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Media and Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identity in the European Union

Final Report Summary - MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP (Media and Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identity in the European Union)

Executive Summary:


MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP studied the ways transnational media, in particular Arabic language television, reshape the political landscapes of citizenship in the European Union. It provides the first European wide empirical research on the use of Arabic language television and its effect on integration in multicultural societies After collecting data in capital cities of six EU nations, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Focus group studies in those countries and Cyprus explored how Arabic speakers themselves construct citizenship in the light of their media use, and their adopted national cultures. Those results were then discussed with the communities in a series of public engagement events, and a short documentary made of the results.

Project Context and Objectives:


The objectives of the project were to gather quantitative and qualitative comparative empirical data on the use of Arabic language television in Europe, in order to deliver well founded policy advice on issues relating to the media and its regulation. The project worked with Arabic speakers on their understandings of citizenship, derived from the media on the one hand and imposed by citizenship testing regimes on the other, in order to involve the community to influence policy at the national and European level.

Its aim was to provide:
-quantitative data on the television viewing behaviour of Arabic speakers in the EU, assessing their use of Arabic language and national language media
-comparative data between EU nations on viewing behaviour including satellite delivered media
- qualitative data derived from focus groups relating to media perception and understanding of citizenship in Arabic speaking communities
-assessment of citizenship testing regimes relative to their assumed media content and perceptions of Arabic speaking citizens in each nation
-public meetings to debate notions of citizenship with Arabic speakers
-documentary on the project

Each of these aims has been met. During the course of the project the issues at the heart of the project - the interweaving concerns about migration in the European Union, what it is to be a European and fears of mediated content - have increasingly come into focus. Over the summer months of 2010, for instance, public issues dealing with immigration ranged from Thilo Sarrazin's Deutschland schafft sich ab , the success of Dutch politician Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, PVV, on 10 June, to that of the Sweden Democrats on September 19. While Angela Merkel and David Cameron in early 2011 questioned the notion of multiculturalism, Nicolas Sarkozy, more extravagantly, told a special session of Parliament held at Versailles that 'We in our country cannot accept women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity. ' (BBC, June 10, 2010). Notwithstanding sympathy in Europe when in 2011 local Arabic speaking populations in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria rose against what were perceived as non-democratic governments, there has been a great deal of reluctance to accept refugees from those conflicts.

As Barber put it in the Financial Times:

Slowly but surely the perception has arisen that the 'native' cultures of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands are at risk of being swamped by the tides of immigrants who breed more than the indigenous majority and who are neither willing nor able to assimilate (FT, 4-5 September 2010).

Project Results:


What it is to be a citizen is not a simple matter. For an individual to be a citizen is for that person to belong in a particular way to a community, be it a 'city' (as in the origins of the term), a nation state or some other broad grouping such as the European Union. That an individual is a citizen of a community is a matter of law. However, the relationship also carries cultural connotations. Being a citizen implies that an individual shares certain beliefs with, and behaves as a member of, the community. The beginning of the twenty-first century has seen a number of nation states impose - or refine - tests to ensure that citizens to whom they grant the formal legal status have appropriate cultural attributes. Not only have the classical countries of immigration, such as Australia, Canada and the United States, strengthened or reintroduced stringent tests for migrants to become citizens, but the countries of Western Europe have, for the first time, also turned to testing regimes. Since the beginning of the century, the Netherlands and Germany have imposed tests of cultural knowledge for new citizens; the Netherlands has developed a civic integration regime which prospective migrants take before arrival; and the UK has revised its requirements of cultural knowledge and toughened its stance on visas and migration.

Globalisation, and in particular the globalisation of the media, has altered the power of the state to control the cultural agenda. Over the last two decades, the European media environment has been utterly transformed from its past as separate nations dominated by separate state run public media. These days the media are no longer only available in national languages. What has emerged is not the hoped-for pan-European public sphere, but rather a multi-channeled, multi-lingual free-for-all; a fragmented set of sub- and super-national public spheres. It is this new mediated environment for Arabic speakers that the project, MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP, has aimed to explore.

Numerous attempts to ban satellite dishes early this century led to the following EU directive:

The European Commission has adopted a Communication in which it states that private individuals should be free to use satellite dishes without undue technical, administrative, urban planning or tax obstacles. The right to do so flows from the free movement of goods and services, which are both fundamental Internal Market freedoms. The Commission's intention is that the Communication will respond to the numerous requests for information and clarification which it has received on the subject in recent months from private individuals and the European Parliament. This Communication is the first initiative under the new Strategy for Services, launched in January 2001 (see IP/01/31)." (EU, 2001)

Satellite communications have accelerated the process whereby citizens can access a rich and varied range of media. Europe witnesses the tensions which derive from this new media landscape. Over the last two decades the European Commission has encouraged 'Television without frontiers' (EU, 1989) and transnational harmonisation between European television channels (EU, 2003) in the hope of creating a trans-European broadcasting space and, in Price's (1995) phrase, a trans-European 'market for loyalties' with satellite communication enabling a broader transnational public sphere.

Methodological background

Comparative quantitative research frequently aims to compare 'similarities' and 'differences' through the lens of nations. However, diasporic media cultures do not fit into this scheme. Research which focuses on diasporic cultures as 'local, ' relating as a migrant culture to a 'place', such as a world city, has led to a number of mostly qualitative studies. For instance, emerging spaces of 'belonging' and 'identity' within a culture of migrant mobility media practice can be identified in opposition to mainstream national media (Ogan, 2001, Georgiou, 2007). In this sense, diasporic media cultures are often conceptualized in a transnational, often bi-national context through a dialectic of inclusion/exclusion. Empirical research is mostly based on qualitative methods but also built around national case studies. However, the merging forms of diverse 'diasporic' media cultures are today situated between subnational and supranational connections, not only between so called 'home'-country and country of residence or citizenship but also among the larger supranational community in their relation to a variety of nation-states.

Qualitative and quantitative data

The project aimed to combine quantitative and qualitative data to provide empirical evidence about how Arabic speakers use television. Methodological challenges included:

Today, hundreds of Arabic language channels, television and radio, are available freely through satellite or cable delivery to Arabic speaking households in Europe. However, there is almost no reliable audience data available. None of the Arabic channels retransmitted in Europe depends for its existence on advertising revenue from Europe. Sakr (2010) argues that few commercial Arabic channels are profitable even in their domestic market; the European market is a focus only for transnational channels all of which are heavily subsidized. Partly as a consequence of this, there are no ratings data about the European audiences of such channels. Al Jazeera (which proves in our study to be overwhelmingly the most watched channel by Arabic speakers across Europe) has some research; but in general the field is uncharted. Furthermore, besides Eutelsat, non European satellites beam into various regions of European countries, such as Nilesat, uploaded from Cairo, is available across southern Spain. Arabic language channels include national channels from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the Lebanon, the Gulf, Syria, Saudi and Iraq, and the Yemen as well as 'transnational' channels such as Al Jazeera (owned by the Emir of Qatar), Al Arabiyya, Al Manar (owned by Hizbollah), Iqraa a religious broadcaster.


Our primary objective was to map and quantify the use of Arabic language television - whether delivered by cable or satellite. The survey included about 400 individuals in each of Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Stockholm. The survey consisted of a multiple choice plus open response questionnaire, filled out by an interviewer. Survey questions included the use of Arabic language television in Arabic speaking households with the use of private and public national television in the nation-states. Furthermore, the survey provided information on age, gender, education level, generation and dialect. We then asked about the use of media for news, the importance of local, transnational and Arabic media, and media practices. The total sample size of 2470 was obtained by a snowballing methodology. While there are striking differences across the sample space, there are also continuities. We described this sample via 'sample indicators' in order to 'map' differences and similarities in the six countries involved. These sample indicators revealed, a national and cultural diversity (for example relating to country of origin, formal status in country of residence, a generational profile) across the entire sample

Television Diaries

The survey clearly indicated the important role of television across the sample. The second stage was a formal television diary. We have developed diary forms for each country which included spaces for filling in television stations but also a set of nationally available international and national television channels. The diaries included a time frame of 24 hours. With this instrument, we were able to measure the actual viewing pattern of local (of country where they reside) and Arabic language TV channels by Arabic speakers in the six countries for one week, starting in November 24, 2008, what channel and what genre they watched and when they watched it. The diary data are very rich and indicated a series of patterns that confirm the survey questionnaire data. The most watched Arabic language channel is Al Jazeera, except in Paris, followed by Al Arabiya. Informants rely on Al Jazeera and local (national) channels for news. For entertainment there is a typical mix of Egyptian satellite and local television, and for sport (except in Spain where Al Jazeera offers Moroccan soccer) local channels predominate.

Focus Groups

We built on the media survey data with extended focus group interviews with groups of Arabic speakers, dealing with their use of the media in the understanding of national and international events. The focus group protocols were based on analysis of the diary and questionnaire data, and developed in coordination with a team of Arabic/Berber/English and national European language speakers who conducted the focus groups. There was extensive testing of the questions which focused not only on media use but also on cultural belonging, the impact of anti-immigrant sentiment and more rigorous forms of citizenship testing where relevant, and civic literacy. The six groups per country were divided by gender and into three age groups (18-25, 26-45, and above), two per generational cohort, one entirely male and one entirely female. Focus group interviews were transcribed and compared across the nations, the analysis turns specifically to the construction of notions of citizenship.

Public engagement events and dissemination

The Public Engagement Workshops were intended to provide space for Arabic speaking citizens/prospective citizens to discuss issues of political participation, as relating to the research project's agenda. We were committed to reaching out to the Arab speaking community, as this community was not only participant in the research process but also a community of interest in the actual study. Thus, the Public Engagement Workshops were designed to play a twofold role. First, to collect information about participants' sense of identity and democracy and secondly, to engage them as partners in the deliberation around our findings


The media environment of modern Europe no longer constitutes a terrain of monolithic national public spheres, in which the agenda for public debates can be set. Rather we have a range of more or less public, more or less private spheres, delivered via a globalized media infrastructure, Internet, satellite and individualized digital television platforms. Satellite has fundamentally altered the nature of the public sphere, giving access to new civic spaces of mediated spaces: entertainment, news, music, sport; multilingual, multifaith, and politically diverse.

The methodology of the MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP project was self-consciously transnational. The difficulties of such an approach are evident, even within such a relatively homogeneous space as the EU. Data on ethnicity, on level of schooling, on media access are not strictly comparable; and ratings data had never before been gathered transnationally. Moreover the high costs and sensitivity of our subject has made the process of gathering material extremely demanding. It was necessary to enter the communities with extreme care, allaying concerns that we had connections to government or particular community groupings.

That said, satellite communication is transnational and of its essence creates viewerships across national boundaries. There is no question that when controversial issues relevant to the Arabic world arise, Arabic speakers turn to Arabic language television - mostly Al Jazeera but others too. There is a sense of a transnational mediated space, a space of shared understanding and values, which underpins much of the focus group discussion.

Our findings with respect to the three groupings of Arabic speakers - 'bicultural' describing the behavior of Arabic speakers of Maghrebian origin, 'transnational' that of Middle Eastern origin and 'Mediterranean' as a descriptor for the sense of belonging Arabic speakers have in the eastern Mediterranean are well founded. It is striking that those of Maghreb origin who live in Sweden and London share the bicultural characteristics of those in the more heavily Maghrebi capitals. Whether speaking French, Dutch, Spanish, English or Swedish as their 'European' language, there are patterns of practices which are shared transnationally.



As specific socio-demographic or other social and economic background details about the group of Arab migrants are not available in many countries, we have developed a two-step approach which (a) has allowed to capture general information as a first step and (b) to relate this to subjective media practices in the second step. This approach has enabled us to develop a quantitative research tool for a field which is - despite its political relevance - widely empirically under-researched. Furthermore, we should note that if studies have been carried out, these are mostly of qualitative nature (e.g. using semi structured interviews, discourses analysis etc.). These studies have informed our overall approach.


Our first step was to conduct - as step 1 - a household survey. The survey took place in capital cities of six of the seven countries involved in this study. Cities included are: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Stockholm. Cyprus has been left out as the Arab population is too small in Cyprus for a quantitative study. However, Cyprus is included in the qualitative research. In each city about 400 respondents completed the survey questionnaire. As traditional sampling models were impossible due to the lack of socio-demographic data, we have developed a consistent 'respondent-driven' sampling process which has been used in each of the capital cities. Language is a powerful tool for integration. Therefore it is a positive result that about 90% of the respondents can speak the local language. In the group of those born in the local country nearly everybody speaks the local language. In this group 85% speak the local language also at home. In the Maghreb group more than 50% speak the local language at home, but the rates are much lower in the Middle Eastern and in the Iraq group.


Focus Groups: Media Practices and Notions of Belonging

The qualitative segment of the project took place over the summer of 2009. We conducted six focus groups in each country with two groups (male and female) of representatives of each generation, 18-24, 25-45, over 45. Each team consisted of research assistants fluent in Arabic, the local language and English, all of whom worked on the protocol with the project leaders over some months. Our aim was to enable those participating to discuss their media practices, not just television but also their use of Internet, newspapers, radio. We also trialled a range of questions touching on sensitive issues of notions of belonging, identity, citizenship and civic engagement. The philosophical complexities of these focus groups were made evident as we developed translations for the various notions not just in standard Arabic but for the widely different dialects used.

Arabic - and particularly Muslim - television audiences in Europe have been a matter of much scholarly and popular debate in recent years and there have been some excellent ethnographic surveys. Prior to this study, most have focused on particular national audiences. In the wake of 9/11, Marie Gillespie led a team in the UK looking at Muslim viewers and their evaluation of the press and media. Gillespie argues that many of those interviews are critical and competent media users.

The lack of information or the narrowness of political perspective on events creates a great deal of frustration, particularly at moments of crisis. This leads to an active search for alternative news sources: newspapers, magazines, Internet, television. The consumption of multiple alternative news sources from different perspectives, in turn, cultivates highly critical news consumers. (2006: 913)

In her view, Arabic speakers use the densely inhabited network of transnational television channels, judiciously balancing the information available on BBC, on Al Jazeera and on the national Arabic channels available by satellite, with internet and press: a highly individualistic reasoned and critical viewer emerges.

Gillespie's assertions offer a valuable counterweight to stereotypes of Arabic speakers in Europe, linked via the ubiquitous satellite dishes to an alien orientalist, Islamist ummah, inculcating or reinforcing cultural practices that are anti-democratic and anti-feminist and - in the extreme cases - terrorist. Those stereotypes rely on a vision of Arabic speaking audiences as passive, uniform and unreflective. The work of Gillespie and her team shows how limited that view is. Yet there is more to be said. The national focus of their study leaves unexplored the rich new cross-national media terrain.


The complexity of European attitudes towards citizenship can be illuminated by setting the historical context. Citizenship itself, in its modern form, is a European construct. From the Ancient world through late Antiquity to the establishment of the modern nation states, Europe has led the way in theorizing and exemplifying models of citizenship. By the mid to late 20th century the citizenship regimes of the countries of study in this project varied greatly. Over the early years of the 21st century these models have come closer together, not solely because of the unifying force of the European Union, to which they all belong, but equally because of a shared reaction to pressures of migration, and the fears of loss of identity noted by Barber. The increasing harmonisation of legal regimes of citizenship is in itself of interest.

In the broader context of the concept of cultural citizenship, it is the lack of sensitivity of national regimes to the cosmopolitan culture of their citizens which is striking. There is a distinction between formal or bare legal citizenship, which consists in the relation between a state and an individual deemed able to carry a passport of that nation state, and a range of less formal aspects of citizenship, including economic citizenship, the ability to earn, pay taxes within a state, and cultural citizenship, consisting in the beliefs, knowledge and practices which characterise, or appear to characterise, members of a nation state. The distinction is little recognised in discussions of citizenship in the EU

Nation States and Citizenship

The modern notions of citizenship trace directly to Greece and Rome. The Athenian citizen as described by Aristotle (trans Kenyon, 1893) was required to be engaged in the activities and practices of the city. Citizenship was as it sounds, membership of a city state. The ideal of the active citizen, and of the public sphere continue to be influential in modern theorizing, particularly in the twentieth-century Habermasian form. Yet the Athenian citizen was very different from the modern form, even in principle. Aristotelian citizenship was highly exclusive - there was even doubt as to whether working men should be included.

Rome's citizens were of quite another scale than those of Athens and were from the early days widely distributed across the Empire. Law was developed as the appropriate mechanism for setting limits in the interests of all. What is striking, in the current context, about Roman citizenship, is its transnational flavour. As a transnational entity, the later Roman empire was tolerant of multiple religious practices. Indeed, with its widely distributed polity, it was a paradigm of a cosmopolitan polity, its local loyalties and practices interweaving with broader economic and cultural imperatives to breed what might now be called 'hybrid' citizens.

With the rise of Christianity, and the domination of political power by the Church, religion took a central place in the Western and Eastern empires. In The City of God, Augustine (trans. Dyson, 1998) presented his case for citizenship of Heaven as more important than citizenship of a temporal Empire. From these beginnings the concept of the Holy Roman Empire as both temporal and spiritual recast the concept of citizenship as religious belonging. As we look to recent debates about identity and belonging in the modern nations of Europe, we must not forget the central role of religious belief in the European conception of citizenship.

Thus for instance it was the defeat of Granada and the expulsion of the last of the Moors from Spain in 1492 was a defining moment for Spanish identity, one which continues to be reflected in the use of the term, 'Moro', in modern debates on immigration. The Reformation, the establishment of the Church of England, the bitter battles with their Spanish overlords leading to the establishment of the Netherlands, were characterised by debates about the relation between the individual, their religion and the State. David Held (1995) argues forcefully that the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which marked the creation of the Netherlands, was the determinant of the outline of the modern nation state: the religious wars themselves led to the creation of the modern nation state.

Revolutionary France set a new and secular standard for practices of citizenship and the role of the state from which we can trace the assimilationist stance of Sarkozy. The liberal tradition of thought, so influential in modern political theory, arose in reaction to the French experience. Hobbes, hoping to preserve what he had come to see as the benefits of the monarchy and shocked by the Revolutionary anarchy, argued that the state should be minimalist, interfering as little as possible with the personal liberties of citizens while ensuring that citizens could continue their lives in safety. In principle, the liberal tradition leaves room for a great deal of tolerance of others' private practices. To use Isaiah Berlin's distinction between negative (freedom from) and positive (freedom to) liberties: the role of the state is to restrict individual positive liberty in as limited a way as possible. Religious practices so long as they do not interfere with others' positive liberties should not be a matter for state interference.

Empires of Belonging

The great colonial powers of modern Europe inherit in their migration regimes a web of obligation and shared history with their former colonies. Over the twentieth century, the seven countries of this study developed very different regimes towards 'outsiders' as a consequence of those economic and political ties. Countries of empire, Spain, the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent France, regarded their colonial outposts as part of the greater nation. The Spanish empire well lost in the twentieth century still carried immense cultural power. The French phrase territoires d'outre mer - overseas territories - says it clearly: the colonies are just France across the ocean. As it was in Rome, there is a strong view that however widespread, the empire owed allegiance and shared an identity with the imperial centre.

The histories of empire complicate not just notions of cultural citizenship but also the practices of formal citizenship. The British Empire both exported and imported citizens with no very clear guidelines as to which British subjects across the Empire had a right to travel to the homeland or indeed to other colonies. The formal documentation procedures were also highly various. Until after the Second World War qualified Australians carried British passports. Likewise in Spain, where the legacy of the empires of the Americas and free movement among the colonies is still evident today. Indeed it is only in the last decades that Spain has had migration from outside its own former colonies. The French colonial experience in North Africa set a pattern of migration and citizenship which are evident in the data we present here.

States arising out of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires had huge numbers of ethnic populations outside of their new boundaries. In the case of Cyprus, for instance, with a continuous history of empire since classical times, the mix of races of the Eastern Mediterranean defines its nature. More recently, membership of the Ottoman empire, an uneasy period as a British protectorate, its division into Greek and Turkish regions and now membership of the EU have left traces in a strikingly open immigration policy.

In some cases, as in Spain and France, the criterion for belonging has been language. The French policy for granting of citizenship makes a special case for those who were raised French speaking. There is no requirement of residence in France for those citizens of a country where French is an official language with five years schooling in French, while others need to live five years in France to apply (cf. Appendix). Modern Spanish immigration policy has a special case for the Spanish speakers from the Americas Latin American citizens need only wait for two years to apply for Spanish citizenship and are permitted to be dual citizens.

While Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden each had some experience of empire, their regimes of citizenship were less self consciously imperial than those above. Each to a greater or lesser degree drew on the Germanic preference for citizenship based on ties of blood. Ius sanguinis (right of blood) defines citizenship in terms not of place of birth, but of ancestry: one is a citizen if one has an ancestor who is a national or citizen of the state. It contrasts with ius soli (right of soil). Both criteria are tendentious: while the French republican tradition saw France adoption jus soli, the German tradition, shared by most countries in Europe was of ius sanguinis Many nations have a mixture of ius sanguinis and ius soli.

In Germany the importance of ius sanguinis was reinforced by the post war division of the country. After 1989, ethnic Germans flooded from the countries of Eastern Europe to live in Germany as a matter of right, needing only to establish their bloodline. At the same time there was intense pressure to give citizenship to the German born children of those principally Turkish migrants who came to West Germany after the war. The notion, shared by Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden was that guest works would not choose to remain. Tolerant and integrationist regimes, as in the Dutch and Swedish cases, opened doors to both workers and refugees over the last part of the twentieth century, with a range of policies drawing on ius soli and naturalisation.

The models of formal citizenship and of the relation between state, national identity and belonging interweave with imperial and post-war histories. The discourse of multicultural toleration contrasts with one of assimilation. In his discussion of the question of a European constitution (2001), Habermas distinguishes between citizens held together by ethnic identity, and nations held together in the juristically neutral sense of 'state-constituting peoples'. He argues that modern democracy requires a more abstract neutral form of political participation suggests that:

The multicultural self-understanding of the nations of citizens formed in classical countries of immigration ... is more instructive ... than that derived from the culturally assimilationist French model (2001:159-160).

In fact, as the long debate charted in Kymlicka and Norman (2000) evidences and recent remarks by Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy evidence, multiculturalism appears to be losing favour as a concept, challenged by fear of relativism and concerns about the limits of toleration. There is a fear that toleration of religious practices of others will undermine the hard won secular values of the West. The question of how to accommodate outsiders has become a matter of debate across the spectrum, from philosophical of the 'other' to empirical investigations of the economic benefit of migrants.

Testing Would-be Citizens

Since the turn of the century, there has been not only a change of attitudes towards citizenship in Europe, but also a wave of new forms of testing discussed in the individual country reports attached here. The UK had been tightening the requirements for British citizenship steadily over the 1990s. The commitment to principles of multiculturalism was already losing strength before 9/11 and 7/27. Legislation has made entry to the country to work and study more difficult, eligibility to apply for citizenship more onerous and tests harder. That is a pattern across Europe.

Netherlands while seen at the home of toleration brought in the most draconian regime of both pre-immigration tests and tests for would-be citizens. In 1998, the Wet Inburgering Nieuwkomers (widely known as WIN) was introduced. WIN was a law according to which new migrants were assisted by local governments to learn the Dutch language and customs and obtain employment. Newcomers were entitled to a 12 month integration course. WIN as initially conceived was thus inclusionary, in so far as it aimed to assist integration. A cabinet agreement of May 2003 emphasized the exclusionary interpretation of WIN, in so far as newcomers were now required to pass the test, and to prove their ability to integrate. By 2006 immigrants were required to pay for their own integration courses, and successful completion of the tests became a prerequisite for permanent residence. Now the cost of the tests looks likely to rise astronomically as billions are to be cut from the Immigration budget. The Integration Abroad Act of March 2006 introduced a test for particular classes of migrants to be taken abroad before the granting of a temporary visa.

Hesse in Germany was the first of the States to introduce tests for citizens in 2006, clearly modelled on the Dutch case. 2008 saw the introduction of Civic Integration testing in Germany as of 1 September 2008. Even Sweden, is set to introduce stronger anti-immigration measures. In 2006 there was a reappraisal of the migration regime and new integration policy 2009. The recent election victory of the anti-immigrant party can be expected to raise pressure for further tightening.

Sarkozy himself was as interior minister responsible for the Loi Sarkozy of 2003 in France addressed similar concerns to those of the Netherlands about what Sarkozy himself called 'totally clannish communalism (communautarisme) ' (quoted and translated, Joppke, 2007a: 253), which drastically reduced the grounds for legal permanent residence and made the receipt of a ten year residence card dependent on knowledge of French language and values. The French, during their presidency of the EU in 2008, were preoccupied with the shakeout in the financial sector, yet sought to revitalize issues of trans-European immigration control (Barber, 2008). The French legislative processes focus on the 'prefecture' where the ability to assimilate is judged; in this respect the French process shares and informal requirement of evidence of assimilation with Spain.

Only with Spain's entry into the EU, and its strategic location as an entry point to Europe from North Africa, and the employment opportunity in Spain itself, has there been an explicit policy. There were large flows of undocumented migrants in 2004, followed by an amnesty announced in February 2005 (BBC, 2005). By late 2009, after 5.5 million immigrants arrived in Spain the previous year, a new law was introduced to allow detention of illegal immigrants for up to 60 days, and restricting the rights of relatives to migrate.

The British case based on the multicultural model, and self conscious celebration of difference, began to be questioned over the 1990s with the rise of civics education and the increasingly tight migration law. Perhaps the most notable change in British legislation is the provision now to remove citizenship from British born citizens on suspicion of terrorism. Cyprus, welcoming though its provisions are, likewise allows loss of citizenship. These are drastic provisions.

Nations do have the right independently to determine citizenship. Within Europe, given the transferability of citizenship, this gives rise to tension. Northern European states constantly pressure the south more effectively to police their borders so as to prevent illegal immigrants. At the same time there is Union-wide concern about the undermining of values and identity within Europe. Those concerns are often quite out of proportion. There are how deep sources of the fear that national identity is being diluted in the modern state and is endangered by the gift of citizenship to outsiders. Yet each nation, however homogeneous, is host to a range of values; many of those values are shared among other nations. We need to remember that the level of immigration in Europe is still low by the standards of the new world, with only 7% of Great Britain of non Anglo-Saxon background. At the same time, the citizenship testing regimes of the sort now emerging in Europe, in which prospective citizens are asked to answer questions about the culture and values of the host country are unlikely to ensure shared values.

In the EU context speaking a language fluently and knowing historical facts about its culture cannot be either necessary or sufficient for being a desirable citizen. European citizens are by virtue of European law given most of the privileges of other member nations, while often not speaking the language or knowing anything of the culture. It cannot hence be necessary to know language and culture to have the right to live and work in an EU nation. On the other hand knowing language and culture is clearly not sufficient for ensuring good citizenship. Those responsible for the bombings in London of 7/7, like Mohammed Bouyeri who killed Theo van Gogh, had been educated and spoke the language fluently.

EU context

It is not surprising that since the seven countries studied here joined the EU with very different attitudes towards citizenship, their legal regimes have harmonised. What is striking is that harmonisation, rather than being driven by Brussels, has in fact been driven by the nation states of Western Europe.

The 2004 Dutch Presidency of the European Union was notable for Dutch initiatives to introduce EU-wide policy on immigration and integration. The Hague Programme, introduced in November 2004, took a new direction, introducing an ambitious five year agenda for policy. The Hague Programme had the support of the European Council consisting of heads of all the EU states, and was significantly subtitled 'Strengthening Freedom, Security and Justice in the European Union'. The security agenda was uppermost in the listed aims of the Programme, with the goal of fighting organized crime, and repressing the threat of terrorism made quite explicit.

The EU policies on migration were reviewed in the Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration (Commission of the EC 2007, henceforth EC 2007). New EU policies, such as the Common Basic Principles for Immigrant Integration Policies and the Common Agenda for Integration adopted by the European Council in September of 2005:

Provide […] supportive EU mechanisms [for concrete proposals] developing a distinctive EU approach to integration through cooperation and exchange of good practice. (EC 2007)

The report talks of Common European modules for migrant integration, begging the question - is there a common European identity for the various tests to assess? It is striking that the EU and its policy bodies, while self-consciously developing notions of transnational belonging and identity, fail adequately to recognize the many different sub-and supra-national forms of belonging and identity of its own citizens, let alone of those who might one day be citizens. Diasporic communities, supported by transnational media worlds, networked communities, interest groups and NGOs all serve to create forms of political identity which extend beyond the nation state; indeed beyond Europe.

While terms such as intercultural dialogue, social inclusion and social protection make an appearance, throughout the report the emphasis is on the economic impact of immigration. So for instance:

Immigrants represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs in Europe. Their businesses have a significant impact on EU economic growth. An Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship Network was set up to exchange information to overcome difficulties in setting up businesses (EC2007)

The explicit emphasis on the economic benefits of inward migration across the EU is a reflection of the new exclusionary model of citizenship. The explicit emphasis on employment was noted by Joppke (2007a) in the statement of the original Hague Programme. He then argued that

The strong focus on employment [...] is the one commonality in the otherwise opposite civic integration and antidiscrimination policies. On the one hand this is simply due to the fact that, unlike the classic immigrant nations, where immigrants are generally working, immigrants to Europe..often walk into welfare dependency. On the other hand, at a deeper level, it reveals that immigrants are no longer to be integrated into a self-contained nation state but are to be placed into a state engaged in global competition. (2007a: 268-9)

Whether Joppke is correct to contrast the classic nations of immigration and the EU with respect to the employability of recent migrants, he here identifies a crucial issue for citizenship testing. The nation state continues to be the vehicle of citizenship even in a transnational environment such as the EU, while at the same time the cultural and economic practices of citizenship are globalised, as are the religious and political movements civic integration is designed to undermine. Citizenship testing, civic integration, integration abroad continue to be a national matter, when the challenges faced are no longer within the control of the nation state.

Harmonisation of legal systems in the EU is a powerful paradigm. In the case of legal regimes governing citizenship, harmonization has followed an unusual path, with strong domestic agendas, responding to political pressure and the post 9/11 world, leading to similar and increasingly rigorous testing regimes for would-be citizens and migrants across Europe. Cultural value change has been led from within nation states, with European debate on citizenship in this case a consequence rather than a cause of the broader EU debate.

In the case of notions of citizenship, the debate is strikingly backward looking. Nostalgia for a supposed culturally homogeneous nation state has informed much of the media discussion of citizenship. An active citizen, of the sort earlier characterised as drawing on Athenian roots, has resurfaced as an ideal (cf. Dahlgren, 2009, chs 3 and 4). The debate about citizenship generally presupposes the idea that the possession of a passport requires and implies a unique cultural identity. This is an idea already challenged by the transnational EU, but in any case in appropriate for the mobile global workforce of modern knowledge workers. Exclusionary mechanisms designed by nation states are aimed to protect work yet at the same time the broader economic debate within Europe has made it patently clear that migration will be increasingly necessary in order to maintain social welfare in the ageing countries of northern Europe.

Issues of loss of identity, the limits of toleration are of the utmost importance and need to be debated within the EU. Incorporating those issues without full debate into legislation governing citizenship has not clarified what is at stake either for values or for being a c

Potential Impact:


Media and Convergence

-Convergence will ensure that there is a highly competitive but often highly concentrated set of media messages within Europe. It is critical that the EU ensures diversity of news and supports the availability of satellite and cable delivered material.
-It is important to further develop and refine, at local, national and supra-national levels, mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of the 2001 Communication on satellite availability, in order to ensure the protection of individuals' right to possess and use satellite dishes.
-We should encourage public service television broadcasters across EU to provide more continuity in diversity policies and their implementation. In particular the perceived lack of an Arabic perspective may be addresses by more Arabic-speakers as media workers and managers.

Media Literacy

-Encourage recognition of the importance of accessing a variety of media sources among all viewers in the EU.
-Encourage media literacy
-Enhance skills of those with and those without multiple languages

Cultural citizenship

-Incorporate understanding of mediated culture in the notions of cultural citizenship used in citizenship testing.
-In particular take account of transnational television as a mode of cultural awareness among all EU citizens
-Acknowledge the widespread civic literacy that is found among many recent migrants

Immigration policy

-Improve or provide alternative migration policies and citizenship tests that take account of the variety of forms of belonging, and their close connection to transnational television.
-Recognise formally the varieties of sub and supra national identity in Europe Encourage the critical use of a variety of media sources and

More project information and contact information of the consortium can be found on the MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP project website:


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4.1 Use and dissemination of foreground

This chapter provides a plan for use and dissemination of foreground (including socio-economic impact and target groups for the results of the research), consisting of:

-Section A.1

This section provides lists of all scientific (peer reviewed) publications relating to the foreground of the project.

-Section A.2

This section provides a list of all dissemination activities (publications, conferences, workshops, web sites/applications, press releases, flyers, articles published in the popular press, videos, media briefings, presentations, exhibitions, thesis, interviews, films, TV clips, posters) and a summary of two very important dissemination activities: the Public Events and the Project Documentary.

Section A (public)

This section includes two templates

-Template A1: List of all scientific (peer reviewed) publications relating to the foreground of the project.

- Template A2: List of all dissemination activities (publications, conferences, workshops, web sites/applications, press releases, flyers, articles published in the popular press, videos, media briefings, presentations, exhibitions, thesis, interviews, films, TV clips, posters).

For list of Scientific Publications, and other dissemination activities, see total final report.


Summary Report 1: the documentary

The MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP documentary was developed as a joint effort of all the partners in the project. The script was drafted and revised during consortium meeting is the past twelve months of the project. Also, the short national video clips made on the basis of the Public Engagement Events organized in each country served as a starting point for the design, structure and content of the documentary. Some of the recordings for these short video clips have therefore been incorporated in the documentary.

After a script was written to structure the content and images in the documentary, the appointed filmmaker started working on the recordings received from the different public events in each country and attended several conferences and meetings to record interviews with the project's team members, shots of the daily life situation of Arabic speakers in the several European capitals researched and comments of experts in the field of MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP. In close cooperation and interaction with the coordinator and project partners he then edited the final documentary.
Summary Report 2: Public Events in each Country


The consortium decided to combine two activities described in the project proposal: the Public Engagement Workshop (D15) and the Major Public Meetings in each country (D16). The combination these dissemination activities, hereinafter referred to as 'Public Event', aimed at (i) initiating public debates around citizenship, democracy and the media among Arab speakers, and (ii) disseminating initial findings and receiving feedback from different communities of interest and potential users. The Public Event took place in all seven countries involved in MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP.

The Public Events represent an important, as well as a challenging phase in the realization of the MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP project. They have provided the research team with excellent opportunities to communicate with communities of interest, opinion leaders and policy makers, but they have also presented significant organizational challenges.

The purpose of the two, originally separate, public events (WP 4 and WP 5) is to provide space for Arabic speaking citizens/hopeful citizens to discuss issues of political participation, as relating to the research project's agenda. Both events are the realization of the project team's effort to reach out to different groups of users and communities of interest. As described in the project proposal, participants were be 'asked to engage with ideas of Europe and democracy promoted in citizenship tests'. They were moreover 'invited to engage in exercises that show (i) where they get their information about citizenship procedures; and (ii) how and while drawing from what sources they evaluate western democracy and citizenship they way they do' (p.13). We have been committed to reaching out to the Arab speaking community, as we have always emphasized that this community is not only participant in the research process but also a community of interest in the actual study.

We have thus learnt from action research and its attempt to reach out to the participants through the construction of a communicative space. As Kemmis puts it:
The first step in action research turns out to be central: the formation of a communicative space…and to do so in a way that will permit people to achieve mutual understanding and consensus about what to do, in the knowledge that the legitimacy of any conclusions and decisions reached by participants will be proportional to the degree of authentic engagement of those concerned.

Thus, the Public Events have been designed to play a twofold role. Firstly, in collecting information about participants' sense of identity and democracy and secondly, in engaging them as partners in the deliberation around our findings. As described about the (originally separate) Public meetings in the research proposal: 'The public meetings are an innovative aspect of this project, and provide an opportunity both to disseminate findings in-progress and to engage new stakeholders in the MEDIA AND CITIZENSHIP project outcomes' (p. 37). Combining this innovative aspect of the Public Meetings with the set-up of the Public Engagement Workshops, thus also allowed the consortium to reach important groups which otherwise might not become engaged with this project.

The intended outcomes of the two events intersect in a number of key points:
-Engagement of different audiences in public debate and deliberation around the concepts of citizenship, identity, media content and regulation
-Intention to established a two-way communication with participants and potential users in the development of the final analysis
-Temporal compatibility of the two kinds of events, as they would be best positioned at a time after the completed work in WP2 and WP3 and before the write up for the final reports and publications.

In light of these, we have decided to combine the two events and intensify our efforts to conduct a successful single event, rather than spreading our efforts between organizing two parallel and to a large extent, overlapping events. In practice, organizing any public event/workshop that would attract different kinds of participants requires enormous amount of effort. Thus, combining the two events meant maximizing the effects of our efforts. As has emerged in practice, the intended outcomes of both events, as described in D15 and D16, have been naturally and productively combined in the organized events.

2. Public Events

National teams have had the full responsibility for organizing the public events in their country. The form of the actual events varied, as it has taken into account the different characteristics of the Arab speakers in each country. However, the purpose of the events has been shared. Public Events in all different formats created an interactive zone of analysis between the researchers of each national team and Arabic speaking citizens/hopeful citizens, as well as a dialogical space of presentation of our findings. Participants have been asked to engage with ideas about Europe, democracy, citizenship legislation and the media, especially as these have been raised during our research.
The events have been conducted in the national language of the countries where the workshops have taken place, but Arabic has also been used as a second language. Participation in the workshop emerged through a matrix of publicizing activities. Some of the common methods used across the group have included online systems of dissemination of information (e.g. Facebook and mailing lists), posters and flyers circulated widely and posted in areas where Arab speakers live, as well as press releases aiming to reach media and policy makers. The level of participation has been uneven across countries; numbers of participants varied from approximately twenty to seventy. However, all events have become successful in terms of the vibrancy and the level of debate. In some occasions, not only participants among Arab speakers showed enthusiasm and high level of engagement but also some experts and journalists developed an interest in the study.

All events addressed a number of research aims and objectives:
-Public meetings aimed to debate notions of citizenship. While this is an issue at the core of debates on local, national and transnational level of policy making, they are also discussions that reflect dynamics in the public sphere. Both kinds of issues and concerns came together in a shared space of deliberation during the public events, in seminar style exercises and also in plenary sessions.
-Publicizing the collected findings and initial analysis has aimed to reach out a diverse audience consisting of both experts and the public. The public events provided an open space and an open invite to interested parties from all sections of the public to participate in the presentation and discussion of our findings.
-The aim of inviting Arabic speaking citizens/hopeful citizens to engage with ideas of democracy and Europe promoted in citizenship tests has taken place along open debates on the limits of citizenship systems (and the tests in particular) that interest policy makers and the media. Indeed, different points of view and expertise were represented and recorded during the event.

3. Reflections on the Public Events

Our experience with the public events provides a space for reflection on the limitations of the Habermasian ideal public sphere and the challenge of involving participants, policy makers and the media in the dissemination of a research project. A few lessons have been learned through our experience and they have implications for future research and policy.

-When organizing the events, we often observed a sense of suspicion or lack of interest in the research among communities of interest. What we have learnt through this process is the significance of reaching out to these communities as early and as widely as possible. For example, it is important to establish rapport with community organizations and to take opportunities to disseminate information about a research project since its early stages. Local and ethnic media provide such opportunities as they are often widely consumed among communities of interest. Though it remains important to avoid developing too close relations with community organizations (as these come with their own politics), open and tactical collaborations can be of benefit to both participants and the project. For example, events co-organized with organizations with regular and established presence among the Arab speaking community (e.g. Casa Arabe at Madrid and youth centre ARGAN at Amsterdam) have been very successful.
-As suggested in the conceptual framework for this project, the image of a monolithic single public sphere has become redundant (if it has ever existed). Our focus has always been on examining the multiplicity of public spheres, as shaped in flows across and within local, national, and transnational public spaces. One of the challenges in reaching out to communities of interest has been the fragmentation of these communities in terms of their social identities (e.g. class, gender, education), diverse interests, and location of residence in the city. Research that involves different activities, each targeting different subgroups can advance further the process of inclusion of communities of interest in the research process.


Reason, P. (2004) 'Action Research: Forming communicative space for many ways of knowing. Response to Md. Anisur Rahman'. Available at

List of Websites: