Young, Urban, Migrant: from challenge to chance

Europe has a long tradition of migration. Migration is often mentioned as the solution to dismantle Europe’s demographic time bomb. This might be true, but only if migration is followed by successful social and economic integration, especially of young people. If Europe wants to have a shot at achieving the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy, it is not going to be without the active participation of our immigrant youth.

Much of the efforts to improve the performance of migrant youth are grounded in national employment and education policies. However, cities do have an important part to play, by providing educational support, developing local labour markets, through local housing policies, by offering opportunities for civic participation and by explicitly addressing the issue in the emerging neighbourhood approach to integrated urban development.

At the EUKN 2009 Conference, speakers and participants will identify what works and does not work in local integration policies, look for answers on how to improve the social participation of immigrant youth and develop insight in the state of the field in Europe’s cities.

Participants to the conference will address questions as:

* What challenges and opportunities do different European cities face when it comes to young migrants? Can we identify common characteristics?

* How do different traditions and views on immigration, integration and citizenship shape policy options and outcomes in different European countries?

* What is the role of cities in the process of improving the performance of migrant youth in different European countries? What different competences do cities hold? What other actors are involved?

* What approaches in European cities have been successful and why? In what ways can other cities learn from successful policies and projects?

At the conference, insights from research and practice will be combined to generate innovative insights on what works in European cities. During practical onsite visits, the participants gain new ideas and experiences in increasing participation in culturally diverse cities.

The EUKN 2009 Conference is organised by the European Urban Knowledge Network in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the City of Malmö and Nicis Institute, under the aegis of the 2009 Swedish EU Presidency. The conference takes place back-to-back with the Expert meeting ‘Integration of newly arrived immigrants – incentives and work in focus’ organised by the Swedish EU Presidency on 15-16 December in Malmö.


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