When Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, it
triggered heated discussions in many Western European countries. There
were fears of a mass influx of immigrants due to the large disparities
in wealth and the limited opportunities on the domestic labour markets.
In the public discussions about alleged ‘poverty migration’ or
supposed ‘social tourism’, the focus is often, at least implicitly, on
Roma minorities. possibly fueling Anti-Gypsyism.
On the one hand, and in an overall perspective, the migration of
Romanians and Bulgarians has proven to be extremely diverse, in terms of
countries of arrival, skills, labour market sectors, duration of stay
and mobility, transnational orientations etc. On the other hand, there
are certain European cities where these migrants are perceived as groups
with specific problems and needs for support, who increasingly live
spatially segregated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Educational and
labour market opportunities are seen as comparatively low. Access to
adequate and affordable housing is difficult while there are experiences
of rejection by long-established neighbourhood residents. As a
response, these cities developed specific approaches of integration
policies guided by their long-term integration practices and
orientations, by more recent changes in the overall understanding, and
approach to integration, as well as national, regional and European
funding lines and cooperations.
This spring school brings together scientists and practitioners from
municipalities, NGOs and migrant organisations from selected European
cities, part of the UNIC network and beyond.
Its focus lies on:
1) the conceptual challenges of analysing transnational migration,
integration and local policy making embedded in multilevel governance
2) the comparison of these different dynamics in several European cities.