Migration and migrants in the EU

Changing narratives – modifying practices – influencing policies

Under the auspicious title CO-DESIGNING AN INCLUSIVE EUROPE. Migration and migrants in the EU: Changing narratives – modifying practices – influencing policies, on March 1st 2022, coordinators and researchers of ten EU 2020 Horizon funded projects gathered together in the heart of EU quarters in Brussels to share findings, exchange experience among the participants, discuss with MEPs and EU officials, and to make policy recommendations based on diverse study approaches.

The event was an opportunity to inform the European decision-makers, in an applicable, pragmatic way, about the findings and challenges of H2020 projects related to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary approach of the projects made us learn from our colleagues and share our findings from a learning-community perspective, being able to overcome the traps of disciplinary silos and methodological fragmentations, and especially overcoming the binary categories, such as temporary/permanent, legal/illegal, forced/voluntary migration. Rather, the focus was placed on the complexity approach to migration, such as structure and agency, narratives, policies and governance.

It was history-making the fact that ten EU-financed projects focused on migration came together for the first time. This event aimed at offering an opportunity to engage with various researchers and practitioners from 34 countries including 21 EU countries, representing a total of 135 institutions. It was also an excellent occasion to establish a fruitful research network whereas we had the chance to meet each other and become acquainted with the work we all do on closely related topics. Certainly, the prospect of this initiative will lead us into future collaborations, preferably with the formation of a formal network. The seed has been sown.

Check out the reflections of the day by our team member José Ricardo Martins (University of Siegen).

Special thanks to Lili Nottrott and Anamaria Dutceac Segesten for the magnificent organisation and moderation of the event.