Immigration and Intercultural Integration in Europe: How Far Have We Gone?

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "International Migration".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2023) | Viewed by 9590

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Language and Intercultural Studies, University of Thessaly, 382 21 Volos, Greece
Interests: intercultural communication; international migration; intercultural integration; globality and superdiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2021, the Council of Europe published a model policy framework for an Intercultural Integration Strategy at the National Level [1]. This is developed “through multilevel dialogue and aims to serve as a basis for national intercultural integration strategies that are holistic, based on human rights standards, underpinned by a realistic understanding of cross-border mobility and its impact, and aware of the human, social and economic cost of non-integration. It also draws on the positive results of the local authorities and member states that have applied the intercultural integration approach as a means to achieve real inclusion at the local level” (p. 5).

In this call for papers, we seek to explore the current situation with regard to the intercultural integration of immigrants and refugees in the EU. We expect papers on themes pertaining to the extent to which EU member states tackle the issue of intercultural integration in a range of parameters, namely: (a) equality, i.e., the existence of legal and policy frameworks guaranteeing the equality of all residents in a member state in law, and freedom from discrimination and intolerance in all arenas, embracing impartial treatment by public services and tackling all forms of racism and xenophobia. The degree to which measures to deal with both direct and indirect discrimination as well as inequality motivated by cultural difference, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity are adopted. The degree to which integration policies eliminate all inequalities in access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, entrepreneurship, family life and civic rights, between nationals and foreign residents. (b) Valuing diversity in public administration—the degree to which public officials are interculturally competent and how they cooperate with interpreters and cultural mediators in a manner that is dignified and supportive. The degree to which public institutions are organised with enough flexibility to ensure institutional adaptations that take account of the practical implications of difference. (c) Meaningful interaction, i.e., the degree to which mixing and meaningful interaction are promoted in the public space rather than letting segregation happen unwittingly through a laissez-faire approach in the domains of   housing, children’s schooling, employment, entrepreneurship, social services and urban planning. The ways in which law enforcement (especially the police) treat individuals of migrant or minority backgrounds. (d) Active citizenship and participation, i.e., the degree to which migrants’ access to nationality is facilitated, and whether all residents have the right to vote in local elections or whether alternative forms of participation such as deliberative forums, permanent roundtables for co-creation, co-implementation and co-evaluation of local policies, participatory budgeting and participatory policy development are available to foreign residents and non-citizens.

Contributions may draw on empirical research and consist of case studies, qualitative or quantitative studies or ethnographic studies.

Reference

[1] Model Framework for an Intercultural Integration Strategy at the National Level. Intercultural Integration Strategies: managing diversity as an opportunity (Council of Europe, 2021).

Dr. Nikolaos Gogonas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • intercultural integration
  • immigrants and refugees
  • European immigration and integration
  • equality
  • valuing diversity
  • meaningful interaction
  • active citizenship and participation

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

20 pages, 351 KiB  
Article
Between an Acknowledgment of Immigration and Neglect? Assessing Interculturalism and Media Integration in Luxembourg
by Suzana Cascao
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110589 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Luxembourg is a de facto multicultural country, with 179 different nationalities represented. It is, however, complex to identify who among the latter is perceived as an immigrant by public opinion. In the same vein, immigration stories rarely make the headlines of some of [...] Read more.
Luxembourg is a de facto multicultural country, with 179 different nationalities represented. It is, however, complex to identify who among the latter is perceived as an immigrant by public opinion. In the same vein, immigration stories rarely make the headlines of some of the most prominent outlets of Luxembourg’s mainstream media. This study covers the print content of some of Luxembourg’s dominant media outlets in the search for the representation of (im)migrants and refugees. It thus takes a perspective whereby media act as a vehicle for a quintessential aspect of interculturalism, that of local meaningful interaction. Its overarching question regards the role that both local mainstream and minority media sectors can play in promoting integration through intercultural dialogue. It is hereby argued that immigrants are foremost represented and given a voice in media outlets created for the immigrant and cross-border communities as well as in mainstream media with more local (Tageblatt) and independent political views (D’Lëtzebuerger Land). In stronghold media such as RTL Lëtzebuerg and Luxemburger Wort, immigrants are, instead, scarcely represented. Full article
14 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Acquiring Citizenship through Naturalization in Greece: A Sisyphean Struggle for Immigrants
by Nikos Gogonas and Angelo Tramountanis
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(10), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12100545 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4347
Abstract
The article delves into the experiences of immigrants in Greece who have been residing in the country for an extended period but face difficulties in obtaining Greek citizenship. This study is based on in-depth interviews conducted with 10 immigrants whose applications for Greek [...] Read more.
The article delves into the experiences of immigrants in Greece who have been residing in the country for an extended period but face difficulties in obtaining Greek citizenship. This study is based on in-depth interviews conducted with 10 immigrants whose applications for Greek citizenship were rejected in the summer of 2022. Through these interviews, the research investigates the motivations that drive immigrants to seek citizenship and their perceptions of the new, more restrictive naturalization law in Greece. The findings offer significant insights into the personal struggles and perspectives of these individuals, providing a clearer understanding of their desires to integrate into Greek society. The participants’ viewpoints reveal a complex picture of naturalization, influenced by a combination of pragmatic considerations, such as access to rights and economic opportunities, and deep emotional connections to Greek culture and society. Moreover, this research sheds light on the implications of the new citizenship law, which emphasizes economic criteria, on immigrants’ aspirations for obtaining citizenship. By comprehending the participants’ attitudes and aspirations, this study can contribute to the development of more inclusive approaches to future naturalization legislation in Greece. Additionally, it offers valuable insights into immigrant identity and political engagement within the country. Full article
20 pages, 347 KiB  
Article
International Student Experiences in Three Superdiverse Higher Education Institutions: Institutional Policies and Intersectionalities
by Esin Aksay Aksezer, Birce Demiryontar, Claire Dorrity and Elsa Mescoli
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(10), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12100544 - 28 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Higher education has been facing many challenges due to factors including increased diversification, internationalization, massification, and the expansion of different forms of mobility, which are transforming the landscape of higher education towards “superdiversity”. These challenges are addressed within the framework of “inclusive education”, [...] Read more.
Higher education has been facing many challenges due to factors including increased diversification, internationalization, massification, and the expansion of different forms of mobility, which are transforming the landscape of higher education towards “superdiversity”. These challenges are addressed within the framework of “inclusive education”, aiming to increase participation and foster a culture of welcome at higher education institutions. However, scholarly discussions on the ways these initiatives impact the lived experience of students who may face divergent and intersectional forms of exclusion, inequalities, tensions, and discrimination are limited. To address this gap, based on the experience of three participating universities in the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) alliance, this paper aims to examine and reflect on the diversity and inclusion practices of the institutions, particularly those targeting concerns for international students with different profiles. Drawing on both existing and emergent data through an extensive case study analysis, the paper focuses on the scope and effectiveness of existing support mechanisms. It concludes that improving the experience of international students and promoting their inclusion at universities requires a combination of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms, as well as centralised and decentralised services. Systematic data collection using a range of engaged research tools also ensures that policies respond to real needs. Full article
23 pages, 941 KiB  
Article
Bureaucratic Violence in the Residency Application Process: Findings from a Mixed Methods Cross-Sectional Survey of Migrant Women in Spain
by Abigail Bentley
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(9), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12090526 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Bureaucratic violence linked to immigration systems and residency applications, such as confusing and cumbersome administrative processes, discriminatory practices and a lack of accountability, act as significant post-migration stressors in destination countries that can impact migrant wellbeing. The behavior of public officials within these [...] Read more.
Bureaucratic violence linked to immigration systems and residency applications, such as confusing and cumbersome administrative processes, discriminatory practices and a lack of accountability, act as significant post-migration stressors in destination countries that can impact migrant wellbeing. The behavior of public officials within these systems, referred to as ‘street-level bureaucrats’, can amplify stress through the use of discretion in interpreting legal requirements. The experiences of migrant women in attempting to obtain resident status in Spain have not been well documented. This article makes a novel contribution to the literature by aiming to understand the barriers faced by migrant women when applying for residency in Spain, and how experiences differ by socio-demographic subgroups. The study analysed mixed-methods data collected via an online survey of migrant women living in Valencia, Spain. A lack of information, communication barriers and difficulty meeting the stringent requirements of visa applications emerged as some of the main barriers to residency, with women from Africa, Asia or the Middle East being most likely to encounter barriers. Policy makers should seek to enhance transparency, standardize processes and improve communication for migrants interacting with the immigration system in order to reduce barriers and create more accessible pathways to residency in Spain. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

12 pages, 288 KiB  
Review
Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants in Greece and Italy: Language Requirements and Learning Opportunities in L2 Greek and L2 Italian
by Anna Mouti and Lorenzo Rocca
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120668 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Migration has almost always been accompanied by language-related processes and concerns. Integration dimensions interact with numerous language-related issues, such as language requirements and learning opportunities, and the purpose of our paper is situated in the broader field of linguistic integration of adult refugees [...] Read more.
Migration has almost always been accompanied by language-related processes and concerns. Integration dimensions interact with numerous language-related issues, such as language requirements and learning opportunities, and the purpose of our paper is situated in the broader field of linguistic integration of adult refugees and migrants in Greece and Italy. Greece and Italy share a double role both as host and transition countries, as two of the main EU entry points for refugees and migrants since the 2015 refugee crisis, and therefore they have been selected as two suitable cases to be further explored. This paper aims to give an overview of the language requirements and language-learning opportunities in the migration context in Greece and Italy. Through our comprehensive review of language requirements and language-learning opportunities in Greece and Italy, we have undertaken an examination of the two contexts employing a comparative approach to scrutinize the processes of linguistic integration. The information presented has shown that similar linguistic requirements are set in both countries although the use and implementation of the Knowledge of Society (KoS) tests seem to discriminate between the two contexts. The results agree with similar findings through indexes such as the Language Policy Index for Migrants (LAPIM) and the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX). Full article
Back to TopTop