Tag Archives: EU-MIA

EU-MIA Seminar in Brussels 7 May

The EU-MIA project will be Presenting its Research Findings

Following the Academy which took place in February 2014 in Turin, ITC-ILO, in partnership with COMPAS and FIERI, will be organizing an EU-MIA seminar on 7 May 2014 in Brussels.

The 7 May seminar will present the concrete results of the project as well as give the floor to stakeholders that the EU-MIA team met throughout the duration of the project. This event will also serve as a catalyst to diffuse and encourage innovative city-to-city cooperation at the European level.

Officials from local institutions dealing with social integration of migrant communities, as well as practitioners, researchers and representatives of associations and NGOs dealing with local integration are invited to join the seminar by registering on-line.

 The specific objectives of the seminar are:
  • To present EU-MIA’s outcomes and the conclusions of the field research that was conducted by the project experts and stakeholders (10 ‘functioning practices’)
  • To present and distribute the EU-MIA informative toolbox that has been developed in order to enhance the dissemination of innovative practices
  • To share experiences through the testimony of participants who attended the Academy and their presentation of innovative project proposal which were designed during EU-MIA
  • Exchanging views and reflecting within a panel of discussion about innovative city-to-city cooperation on migrant integration
To view the seminar agenda, please [click here].
Bâtiment Jacques Delors Thanks to the kind cooperation of the Committee of Regions, the seminar will take place at its offices, Bâtiment Jacques Delors, Rue Belliard 99-101, Brussels.
[Find the address on Google Maps]
To view the EU-MIA project flyer, please [click here].
To register on-line, please [click here].
COMPAS EU-MIA webpage [here].
EU-MIA on the COMPAS blog: [here]
Previous EU-MIA blogposts at 171bus: for the EU-MIA academy; Visby fieldnotes.
Twitter hashtag: #EUMIA

For more information, please contact: migration@itcilo.org

The application process for the EU-MIA Academy is now open

APPLY NOW!ITC-ILO, in partnership with the research institutes COMPAS Oxford and FIERI, will be implementing the training academy on migrant integration in Europe (EU-MIA). The aim is to reinforce integration capacities in European cities by using existing knowledge and networks in order to establish dynamic and operational connections between researchers, practitioners and training institutions.

The training academy is taking place within the context of a project that has been structured in three phases: (1) background research to create a repertoire of promising practices in the field of integration at local level, (2) field missions in cities where a total of ten selected functioning practices have been analysed in depth, and (3) the development of a cooperative learning kit to be delivered in a structured training activity which targets and directly involves public officials and local stakeholders.

This training academy is thus the final phase of the project and will contribute to improve the capacity of key actors in the field of integration at city and neighbourhood levels through the presentation of the ten functioning practices and the sharing of knowledge and experience among practitioners and experts.

The ten functioning practices are:

• Barcelona (Spain) Xarxa BCN Anti-Rumors (Network against “rumours”)

• Bilbao (Spain) Programa Mujeres, Salud y Violencia (Women’s Health in Women’s Hands)

• Hamburg (Germany) Eltern vor Ort (Parents on the spot)

• London, Borough of Southwark, District of Bermondsey (United Kingdom) St. George’s Day Festival

• Nantes (France) Coprod Migrants CNCEConseil Nantais pour la Citoyenneté des Etrangers (Council for the Citizenship of Foreigners)

• Reggio Emilia (Italy) Spotello per l’assistenza familiare (Family Assistance Desk)

• Turin (Italy) Rete delle Case del quartiere (Network of Neighbourhood Houses)

• Vejle (Denmark) Dansk Simulator (Danish Simulator)

• Vienna (Austria) Gelebte Divärsität (Lived Diversity)

• Visby (Sweden) Demokrati För Barns Framtid (Democracy for Children’s Future)

To apply [click here].

To download the flyer [click here].

To contact us [click here].

For more information on the project, [click here].

For more details on the learning methodology, [click here].

EU-MIA update

This is an extract from a post by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog. Read the whole original here.

Over the past few months most of my time has been spent on fieldwork relating to the European Migrant Integration Academy (EU-MIA). The academy, to take place in Turin in February 2014, will be based on case study material from 10 integration projects in different EU-countries. Together with FIERI – a Turin-based research centre – we have, over the past few months, been visiting these projects, carrying out and filming interviews with key stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Whereas FIERI is doing five field missions in southern Europe (France, Italy (2), Spain (2)), we at COMPAS have so far visited projects in Austria, Britain, Germany and Sweden, and this week I will be off, together with Ida Persson, to Vejle, Denmark for the final mission. In the next paragraphs I will attempt to summarise the experiences from the missions that I have been part of : Bermondsey (Southwark), Hamburg and Vienna. (The mission to Visby, Sweden was carried out by Ben Gidley, Ida Persson, and Simon Rowe.)

St. George’s Festival, Bermondsey
For our pilot mission, we returned to Bermondsey where we previously have done fieldwork as part of the Concordia Discors project. Whereas the St’ George’s Festival, staged every April since 2006, was the central event that we focused on, it was important for us to establish a broader understanding of how the festival is nested within a broader context of community development. These are primarily the South Bermondsey Partnership, implemented  2004-11 and led by a small locally based team from the London Borough of Southwark, and, since 2012, the Big Local, led by two well-established organisations with a long history in the area – Bede House, and Time and Talents.

Talking to different stakeholders enabled us to understand how different meanings were invested in the festival. At policy level the aim was to challenge the association between Bermondsey and the British National Party in a manner that didn’t denigrate the neighbourhood. But among local residents there was a feeling that while a wide range of events were taking place to celebrate diversity, nothing much was done for the local white population.  The St. George’s Festival served both purposes, ‘reclaiming’ the English flag from BNP while also providing a hugely popular, and inclusive, community event in a neighbourhood that is increasingly diverse. Furthermore, as many told us, while St. George is closely associated with English identity, he is also the patron saint of many other countries.


Fieldnotes: Visby

Last week, Ida Persson, Simon Rowe and I spent a few days in Visby in Gotland researching and documenting one “promising practice” in local-level migrant integration, for our EU-MIA project. The project we looked at was called Demokrati för Barns Framtid. It puts on positive activities, including sports based, for local migrant and non-migrant children and young people.

We had an inspiring time, having fun with the children and young people, and being treated with enormous hospitality by Claudien Tuyisabe and Inger Harlevi, our contacts there. We met and interviewed Lisbet Palme, a supporter of the project, on the small island of Fårö, where filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived and died.

We also learned something of the interesting Hanseatic history of Visby, revived today in the Hansa city league, a striking example of trans-national city-to-city co-operation, part of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes network. We are very grateful to Kseniya Khovanova of the Cultural Routes project for introducing us to Visby.

Some photos below, and some media reports first. Here is the local newspaper report: Continue reading

Nostalgia and diversity: Understanding integration at the local level

This was published in the COMPAS Blog in May 2013.

Bermondsey, Ben Gidley 2013

They never call it Bermondsey any more
A couple of weeks ago, in Bermondsey, South London with my colleagues Ole Jensen, Simon Rowe and Ida Persson, we met a man called Albert, at the entrance to his council flat. Born on Christmas Day 1926, Albert had lived his whole life in Bermondsey (apart from his national service at the end of the war, spent in Scandinavia). He had lived over half a century in his current flat, since it had been built as part of the massive post-war social democratic housing expansion whose legacy completely dominates the landscape of South London. He worked as a drayman at the Courage brewery, brought up three daughters and a son – and slowly watched his neighbourhood change almost beyond recognition.

The Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey was merged into the London Borough of Southwark in 1965. Its town hall had been bombed in the war, and Bermondsey no longer exists as an administrative unit. “They never call it Bermondsey any more”, Albert insisted. At its height, the docks employed huge numbers of men; the Peek Frean biscuit factory employed thousands of women. The docks closed one by one from the 1960s, the brewery closed in 1981, and the biscuit factory houses work units for creative businesses. The council estates are no longer sites of utopian hope but now carry the stigma of residualised poverty. A tidal wave of gentrification ripples down from the riverside, and the UK’s decade of mass migration has transformed the demographics. Continue reading

Five principles of integration: policies and inclusion

At the COMPAS Blog:

In a recent blogpost hereSarah Spencer commented on the new OSCE Ljubljana guidelines on the integration of national minorities. The guidelines include probably the nearest I’ve seen to a clear definition of integration as we use the term at COMPAS:

Integration is a dynamic, multi-actor process of mutual engagement that facilitates effective participation by all members of a diverse society in the economic, political, social and cultural life, and fosters a shared and inclusive sense of belonging at national and local levels.

If we take that approach to integration seriously, there are a number of principles that need to be foregrounded, of which I want to address five in this blogpost.