The cities of Helsinki and Zurich were Associate members.

By the end of phase 1, knowledge-exchange meetings had been held in Utrecht, Athens, Barcelona and Ghent and C-MISE had produced, and widely disseminated, Guidance for Municipalities on local responses to migrants with irregular status; a short documentary explaining why city representatives consider it is important for municipalities to take action in this field; and a series of briefings and reports (see C-MISE resources in this website's research hub).  

Current aims of C-MISE (Phase II, 2020 – 2022)

Building on the success of Phase 1, the aims of Phase II are to:

  • engage a broader group of cities and towns in knowledge-exchange
  • widely disseminate the Guidance materials throughout Europe
  • share expertise in national, European and international policy debates relating to migrants with irregular status
  • mainstream the issue within city networks focusing on migration so that a separate initiative is no longer needed


How we work

C-MISE organises knowledge-exchange meetings, in-person and online, for international participants, or participants from within one country, addressing the range of topics of concern to municipalities. Agendas evolve to address current issues, such as the impact of COVID-19, and new solutions, such as proposals for a city-card available to all local residents regardless of immigration status.

Research evidence is a vital part of effective knowledge exchange. In addition to research carried out to support a particular knowledge exchange activity, C-MISE is linked to two current COMPAS research projects(Local Responses to Precarious Migrants: Frames, Strategies and Evolving Practices in Europe, LoReMi, and Digital Exclusion) and a recently concluded project on (Safe reporting of crime for victims and witnesses with irregular migration status in the USA and Europe).

A Research Hub providing access to research, information and guidance on city responses to migrants with irregular status is being developed and maintained by the staff team and accessible here.

Steering group

C-MISE is guided by a Steering Group of city representatives and experts who meet online quarterly to consider progress and future priorities. The Steering Group is chaired by Jan Braat, City of Utrecht, and the remaining members are Cosimo Palazzo (Milan); Petra Tiarks Jungk (Frankfurt); Katrien van Gelden (Ghent), Júlia Trias (Barcelona); Lefteris Papagiannakis (Greece); Ramon Sanahuja (Spain); Niene Oepkes (Netherlands), Michele LeVoy (PICUM) and Katharina Bamburg (Eurocities).



C-MISE has been supported since its inception by the Open Society Foundations.


Staff team and contact details

The Principal Investigator of the C-MISE Initiative is Myriam Cherti. Also in the team is Jacqui Broadhead (Director, Global Exchange on Migration & Diversity) and Nathan Grassi (Administrative support). See below for their contact details.