OVERTURN STORIES: How Europe can create good practices of migrant’s inclusion” is a 2-years project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. With this project, Ortygia Business School Foundation, in particular its Center for Migration, acts as a HUB for all those researchers, academics, associations, NGOs, social enterprises, coming from all over Europe and municipalities, local politicians coming from Sicily and southern Italy to promote political debate and active closeness between the European level (commission, council, parliament, executive agencies) and territories at the boundaries.

MIGRATION, ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE NEED OF NEW COHESION MEASURES

Tension on the migrants’ issue is still growing in Europe and without any doubt, the phenomenon of migration can no longer be considered an emergency; it’s a CHRONIC SITUATION that continues to affect: European boundaries policy, social inclusion, labour policy, welfare systems, access to school and university, healthcare policies.

In this context, the issue of inclusion of migrants has become more salient, especially considering the current financial crisis and the growing political mood surrounding immigration. In south Italy and at European boundaries, were ECONOMIC CRISIS in the last two years has been showing its worst consequences, there is a strong need of designing NEW COHESION MEASURES able to put together local needs and migrant’s inclusion processes in order to lower social tensions.

THE OBS CONTRIBUTION THROUGH OVERSTO PROJECT

With this project, Ortygia Business School Foundation, in particular its OBS Center for Migration, wants to act as a HUB for all those: researchers, academics, associations, NGOs, social enterprises, coming from all over Europe and municipalities, local politicians coming from Sicily and southern Italy TO PROMOTE POLITICAL DEBATE AND ACTIVE CLOSENESS between the European level (commission, council, parliament, executive agencies) and territories at the boundaries.

THE WAY TO A FULL SOCIAL INCLUSION

SOCIAL INCLUSION is a process which affords citizens the necessary opportunities and resources to fully participate in economic, cultural, and social life.

The principle of social inclusion should therefore allow for people (citizens and migrants) to enjoy a standard of living consistent with what is considered normal in the society in which they reside. Further, social inclusion relates to SOCIAL COHESION in which all members of society are drawn together to become more active members of society.

Many migrants participate in the labour market, enrol in education and training, and participate in arts and leisure activities as well as integrating into the community through membership in sports clubs or religious groups.

The EU, with particular attention to southern countries, still faces challenges in its efforts to ensure that migrants and their descendants are included and participate in society. Intolerance, xenophobia and racism, fuelling hate crime and discrimination against migrants or refugees and their descendants, raise concerns in many Member States. In a so negative framework, however, it is possible to find social inclusion and integration successful experiences.

Evidence shows that local communities who work for the inclusion can produce experiences of integration in contrast with what mass-media report daily. In southern Europe, in particular, we can find a breeding ground for new social models.

Project mission is TO PROMOTE LEARNING AS A STRATEGY – a tool –

  • to lower the level of distrust,
  • to compare best practices and positive experiences,
  • to deal together, local communities and politicians, matters connected to migrants ‘inclusion,
  • to search and find new original effective solutions,
  • to understand migrants’ needs in terms of cultural divergences, professionality, skills, education, healthcare.

With this project, Fondazione Ortygia Business School wants to contribute in increasing the knowledge of European citizens, and Sicilians in particular, on issues that plague the African countries where the most part of immigrants come from; on issues concerning the Lybian situation (government, military forces,  social tensions, etc.).

Project objectives are:

  • TO PROMOTE AND FOSTER A STRUCTURED DIALOGUE among the above key players whose aim is to foster cohesion and social inclusion related to migrants bcc r\q\
  • TO HIGHLIGHT SUCCESSFUL INCLUSION EXPERIENCE that can be modelled and replicated in different territories
  • TO STRENGTHEN THE FEELING OF CLOSENESS OF THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS to those border territories especially to those most exposed to the arrival of large flows of migrants and that have to manage inclusion.
To reach such objectives, project activities will focus on:

  • International research and evidence selection on migrants’ inclusion /integration experience and best practices
  • Involvement of key players at local and European level such us politicians, European parliament representatives, academics whose field of research is migration, civil society, organizations (associations, NGOs, social enterprises, etc.)
  • Starting a structured dialog among the above key players whose aim is to foster cohesion and social inclusion related to migrants

Project main outputs will be:

  • 2 international conferences where the academics whose main research topic is migration will meet
  • 2 meetings with European parliament representatives and other European countries politicians.
  • 1 lecture for Sicilian PhD students.
  • 3 seminars about African political situation with a focus on Libya and on those countries from where we register the highest flows.

In the last part of project activities, all research, and project’s results will be used to prepare a position paper suitable to drive and design new inclusion and cohesion politics.

May 21st 2018 – Focus on Lybia – Seminar on Africa
Invited Experts will present the latest highlights on the Libyan situation with the purpose to inform civil society on what is happening on the other side of Mediterranean Sea. This event is addressed to civil society and local organization who deal with the migration phenomenon on field.

May 22nd  2018 – Academic Conference on Human Mobility
The conference focuses on human mobility and migrants’ contribution to society and it is dedicated to the memory of Peter Sutherland, a global champion of migrants and refugees, former UN Special Representative for Migration. More than 40 people among academics, politicians, European institutions’ representatives will visit Sicily to arise their level of knowledge, debate and meet local experiences.

May 23rd, 2018 – Citizens’ Dialogue on Europe with Mario Monti and Silvie Goulard – Meeting Politicians
The Citizens’ Dialogue on Europe: Mario Monti in conversation with Sylvie Goulard. The conversation will be held in Italian and will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Sicilian communities, civil society and practitioners dealing with the migration phenomenon on field are invited to participate in the dialogue.

December 13th 2018 – Migrants’ matters: a European approach between law and territorial experience – Lecture for PhD students
The objectives are to present a wide range of academic’s theories and practical experiences of managing the integration of incoming migrants and refugees (extra-EU) and to provide a framework for their inclusion. This will cover: housing, integration, provision of public services, social inclusion, education and labour market measures. A visiting professor will be invited (Prof. Tommaso Frattini, from Università degli Studi di Milano)

February 16th 2019 – Central Africa matters – Seminar on Africa
Invited Experts (researchers, journalists) will present the latest highlights on the middle Africa situation. The purpose Is to inform civil society on what is happening in the African countries where the most part of immigrants come from (Nigeria, Gambia, Eritrea) and help them to understand the reasons why so many African people wants to escape from their country. This event is useful to create empathy, solidarity, welcoming attitude.

February 16th 2019 – Middle East matters – Seminar on Africa
Invited Experts (researchers, journalists) will present the latest highlights on the middle East situation. The purpose Is to inform civil society on what is happening in the area where the most part of refugees and help them to understand the reasons why so many African people wants to escape. This event is useful to create empathy, solidarity, welcoming attitude.

May 29th 2019 – Migrants’ matters: a European approach between law and territorial experience – Lecture for PhD students
The objectives are to present a wide range of academic’s theories and practical experiences of managing the integration of incoming migrants and refugees (extra-EU) and to provide a framework for their inclusion. This will cover: housing, integration, provision of public services, social inclusion, education and labour market measures. A visiting professor will be invited (Prof. Francesco Drago, from Università di Catania)

June 24th – 25th 2019 – Academic Conference on Managing Migration – Conference
The conference will bring together academics, policymakers and NGOs with ultimate aim of developing concrete solutions to the migration challenges facing Europe. It will draw on a wide range of disciplines, from economics and international relations to sociology and anthropology. The conference’s ambition is to put together a package of policy options – an “action plan” – drawing on a multitude of academic disciplines and broad policy experience to inform decision-makers as well as to generate further research.

June 25th 2019 – Inclusion and cohesion: two faces of the same coin – Meeting Politicians
A roundtable whose main guests will be European institutions representatives talking about the latest European parliament activities on migration. The scope of the roundtable is to promote dialogue and debate between Brussels and territories at the boundaries. Civil society, students, local politicians will be invited