Migration: Vibrant Economies Depend on Migration
Case studies of areas where the vibrancy and success of the economy depends on migration
Changing the Narrative of Migration 1 Day Conference at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford
Super Early Bird Reduced Rate Ticket till the end of March 2018
This session of the conference is hosted by our partner The Green European Foundation, Brussels and Luxembourg
For further details of this partner session a separate information leaflet will be issued here shortly.
Europe seems stuck and paralysed by the latest waves of migration. This is affecting democracy itself as people thrash around from party to party unable to find expression of their fears and unable to find solutions and scenarios that they can relate to.
This development is undermining core European and green values. The idea of this project is to get the progressive political forces back ahead of the game to drive a positive approach to international migration and at the same time explore reasons for migration with the aim to manage the overall magnitude of migration to ensure people have options to chose their own destiny.
Core green values are very important in these processes and as a consequence need to be developed further and disseminated more widely. The relevant issues to be considered range from economic development and political stability, to climate change and issues of land distribution and allocation of economic resources. If economies are becoming more and more unequal, and the controlling interests are in fewer hands such global issues can not be addressed adequately. Simplistic political ideologies attempt to blame and encourage to blame migrants rather than contributing to constructive solutions and helping to dig deeper towards the causes of migration with the attempt to stabilise international economic structures.
This event seeks to claw back the narrative, the debate and the public assumptions using all aspects of social media and gathering experts and those experienced in migration as refugees. Greens have always argued that if home is fine, then people tend not to migrate, the issue is that for many people home is no longer able to support them economically or practically and hence they are pushed towards migration. This event addresses the causes of migration but equally deal with a constructive approach to the migration that will happen. A very strong link is made with the economic conditions, requirements and prospects that are needed to mange the ever increasing migration issue globally.
Relevance of the Debates
Additionally to the above comments, our Institute is placed in the Thames Valley area of the United Kingdom. This area of the country it is built on migrant labour at the top end of the spectrum of education and its very diversity has meant it has led the worlds digital and communications technology. Oxford University where we run our events is one of the world leaders in academic research and has been built on migration, as such they this arrangement is an excellent base for case studies and example of what happens when migration is actually encouraged and organised well – the economy booms and benefits can be derived for a wider general public. Therefore we feel that this story is one which can educate others and show them that they are making a huge mistake in blaming migration and see it at a negative where the alternative is a positive and constructive integration of migration on each level from the abstract academic level to the very practical level of human live.
The European family are struggling with competition from xenophobic right wing groups who have managed in part to attract and capture the European debate. This is because voters are afraid and in many cases economically marginalised and its easy to blame migration for their problems.
In fact migration in many areas is actually the route out of poverty and towards a better economic development but so much is the debate led by fear that this part of the drama and discussion is crowded out by much more depressing narratives. This project deliberately sets out to create a hub of success and show practical examples where it is the very migration that makes the economy and cultural life special- nowhere more so than the Thames Valley and Oxford University where you can find some of the highest economic well being and asset values on the planet – so this project opens the lid on how this works in detail and builds on our previous migration work with GEF which began to indicate that this was an important untapped issue which the European family could hugely benefit from uncovering in more detail and sharing the ideas.
The event is looking at historical migration towards Europe and also the drivers and pathways of migration into Europe over time and what has driven people into Europe.
The new push factors and how they will affect the new migration settlements are particularly assessed.
The problems the literature is now highlighting is that migration solutions should not be about migration as such – the discourse is now suggesting it needs to be about the economic push factors and innovative ways how to integrate the remaining migration positively into existing economic and social structures.
Set-up and participation in the Project
The event will be run at Oxford University. The impact is expected to be international, based on the partners involved, but will also go out to the Thames Valley directly, in a way that we meet migrants in the region and will be discussing what it has meant to them to migrate to the UK and also who people working with them in successful businesses and academic and other public life see the situation. It is intended that we would like to find comparable hubs around Europe with partners, with which we will be doing a similar assessment of the situation, a documentation and dissemination on the regional level of the findings during the project.
Timetable for the day
10.00 Set up and network and introductions
11.00-12.00- representatives from successful hubs around Europe – 3 plus a chair share their detailed experience with evidence, documents, photos and facts and figures and sources.
12.00-13.00 – Panel debate with floor
14.00-15.00-Experts introduce ideas and issues and what it all means
15.00-16.00 –Representatives and companies from successful hubs around Europe 3 plus a chair share their experience on a thematic basis and the learning which can be applied elsewhere
16.00-17.00- Setting up and official launch of the network hub Documented, filmed and videoed and photographed.
17.00-18.00 The implications for democracy – Summary and filmed debate.
17.00-18.00 Next steps and monitoring and milestone planning to ensure the hub is successful and continues.
Political education, dialogue and greater participation in European debates.
In addition to the above description of the project, the principal structure of the project proposed is to collect ideas on practical experiences ranging from a wider range of integration methods for migrants from academic to very practical levels. The event and research are designed to collect the practical experiences from the participants across Europe and make the results available to the other participants of the project. The research partners will collect the local and regional data for the event and by sharing the evidence across the project partners similar patterns will be identified and differences observed. The findings from the event are to be published in a event booklet that can be used for further education of the public.
This session is a follow-up of a session we organised with our partners GEF at last year’s GEI conference
The session is a follow up of a session from previous work on migration by our Institute that arises as we feel we could have delved much more deeply and constructively into the debates. We believe that if we film this year’s event, we will be taking a completely different stance to last time in as such that we focus on the wider aspects of the subject. We had about 50 people at our event and have received a great deal of praise for our video from respected migration sources and therefore we do believe we have more to offer in this area. We also worked on the research the year before last and ran 2 conferences – all in all over 150 people have been involved and we were able to show the video at COP23, where 1000s of people saw it so we think it is worth continuing in the same field of work.