History, Mission and Task



The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies was founded in 1984, first as the Centre for Migration and Ethnic Studies; the present name dates from 1987. It was established by merging of two institutions: the Centre for Migration Studies, heir of the continuous research of external migration which began in 1967 within the Institute for Geography of the University of Zagreb, to which the Centre for Education of the Institute for Social Research of the University of Zagreb was added in 1977, and the Agency for Migration and Na­tio­­­nalities (established in 1965). Its goal was a scientific research of external and internal migration, Croatian emigration and minorities.



The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies is the only scientific research institution in Croatia, as well as in the wider environment, that by systematic and interdisciplinary observation of all forms of population migration and mobility, by studying national/ethnic minorities and various aspects of ethnic issues, with special tasks to stimulate their comparative examination, improves scientific and public understanding of their complexity and reality. All these topics have become extremely important for the Republic of Croatia in the last twenty years in regard to historical circumstances, above all concerning problems following the dissolution of the former state, changes of borders and consequences of the Croatian War of Independence resulting in various kind of migration. Some of the issues have become more important by Croatian accession to the European Union. Namely, along with past migration movements, the Croatian integration into the EU opens new migration topics in the field of migration and ethnicity: different position of Croatian citizens in the European space (new economic, educational, family and other kinds of migration), the problem of old and new minorities, new forms of trans-border cooperations, the position of Croatia as an emigration and immigration country, the creation of new Croatian migration policy, the development of integration policy, transnational migrations, the problem of Croatian emigration, increasingly important issues of asylum and illegal migrations, and many other. In addition, the research on Croatian identity and on the population of Croatian islands, of coastal area and continental regions as well as comparative research on post-migration phenomena like migrant integration issues, also hold an important place in the activities of the Institute. Addressing these issues places the Institute among the similar European and world scientific research institutions, and opens it for cooperation with all partners whose primary activity is research on the phenomena of migration, ethnicity, identity and mobility.




The main task of the Institute is to stimulate the comparative study of migration, minorities and ethnicity, to promote public understanding of the complexity and reality of these topics, and also, through research and discussion, to stimulate the implementation of new policies and activities that might aid in the solution of problems in the relevant fields. Through systematic and interdisciplinary research into all forms of migration, through the study of national minorities and various aspects of ethnicity, the Institute aims at accomplishing, above all, the following tasks:

  • organisation and implementation of scientific research;
  • publication of the Institute's research results, as well as of the research results of other scientists dealing with migration, minority issues and ethnicity;
  • organisation of scientific and professional discussions (symposia, conferences, forums, round tables) in the field of migration, minority and ethnic studies;
  • co-operation with other scientific and professional institutions and individual researchers both in Croatia and abroad;
  • enabling interested researchers and students from the country and abroad to use the library funds and providing them opportunities for independent research and/or participation in research within the scope of scientific research activities of the Institute;
  • participation and aid in the scientific and professional training of researchers and novices, as well as in the attainment of academic statuses in the research fields covered by the Institute;
  • organisation of lectures for the Institute's researchers, as well as for other scientists interested in the Institute's research fields (some of the Institute's employees also lecture in graduate and post-graduate courses outside the Institute).