Panel X

Integration and the local level: Actors, practices and experiences

ORGANISERS | Ursula Reeger, Eduardo Chemin and Ivan Josipovic

This panel gathers papers focusing on integration from a multilevel governance perspective; providing in -depth analysis on refugee experiences in different localities and aiming to understand the role of local actors in the integration process.

Abstracts & Bios

Panel 10a: Focus on Integration and (Multilevel) Governance

Chair: Ursula Reeger

The “Chain of Reception” of Asylum Seekers at a Local Level: the Case Studies of Turin, Canavese and Val Susa

Orlando De Gregorio, University of Turin

In recent years, especially since the increase of landings on Italian shores, two main reception circuits have been set up in Italy: the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (formally known as SPRAR, now SIPROIMI) and the Centres of Extraordinary Reception (CAS). These systems were structured in two phases of the integration path for asylum seekers and refugees and especially in some territories, they converged characteristics and quality standards, going on to constitute what some observers have defined as a “chain of reception". We can observe in detail how this “chain of reception” has been established, if we carry out analysis within a local context. The experiences of the City of Turin, of Canavese and Val Susa, within the wider metropolitan area of Turin, present a model and exemplifies these three aspects at the same time. 

Looking closely, the elements of governance for a good reception are clearer: the involvement of the territory; the widespread reception rather than concentration in large centres; the establishment of extended networks capable of involving civil society and citizens rather than the imposition from above of reception facilities; the cooperation between the public and private sector rather than the mere use of outsourcing of services guided by the logic of meeting the bottom-line; the transparency of procedures and methods for monitoring projects instead of the opacity of the methods of entrustment and control. With these good practices and on the supply chain that has been set up, despite some grey areas, the trap of new policies now seems to be breaking down. Current policies do not discern between good and bad practices, between strengths and weaknesses of the previous experience.The reduction of resources, the tightening of permits issued to asylum seekers and the removal of extraordinary reception from the quality standards of the second reception stage place the various public and private stakeholders in a situation of disorientation: divided between fatalism, spirit of adaptation and search for creative solutions aimed at saving or reshaping the best practices.


Orlando de Gregorio obtained a PhD in Sociology at the University of Turin. The topics of his studies are mainly migration, process of impoverishment, labour market inclusion, local welfare, and third sector organisations. He collaborates with the Observatory on “second welfare” in Italy. He is currently carrying out a qualitative research on the governance of the reception of asylum seekers and refugees at a local level within the Interreg European project MINPLUS, which involve a network of third sector organisation and public institutions in order to define guidelines of the good governance of the reception of asylum seekers, refugees and unaccompanied foreign minors.

Institutionalization of the Integration Policy in the Metropolises of Central-Eastern Europe - between state policy and local strategies

Patrycja Matusz-Protasiewicz, University of Wroclaw

This paper analyses how the institutionalization of European policy refracts through immigrant integration programs in Central and Eastern European cities (CEE), and it is the result of the research project conducted between 2017-2019. A key goal was to identify a European frame for immigrant integration in the cities of CEE states. The rationale for choosing each city was predicated on verifying the project hypothesis: that immigrant integration policies are carried out according to similar patterns within a Central and Eastern European context.

To undertake this investigation, a comparative analysis of public policies (cf. Penninx, 2014) focused on the specific content of the integration policies and modes of governance.  First, existing data was analysed including: local level and grey literature and documents, and, documents by private actors involved in the process of creating and implementing policies for integrating immigrants. Second, individual in-depth interviews were conducted with the major actors involved in the process of institutionalization of integration policy, including NGOs, immigrant organization etc.

A further research goal was to analyse the relations of different actors in a multi-level governance context and the direct impact of the transnational EU policy to local level actors (that also bypassed the national level). In this paper shows how the interconnection of policy levels and the presence of actors in many roles in the process of institutionalising immigrant integration policies resulted in the top-down transfer of policy goals.


Patrycja Matusz, Professor of Political Science University of Wrocław (Poland), working on integration policies on local level, mulit-level governance of integration policies.

Policies of Municipalities towards Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Case of Bursa

Meltem Öztürk, Lund University

This research examines the role of local municipalities in managing Syrian refugees in Turkey and particularly in Bursa. Previously, literature on the significance of the local government’s role in engaging migrants has focused almost exclusively on Istanbul. The study expands on how legislation has shaped the role of municipalities and how they have used the laws and regulations to deal with the refugee crisis. Bursa is used as a case study to illustrate how the role and actions of municipalities influence the integration of refugees into society. Data was taken using documentary analysis of reports on the current refugee crisis, articles on Turkish migration laws and interviews with municipal officials. This research shows how the legal framework dictating the obligations, or lack of, given to local governments to serve refugees is complex and unclear. The findings of this study offer insight into the impact these legalities have had on the integration process.


Meltem Öztürk studied Arts and Cultural Management at Istanbul Bilgi University. Besides her studies, she has been interested in the themes of migration, since her family came to Turkey from Bulgaria in 1989. The case of Bulgarian Turks was an inspiration to study another group of people that had to migrate from their country more recently, Syrians. She wrote her dissertation about local cultural policies towards Syrian refugees in Turkey. During her university years, she was involved in exhibition projects and did internships at different galleries such as Mixer and Rem Art Space. She worked in IKSV, Istanbul Jazz Festival and Istanbul Biennial and in several exhibitions as an assistant in 5533. She also has held Account Executive role at Flint. She is currently a masters student in Applied Cultural Analysis at Lund University.

Integration in Rural Areas – Collaborative Efforts, Conflicts and “Double Isolation”

Oscar Larsson, Uppsala University | Seema Arora-Jonsson

In the rural areas of Sweden, the state and welfare provisions are scarce at the same time as ever more migrants and refugees are directed to these areas through explicit dispersion policies. In the absence of public authorities and services, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) have taken an unprecedented social responsibility in organizing and complementing the scattered efforts provided by public authorities. While this may be praiseworthy, migrants and refugees are left to navigate an informal and unknown institutional setting leaving them vulnerable to domination and “double isolation”. In this article we wish to explore the new landscape of collaborative governance of integration and ask: what forms of collaboration and conflicts emerges in rural settings and how is integration of migrants managed in the post-crisis era?  


Oscar L. Larsson currently (2017–2019) holds a post-doc position at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) where he investigates integration governance in rural contexts aimed at supporting integration. He is also engaged in several projects concerning the responsibilization of individuals through crisis management and resilience discourses. His doctoral thesis (2015) focused on meta-governance of collaborative crisis management and the historical development in the political field of security in Sweden. Oscar Larson has previously published articles on network governance and sovereign power/domination in Critical Policy Studies, Policy Studies, Regulation & Governance, neo-institutionalism in Critical Review and crisis management in Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy

Avoiding Parsimony in Representation of Migrants’ Integration: A Methodological Exercise and Some Ways to Complicate Research with Theory

Antonello Scialdone, INAPP

A cognitive infrastructure is essential to support institutional agenda and evaluate policies in migration field, but representations of related phenomena in public debates don’t actually seem to derive from well-grounded evidences: to replace stereotypes and dramatizations with data and analyses inspired by high-quality standards of scientific literature, last year INAPP has launched a research project that regards construction of integration indicators in Italy comparable at international level (acknowledging properly that focus on this topic concerns a challenging issue, due to its transversal profile with respect to different sectorial agendas and to the sensitive, polysemic and ambivalent nature of the concept). To identify common levels of observation and intervention aimed at migrants’ integration in Europe, a relevant reference is Zaragoza Study (European Commission 2011); others supranational guidelines which direct the production of data on integration in other countries are also taken into account. The paper aims to sketch a comparative overview of international models and especially to focus on theoretical-methodological problems that must be taken into account dealing with the construction of a monitoring system of integration measures. In fact, approach to integration is segmented since different levels of policy effectiveness can be given; it’s easier to focus more on hard sectors such as training and job placement, and much less on sociocultural profiles, including those concerning mutual trust or discrimination; at the end we often use pragmatic meanings of integration that concern migrants’ participation in key fields of society. Other critical elements concern weight of theories and national models; enhancement of the subjectivity of migrants; involvement of social and inter-institutional partnership in monitoring procedures; availability of consistent data; and trade-off between complexity of integration (which pushes to define numerous indicators) and practical translatability of the measures (which requires limited and understandable information).


Antonello Scialdone, Senior Researcher in INAPP (currently Coordinator of Strategic Unit “Migrants’ integration” and Head of Statistical Service). Author of a hundred publications on welfare themes, during last decade he acted as consultant of Advisory Board for Social Impact Investment Taskforce promoted by G8, as member of UNICEF high-level group concerning Child Poverty, and as Professor in the Universities of Siena, Perugia and Urbaniana in Rome. He has been selected as main speaker/panelist for a lot of international conferences and scientific meetings on migratory issues (Sofia 2015; Wien 2016; Santiago de Compostela 2016; Utrecht 2018; Norrkoping 2018).

Panel 10b: Focus on Refugee Experiences on the Local Level

Chair: Eduardo Chemin

Labour and Housing Market Integration of Asylum Seekers and Refugees. The Case of Luxembourg

Claudia Paraschivescu, University of Luxembourg

Borders are produced and reproduced. In the process, they become materialised in peoples’ daily lives through the actions of different border managers, may they be public, private or non-governmental (see Yuval-Davis et al 2017). Border controls can therefore be carried out by anyone. With 2,322 asylum applications in 2017, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is home to one asylum application for every 254 people. This is far more that the EU-28 average, which is of one applications for every 787 people. Despite this, academic research depicting the everyday experiences of refugees in Luxembourg is lacking. Based on qualitative interviews with institutional actors in the labour and housing market, as well as refugees and asylum seekers, this paper sheds light on how borders are being materialised in peoples‘ daily lives through the actions of employers and landlords. This research illuminated the barriers experienced by the respondents in the study, despite the presence of a multitude of programmes which aim at their social and economic integration in Luxembourg.


Dr. Claudia Paraschivescu is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Luxembourg, where she works on the Horizon 2020 project CEASEVAL. She holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Leeds, UK. In her work, she explores migrants’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion with focus on belonging, borders and ethnicity.    

Endless Waiting and (Non-)Belonging: The Future of Social Cohesion in Immigration Cities

Susan Rottmann, Özyegin University - Ivan Josipovic & Ursula Reeger, Austrian Academy of Sciences

This paper uses a comparison of two immigration cities, Istanbul and Vienna to shed light on the role of temporality in integration processes for forced migrants. Specifically, we examine the effect of precarious legal statuses on feelings of belonging over time in two settings where migrant culture and national culture are discussed differently by politicians and media outlets. Drawing from research conducted as part of a HORIZON 2020 project (RESPOND – Multilevel Governance of Migration in Europe and Beyond), we show that forced migrants in both cities find themselves in a legal “limbo” and experience high levels of uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to remain in the country. As previous research has shown, we found that long-lasting uncertainty about legal protections reduces feelings of belonging in both cities. In this paper, we further explore how migrants perceive the portrayal of migrant and host community cultures in media and political debates in each context. In Vienna, culture plays a major role in political and media debates about integration, whereas in Istanbul it plays a minor role even though host communities are not always welcoming to newcomers. We examine how discussions of culture affect migrants’ tolerance for their precarious legal statuses. In other words, our research asks: in contexts of legal uncertainty, how do discussions of culture affect belonging and desires to integrate? The study of temporality, culture and migration in European and non-European cities has important implications for laws and for developing policies that can increase social cohesion in cities.


Susan Beth Rottmann obtained her Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.  Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences Faculty at Özyeğin University in Istanbul where she is researching forced migration between Turkey in Europe as a primary investigator of RESPOND - Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond.  Dr. Rottmann has received several major research grants, including a Fulbright-Hays DDRA and grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Research Institute in Turkey and the Institute of Turkish Studies.  In 2019, she published an ethnography of ethics and belonging for German-Turkish return migrants based on long-term field work and using life story methodologies (   

Ivan Josipovic, MA is a pre-doc in the research group Urban Transformations at the Institute of Urban and Regional Research.  He works on the EU H2020 project RESPOND –„Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond. Ivan studies Socioeconomics at the University of Economics and Business Vienna and he obtained a master’s degree in Political Science at the University of Vienna. During his time as teaching assistant and tutor, he specialized in the areas of border and migration regimes, European integration research and asylum matters in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.  

Ursula Reeger is a researcher at the Institute for Urban and Regional Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She studied geography (spatial research and regional planning) at the University of Vienna and received her PhD in geography in 1999. Her research interests include international migration (European East-West migration, intra-EU mobility, immigration from outside the EU), integration (e. g. on the labour and the housing market), interethnic relations on the local level, attitudes towards migration and their formation, migrant entrepreneurship, urban development and governance of migrant integration. She has published on these subjects in a wide range of academic journals and books. She currently is the PI of RESPOND (Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond, H2020) and VOLPOWER (Volunteer and Empower, AMIF).

“But these Syrians…” Exploring the Foundation of Hostility towards Refugees by Deconstructing Local Perceptions

Alev Karaduman, Lund University

The mass global migration of recent decades has prompted many discussions about how to create an ideal society which can be inclusive of newcomers while also ensuring a sense of security in host communities and in the sustaining of their values and lifestyles. The Syrian mass migration put Turkey to a position where now sustainable solutions for integration of Syrian refugees became a hot discussion. With this paper I will stress on challenges from the host community side which prevents the inclusion of Syrian refugees due to a micro level fieldwork that conducted in Yedikule district of Istanbul.

The objective of this investigation is reflecting on the local perceptions through key concepts such as precarity, collective meaning making and stigmatization. Theoretical framework of the analysis is also based on social identity theory and current categorizations which generates the discriminatory action against refugee community in Yedikule. Considering host community as a vital component of integration issues, this research analyzes quotes and common themes which can be representative for many other districts of Turkey. Hence looking at the local provides meaningful insights which reveals the reasons of social tension within refugee and host community. Throughout the research qualitative research tools such as participant observation, focus groups and semi constructed interviews had been applied.

Since the paper is investigating local perceptions in particular, it confirms host community’s role as a key component while seeking sustainable solutions due to integration challenges. Hence the research provides an overview of changing community dynamics in multicultural districts of Istanbul and hold a crucial role among so far academic research in that sense. Outcomes of the research highlights how the host and the guest community are two inseparable components of multicultural districts of Istanbul and in order to study the society's integration and cohesion challenges, they should be analyzed together.


Alev Karaduman is graduated from Masters of Applied Cultural Analysis at Lund University as a scholarship holder of Swedish Institute in 2019. Her masters thesis is called “Integration Challenges of Syrian Refugees in Multicultural Districts of Istanbul” and it aims to explore the foundation of hostility towards refugees by deconstructing local perceptions. She has also published a book called “Anliyorum Ama Konuşamıyorum (Eng:I Understand but I Cannot Speak)” in 2015. It is an interview based research book which focuses on identity conflicts of young urban Kurds in consideration of their capability and engagement of speaking their mother tongue; Kurdish. Her interest of research is minority identities as well as social consequences of migration.

Civic Integration for Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Building on Common Values

Roberta Medda-Windischer & Andrea Carlà, EURAC

In the last years, the so-called refugee crisis has become a structural feature of many European countries. Consequently, the focus of policies towards refugees has shifted from emergency and first reception issues to include policies for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers. Meanwhile, in the past decade civic integration policies have become fashionable in many European countries. According to the logic of civic integration, a key tool for the process of inclusion of the migrant population are classes and training through which migrants learn the language and especially the specific values of the country, such as liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Thereby, through civic integration the burden of proof is put on the shoulder of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, who should prove their willingness to integrate in the (host) society. However, in general, there is a deep skepticism about civic integration policies and civic education programs for newcomers, which are increasingly criticized as unidirectional, disciplinary and exclusionary and resulting in participants being more estranged, apprehensive, fixated and resistant.  

This paper is situated at the interplay of these dynamics, presenting the result of the EU-funded project “EUMINT “Europaregionen, Migration und Integration - Euroregioni, Migrazione e Integrazione,” which aims to develop civic integration encounters for asylum seekers, refugees and local population, while attempting to address some of the problems and criticisms attributed to this type of program. Reframing the concept of civic integration, EUMINT employs a bottom-up, participatory and active learning approach and newly designed interactive didactic material in order to organize encounters where refugees, asylum seekers and members of the local population discuss together and freely about key values of the European Union (Art. 2 TEU). Based on surveys with participants and control groups, the paper will present the result of these encounters organized in Austria and Italy (Tyrol, South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia), evaluating to what extent they have been successful in fostering awareness of EU values, while overcoming the problematics usually assigned to civic integration programs.


Roberta Medda-Windischer (LL.M, PhD), Senior Researcher and Group Leader for National Minorities, Migration and Cultural Diversity at the Eurac Research Institute for Minority Rights (Bolzano/Bozen – Italy), is an international lawyer specialised in migration issues, human rights and minority protection. Dr. Medda-Windischer worked as Legal Officer for various international organisations, including the European Court of Human Rights (CoE/ECHR, Strasbourg), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, BiH), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR, Albania), and the UN Centre for Human Rights (OHCHR, Geneva). At Eurac Research, her research focuses on the protection of minorities in international law and on new minorities stemming from migration, on which she has authored and edited monographs and multi-authored volumes, and published numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes in Italy and abroad. Her latest publications include Language Rights and Duties for New Minorities: Integration through Diversity Governance (with J. Marko), in Language Policy and Conflict Prevention, eds. I. Ulasiuk, et al., Brill-Nijhoff, 2018, and Extending Protection to Migrant Populations in Europe. Old and New Minorities (co-edited with C. Boulter and T.H. Malloy), Routledge, 2019. 

Andrea Carlà (PhD in Politics, New School for Social Research, New York - Postgraduate studies in Diplomacy and International Relations, University of Bologna) is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Minority Rights of Eurac Research in Bozen/Bolzano (South Tyrol – Italy). He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler – Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (Fbk-CeRPIC), Trento, Italy, and he taught at the University of Dayton, USA. His research focuses on the interplay among ethnic politics/minority protection, migration politics and security issues. He is the co-editor of Migration in Autonomous Territories. The Case of South Tyrol and Catalonia (Brill-Nijhoff: 2015) and authors of articles in academic publications such as Ethnopolitics, JEMS and EYMI. He also serves as the Principal Investigator for the AMIF funded research project VOLPOWER: Volunteer and Empower: Enhancing Community Building and Social Integration through Dialogue and Collaboration amongst Young Europeans and Third Country Nationals (12.2018-12.2020). 

Refugees and Their Religion in the Public and Private Sphere in Poland

Konrad Pedziwiatr, University of Warsaw

Religion plays a key role in the processes of integration of refugees with their new home countries and their societies. In Poland such a role has been played for more than a decade by the historic Muslim community – the Tatars and other well established Muslim groups. The proposed paper will shed light on the key findings of the Respond project with regards to the role of religion in daily activities of refugees and their strategies of adaptation to the conditions of life in Poland. It will explore not only the institutional response (of various Muslim organisations) to the arrival of refugees (or the prospect of arrival of refugees) but also individual stories of refugees coping in the socio-cultural realities of the highly religiously homogenous country and the one that has been characterised by the significant levels of Islamophobia or anti-Muslims racism.


Konrad Pędziwiatr holds PhD in Social Sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and MA in European Studies from the University of Exeter (UK), and in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University (Poland). He is a Professor at the Department of European Studies (Cracow University of Economics) and a researcher in Centre of Migration Research (University of Warsaw) specializing in sociology of Islam, religious dimensions of migration studies and social movements in Europe and the Middle East. He is author of monographs on “Transformations of Islamisms in Egypt and Tunisia in the context of the Arab Spring” (Nomos 2019),”Polish migration policy: in search of a new model” (UW 2015 with Matyja and Siewierska-Chmaj),”The New Muslim Elites in European Cities” (VDM Verlag 2010) and “From Islam of Immigrants to Islam of Citizens: Muslims in the Countries of Western Europe” (Nomos 2005, 2007). He has also published numerous articles in scientific journals including Patterns of Prejudice, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Social Compass and Gender, Place and Culture.

Panel 10c: Focus on the Role of Local Actors in Integration

Chair: Ivan Josipovic

Young Refugees and Citizens Living under the same Roof: Intercultural Communal Living as a Catalyst for Refugee Integration in European Urban Communities? The Case of CURANT (Cohousing and Case Management for Unaccompanied Young Adult Refugees in ANTwerp)

Rilke Mahieu & Rut Van Caudenberg, University of Antwerp

In various European cities urban authorities and local stakeholders are exploring ways to tackle challenges arising from recent refugee flows. A central concern is the social integration of refugees: how to connect this particular category of newcomers – and especially the most vulnerable ones – durably with local communities? In this article, we discuss an urban programme that offers young unaccompanied refugees (aged 17-21) cohabitation with young local citizens (aged 20-30) during a period of 1 to 2 years in Antwerp (Belgium) in small-scale collective housing units. The programme’s assumption is that this mixed, intercultural communal living will promote regular, informal and meaningful social encounters between refugees and locals, which in turn will strengthen the independence and social inclusion of the young refugees. In this paper, we investigate the opportunities intercultural communal living creates for refugee integration, while also addressing its challenges. We draw on interviews and observations collected among locals and refugees living together to gain insights into both groups’ experiences and the actual social dynamics emerging in such a setting. Our findings suggest that intercultural communal living can be conceptualized as an environment where various informal forms of social support and mutual learning emerge. As such, we contribute to the conceptualisation of the impact of intercultural communal living on newcomer integration.


Rilke Mahieu (1985) is a research fellow working at CeMIS (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies), University of Antwerp since 2009. Since 2016 she is involved in a local support and communal living program for unaccompagnied young adult refugees (CURANT - Cohousing and case management for Unaccompanied young adult Refugees in ANTwerp). She coordinates the evaluation study of this program, which employs a theory-driven evaluation (TDE) approach. Central themes in the evaluation are the social networks and social integration of refugees, and the role of communal living in newcomer integration. Beside the above project, she has been conducted studies on a range of subjects such as gender mainstreaming of asylum and migration policies, migrant transnationalism, diaspora policies and school careers of ethnic minority youngsters. 

Rut Van Caudenberg is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies (CeMIS), University of Antwerp and at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has been involved in the evaluation study of the project CURANT - Cohousing and case management for Unaccompanied young adult Refugees in ANTwerp, and also worked on issues such as early school leaving, educational trajectories and schooling experiences of ethnic minority youth, the integration of vulnerable migrant groups, and the engagement of diaspora organisations in development cooperation.

Migrant Communities and Refugee Support Programmes in Germany 

Hannah Blome Heyenn, Universität Kassel & Kamila Schöll-Mazurek, European University Viadrina

The article discusses the effects of exchanges between settled migrants from different ethnic backgrounds and refugees within the framework of selected refugee support programmes in Berlin. The focus is on the relationship between migrant organisations and refugees. 

Well-functioning migrant organisations are beneficial for integration (Federal Commissioner, 2016) as they can play a role in transmitting the values of the receiving country. Settled migrants active in migrant organisations are experts on the institutions and societal frameworks involved in integration in the receiving country. Facing integration challenges with the increase of refugee arrivals since 2015, the need for such civil society actors in Germany is stronger than ever. On the other hand, establishing NGOs in the local governance of migration has been associated with absence of permanent services for migrants in some contexts (Spehar, Hinnfors, and Bucken-Knapp 2017). 

In a study on refugee sponsorship programs run by migrant organisations of the largest migrant communities in Germany, the Turkish and the Polish, the authors are investigating the following.  

Research questions: How do migrant organisations see their own role in helping refugees? How did the refugees perceive this support? In which way does migrant background of sponsors and organisations pose advantages or disadvantages in the design and execution of social work activities for refugees?  Methods: Semi-structured dyadic and single interviews with migrants as well as non-migrant sponsors and refugees are used to investigate dynamics and effects of sponsorships. Coordinators from two migrant and two non-migrant organisations are interviewed seperately and in a group interview to gain insights into challenges and potentials of organisations and participating communities. 

Our contribution shows differences of refugee support programmes run by migrant and non-migrant organisations, their impact on integration of refugees and on the role of migrant organisations in mediating the values and principles of the receiving country.


Hannah Blome Heyenn is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Department of Social Work and Social Welfare, Universität Kassel, Germany. As a sociologist she is investigating the incorporation of intra EU migrants into European welfare states as citizens – both through social security access and active participation in welfare institutions. She participated in the research projects “Testing EU citizenship as ‘labour citizenship’ from cases of labour rights violations to a strengthened labour-rights regime” and PREWORK ("Young precarious workers in Poland and Germany: a comparative sociological study on working and living conditions, social consciousness and civic engagement"). 

Dr. Kamila Schöll-Mazurek is the author of research studies and has expertise as well as anthologies on Polish and German foreign and European policy, transformation and migration. As a political scientist she was academic staff member and lecturer of the Jean Monet Programme at the Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at the European University Viadrina (Oder), Germany (2015-2018). Her research projects include “Pulling together – at the same end or each country at a different one? Polish-German relations in EU Institutions and legislation processes” at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and “Knowdledge is power. The Boundaries of Political Consulting and Lobbying in the Political Decision-Making Process” at the European University Viadrina.

Mental Health Aspects in Integration Measures for Refugees – Stakeholders’ Experiences and Perspectives

Erika Sigvardsdotter & Kim Silow Kallenberg, Swedish Red Cross University College

The Swedish introductory programme for newly arrived refugees contains activities such as language training, civic orientation courses and internship, and is administered by the Swedish Public Employment Service (SPES). A large share of the contacts these refugees have with persons established in Swedish society during the (up to) two year programme, are representatives of public institutions and NGOs – administrators, teachers, volunteers. Thus, the people in such positions play several important roles in the introduction of newly arrived refugees.  

This paper reports on preliminary results from an ongoing project concerning stakeholder perspectives on social participation and mental health among newly arrived refugees in Sweden. Based on a two-round, Delphi-type questionnaire, and qualitative interviews with civil servants in the SPES, teachers and staff in language training and civic orientation, and NGOs working with integration activities for refugees, we explore the perceptions and experiences of public and civic actors regarding “how integration works”. In this paper we especially focus on the role of mental health in relation to integration and integration measures.  

Our findings suggest that the civil servants and volunteers working with the practicalities of these activities encounter many people suffering from severe mental ill health problems that prevents them from fully participating in the introductory activities. However, being able to adjust activities to better suit this substantial subgroup is much less often reported. Further, the civil servants and volunteers seldom have the proper education or preparation to handle mental health problems, and it is not their formal responsibility to care for their clients. They are, however, often placed in positions where they need to deal with or consider these aspects of human life.


Erika Sigvardsdotter is a human geographer and senior lecturer at the Swedish Red Cross University College. Her previous research concerns undocumented migrants’ situation, and ‘undocumentedness’ in a Swedish context, and trauma history among refugees. 

Kim Silow Kallenberg is an ethnologist and a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish Red Cross University, and a lecturer at Södertörn University. Her previous research concerns staff culture, masculinity and power in the compulsory care of problematic teenagers’ in Sweden. 

How can Refugee Families be Integrated in the Dutch Society through Collaborative Housing?

Ioannis Mexis & Ana Luiza Ferreira Veiga Barros, Delft University of Technology

The Netherlands was affected by the refugee crisis in 2015 and was therefore challenged to house a large number of people in a short time. At that time, the profile of people entering the country were mostly men. Nowadays, their families came to reunite. Therefore, the Netherlands faces the challenge to integrate these refugee families in their housing system. Housing Associations are balancing the increase demand for social housing and a lack of strategy to accommodate these families. The purpose of this paper is to provide an accommodation strategy for Housing Associations that will allow refugee families to integrate in the Dutch society. This paper is a concept guiding analysis that examines refugee integration with a focus on solutions. A theoretical basis as well as input of the Housing Association field were fundamental to develop a strategy according to the housing policies of the Netherlands. Collaborative housing enables the creation of social bonds and is the bridge between Dutch inhabitants and refugees. Solutions throughout the time span of a housing stock, such as social mix assist in achieving the proposals main mission.


Ioannis Mexis is a first-year master student in the track Management in the Built Environment in Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The programme is part of the Faculty of Architecture. He received a masters degree in Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences, in the track of Architecture; and a bachelor’s degree in the Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent, in the United Kingdom. He is very fascinated by the impact that social housing can have on the society and how it can assist in solving major societal issues.

Ana Luiza Ferreira Veiga Barros is a first-year master student in the track Management in the Built Environment in Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The programme is part of the Faculty of Architecture. She received a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism in the University of Brasilia in Brazil. Her interests lay on the redevelopment of housing stock especially in social housing.

Behind the Barrier: Integration Challenges of Marginalized Immigrant Groups in Hungary

Marcell Farkas, University of Pécs, Hungary

Since the 2015 refugee crisis, responding to migration and integration related issues has become one of the most important elements of EU dialogue. With its political responses to the migratory trends of recent years, Hungary has become one of the key players in this field of the European Union's common policy. While the country offers many opportunities for immigration such as international student mobility and residence permit for foreign workers, only a very small number of the asylum seekers in the so called transit zones are entering as refugees in Hungary. The study explores the social situation of refugees and other marginalized immigrant groups in Hungary by analyzing the indicators used in the MIPEX survey (i. e. labor market, education, family reunification, housing situation etc.) and by conducting interviews with organizations (eg. MigHelp, Menedék, IOM) involved in humanitarian assistance and migration management. Meanwhile, the paper pays special attention to the different situations of diasporas from different countries of origin (i. e. Somalia, Syria, Venezuela etc.). The study identifies both the areas to be developed (i. e. language teaching) and the groups in need of more assistance (i. e. Somalis).


Marcell Farkas graduated as a geographer in urban and spatial planning at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Currently he is a PhD candidate of the University’s Doctoral School of Earth Sciences in the Geopolitical Doctorate Programme. His main lectures include Geography of ethnicity and religions and Social geography of ethnic Hungarians abroad. His research targets the spatial differences and trends of refugee migration with main focus areas include Hungary and Andalusia, Spain. He was an intern at the Institute of Migration in Granada, Spain and in the Center of Migration Studies in Rome, Italy. He has also carried out similar research mobility programs in Germany, Czechia, Morocco and Austria. His results have been presented at international conferences (i. e. EU at Crossroads of Migration, Utrecht; Eurogeo 2018, Cologne; Geopolitical Conference, Prague; Eugeo 2019, Galway etc.) and published in international scientific journals.