EUMINT: Integrating refugees and asylum seekers
EUMINT: Integrating refugees and asylum seekers
The project in brief
Eurac Research, EUMINT (Euroregions, Migration and Integration)
Italy: South Tyrol, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino.
Austria: Tyrol, Carinthia.
January 2018 until 2 July 2020
The EUMINT (Euroregions, Migration and Integration) project is about the integration of asylum seekers and refugees.
The project tackles the social, economic, political and cultural challenges linked to migration and focuses on three dimensions: cross-border, civic integration, and labour integration.
Firstly, the project promotes institutional cooperation through the exchange of experiences between project partners via field visits, workshops for the exchange of ideas, and the submission of recommendations for institutions operating at different levels in the field of integration.
Secondly, the project develops and tests innovative teaching materials on civic integration and common European values and provides training to social workers and professionals from the field of welfare and social care. The aim is to promote awareness of common values (as mentioned in the EU Treaty of Lisbon) among asylum seekers and refugees as well as local population.
Lastly, through participatory processes, the project designs long-term instruments for the evaluation of formal and informal competences aimed at a better integration of asylum seekers and refugees in the labour market. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Interreg V-A Italy-Austria program 2014-2020.
Strengthening the institutional cross-border cooperation between Italy and Austria and a better integration process.
Main activities of the Good Practice
- Institutional cooperation: based on 44 interviews with stakeholders and four cross-border visits to integration projects in Tyrol, South Tyrol, Carinthia, and Trentino, we will disseminate our results through an interactive forum of exchange in December 2019 to promote dialogue between various European countries. We will also provide a practice-oriented manual on the potential for cross-border cooperation in the field of integration.
- Civic integration: We developed an interactive board game called ‘The House of Values’, which consists in interactive teaching methods on common values. In addition, we carried out 80 meetings on the theme of common values with asylum seekers, refugees and the local community in different municipalities in South Tyrol, Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Future trainings are expected to reach a larger audience and produce a multiplier effect.
- Labour integration: A new competence checklist for the evaluation of practical, hard, and soft skills was developed. The platform WippCare, where supply and demand of social, labour, and cultural services are combined, was created to improve the labour integration of asylum seekers and refugees. Furthermore, a course on gardening as well as on citizenship, culture and language was offered to migrants.
VIDEO: Eurac Research Flagship Video
- Eurac Research (lead partner)
- ZeMiT - Center for Migrants in Tyrol
- Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck
- EGTC - Euregio Without Borders
- Regio Wipptal
- ARLeF - Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Administrative Districts of: Burggrafenamt/Burgraviato, Salten-
- Schlern/Salto-Sciliar, Eisacktal/Valle Isarco, Vinschgau/Val Venosta
- Autonomous Province of Bolzano - Department of social affairs
- Cinformi - Autonomous Province of Trento
- Land of Tyrol
- Municipality of Innsbruck
- EGTC - Euroregion Tyrol - South Tyrol - Trentino
- Autonomous Province of Bolzano - Department of education,
- German culture and integration
- Municipality of Bolzano - Department of services to the local community
Challenges and how they were overcome
The EUMINT project addresses the challenges of migration and integration through a new and extensive network of actors and the development of new methods.
In our project, the two Euroregions, meaning the bordering territories situated in different European countries that share a transnational co-operation structure, are Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino on the one side and Carinthia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto on the other. EUMINT promotes multifaceted exchanges of experiences on both sides of the Italian- Austrian border, between integration policy actors from urban as well as from rural contexts and between the local level and the euro-regional level.
Another innovative characteristic is that the EUMINT encounters on common values do not address exclusively asylum seekers and refugees but also the local population. Through the use of the EUMINT board game ‘The House of Values’ and other learning materials, EUMINT involves any interested person in the process. Tools such as our board game represent a motivating ice-breaker for the heterogeneous public to start developing fruitful exchanges and discussions on own values and cultural differences. These bottom-up tools serve also for evaluating formal and informal competences of refugees and asylum seekers. The project tries to improve integration processes and to reduce discrimination. Furthermore, gender equality is considered at all levels.
Results of the Good Practice
- Spreading peace in countries by establishing solidarity among different groups.
- Creating a baseline of values and skills that does not require individuals to sacrifice their differences.
- Better understanding of rights and obligations
- Strengthening the bond between people from diverse cultural backgrounds
- Developing a social life and improving language skills
- Educational and informative materials and toolkits will be available to a number of public institutions. They will also be accessible online.
- New professional trainers are tutored
Anna-Kira Pirhofer, Junior Project Manager and Researcher, Eurac