EUROFOR Conf: New Integration Strategies in Europe

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Subject: EUROFOR Conf: New Integration Strategies in Europe
From: Jyothi Kanics (
Date: Wed Mar 03 1999 - 12:42:52 EST

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EUROFOR-Conference No.27
The Formation of Minorities, Diasporas and Multicultural
Societies - New Integration Strategies in Europe
Granada, 13 - 16 May, 1999

A project of the European Research Forum on Migration and Ethnic Relations
(EUROFOR) initiated by the
TMR-Programme of the European Commission In co-operation with Laboratorio de
Estudios Interculturales, Universidad de Granada

Thematic outline

Three classical integration programs can be distinguished.
The first program relates to assimilation mediated by state coercion. We
have seen such a program in France, but there it has had consequences which
were opposite to those desired. In the French Republic an attempt is made to
make all immigrants French, at least in the second generation. But despite
this strategy, a particularly pronounced self-organization of the immigrants
has developed. In the US, the assimilation program was more successful, to
the extent that it was based on coercion. German immigrants before World War
I and Japanese immigrants in the years between the wars were forcibly
assimilated. Polish immigration to Germany before the Nazi period was also
affected. In these cases, up to an indefinite point in time, there was a
state integration policy of propagating such a hostile image of the
immigration group to be assimilated that those affected were left with no
alternative but to completely adapt to the new environment.

The second strategy was the usual American reception policy: Migrants were
left largely to themselves and formed ethnic communities to provide a social
bulwark in the face of the quite brutal adaptation mechanisms.
Thirdly, we have the western European and German model of community
formation in which the integration processes are bolstered by governmental
subsidies and grants. These integration models were characteristic of larger
communities which were thus able to generate elites and form communities
with them.

In many metropolises in Europe and in other industrialized countries the
number of ethnic minorities has risen to over 200. State payment to
individual minorities is now out of question. The metropolises are therefore
now thinking about new forms of adaptation. It is no longer possible to
support and organize such a large number of immigrant groups
administratively from the top down, and the European integration programs
could not be kept up financially. They are being joined by new types of
migrants, such as short-term workers, illegal workers, tolerated refugees,
recognized refugees, diaspora returnees, short-term refugees, etc. Different
integration programs have to be developed for all these groups. This is
being done at various levels and in various ways in the different countries.

The new integration strategies have been studied in particular by Portes,
Walldinger and others in the USA. There is very little material for Europe,
but it seems that a field is being opened up here for wide-ranging research,
in particular through the work of young researchers. Another important point
is the interest shown by governments and local administrations; new kinds of
immigration strategies are opening up here, extending from anti-racism to
partial adaptation. Exclusion from certain markets, be they labour, housing
or recreation markets, also seems to be an important point. The differential
treatment of and the responses to immigrants depending on their differing
social, cultural and economic baggage or their assignment to diaspora
situations is also striking.

The Conference will cover problems of integration policies from various
* Firstly the problem will be seen from the country of origin viewpoint.
This will include a debate about transstate networks and diasporas.
* Secondly comparative integration politics in different European countries
will be the issue. This will take into consideration models of succession,
relationship between policies and social developments and the crisis of
policies facing new immigration flows and their comparison.
* On a third level the role of the European Commission in improving
integration measures will be debated. The Commission has a deep and long
time experience in financing and shaping the integration of Union states'
and third countries' migrants.
* Fourthly women are subject towards immigration politics not only as
immigrants but also as members of a gender group. The gender issue plays a
central role in future integration programmes. This will be discussed in a
special workshop.
* Fifthly, integration of immigrants will be discussed in future with
reference to the concept of conflict and violence. Some politicians have
begun to define integration just as absence of violence. This will be the
topic of debate in the closing section of the conference.


Young researchers up to the age of 35 may apply for an EU grant covering
travel costs, accommodation and registration fee. They have to be citizens
of an EU country or of one of the associate states, Israel, Norway,
Switzerland, Liechtenstein or Iceland. A special agreement with the European
Commission makes it possible to consider citizens from Central and Eastern
European Countries from conference No. 27 onwards.
Applications should include a brief curriculum vitae, information on
scientific publications and current or projected research activities and an
abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference.

Organizing Bodies

The Granada conference is being organized by Herbert Weide and Cornelia
Ehrsam of the Berlin Institute of Comparative Social Research in
co-operation with Javier Garcia Castaņo (director) and Gunther Dietz of the
Laboratorio de Estudios Interculturales, Universidad de Granada.

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