Whole-COMM at ECPR General Conference: Exploring Innovations in Migrant Integration in Southern Europe

Whole-COMM’s researchers will participate to the 2023 ECPR General Conference hosting a panel on migrant reception in Southern Europe with the aim to explore how the migration political crisis, including the arrival of humanitarian migrants and recent Ukrainian war refugees, has sparked innovation, creating opportunities for social experimentation and the emergence of new approaches to migrant reception and integration.

Panel: Paths and spaces of policy innovation in migrant reception and integration in Southern Europe.

On September 7, 2023 10:45 – 12:30 CEST
Building: A – Faculty of Law, Floor: 4, Room: 407

Migration to Southern Europe has for a long time been marked by a distinctive pattern combining migrants’ weak legal status with economic and social marginality. Non-European workers could easily find informal and low-qualified jobs in the agriculture sector, constructions, or the care sector. Yet, improving this initial disadvantaged position has always proved very difficult: ‘wanted but not welcomed’, migrants in Southern European countries have always faced challenges when seeking to obtain permanent residence status or citizenship or recognition as full members of the receiving societies.

In the last decades, the massive arrivals of humanitarian migrants from areas of political crisis around the world have considerably changed the original pattern, in particular by downplaying economic utility considerations and labour market needs and bringing to the fore issues of reception and welcoming. These more recent ‘unwanted migrants’ have not necessarily also been ‘not welcomed’.

During the 2015 European asylum crisis, the reception of migrants in Southern Europe has often represented a laboratory for political and social innovation. In other words, the migration crisis and more recently, new arrivals of Ukrainian war refugees, have acted as catalyst for change in Southern European countries’ migration policies and practices, opening a window of opportunity for social experimentation and the emergence of new paths and spaces of innovation. This panel aims at exploring such paths and spaces.

Foto di Headway su Unsplash

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