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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Building Europe with new citizens? an inquiry into the civic participation of naturalised citizens and foreign residents in 25 countries


Populations of immigrant origin are growing in Europe. This project starts from the assumption that immigrant populations have a high potential for active civic participation, because migrants experienced themselves the positive effects of reciprocal net works and the support by civic activists from the mainstream society. In addition, third country nationals may develop a more distinctive conception of European values and democracy than EU natives do, comparing to their state of origin. But legal and po litical conditions for migrants may discourage participation in the mainstream society. This project seeks to improve our understanding of different factors that promote or inhibit active civic participation of immigrants. A unique project construction i s developed that enables broad coverage while securing common aims and standards. It includes a summer school as a means to recruit and train foreign students as interviewers. The study is divided into 3 parts: A comparative literature review on immigran t civic participation in 25 member and accession states, focussing on native language sources and describing the basic conditions and patterns of participation and identifyingcountry differentials beyond the legal realm. A comparative analysis of for eign students' perceptions of democracy in Europe, using focus group discussions at a summer school, to explore how their ideas of democracy are linked to active participation and influenced by their national background. A comparative analysis of over 1 50 qualitative interviews with civic activists of immigrant origin in 25 states, differentiating between immigrant citizens, permanent residents and migrants with temporary status, to identify favourable biographical and national conditions for active participation. A European NGO will organise dissemination events in the 25 countries, embedding the presentation of research results#

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