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Migration Impact Assessment to Enhance Integration and Local Development in European Rural and Mountain Areas

Project description

Immigrant integration in European rural and mountain areas

The EU-funded MATILDE project is based on the hypothesis that non-EU immigrants can contribute to the economic and social development of rural and mountain areas across Europe. Besides, the spatial distribution of Third Country Nationals (TCNs) impacts on the relations between urban areas and rural/mountain zones: it can thus support territorial cohesion and more balanced development across Europe. The project will estimate the dimensions of the economic and social impacts of TCNs in 10 European countries, at national, regional and local levels. Through 13 local case studies conducted with action-research methods, MATILDE will examine the local impact of migrations in diverse rural and mountain regions. The project intends to engage local stakeholders and policymakers to achieve a better understanding of the impacts of migration; to elaborate proposals concerning the redistribution of resources in the EU rural and mountain areas; as well as to formulate recommendations concerning the governance of migration.


MATILDE develops a transdisciplinary conceptual and methodological framework for a multi-dimensional assessment of economic and social impacts of TCNs at different scales (from EU-aggregate, to local level). It focuses on assessing the impacts of TCNs (incl. economic, families, forced migration and vulnerable groups) on local development and on the re-distribution of resources in EU rural and mountain regions. The assessment is based on the hypothesis that TCNs are an important driver of socio-economic development and have a strong effect on the relationships between urban and rural/mountain areas and on a balanced territorial development. MATILDE uses quantitative and qualitative methods and adopts an action-research approach (through the implementation of 13 case studies throughout Europe) that emphasises the agency of migrants and the site-specific features of the regions involved. Case studies are selected based on the presence of urban poles differently interconnected with rural and mountain areas via flows of people, economic resources and cultural exchange. The action-reserach approach is built on a multi-stakeholder perspective: the two-level consortium gathers research partners and diverse local partners working in the field of TCNs’ integration. MATILDE partners will work together to co-construct the migration impact assessment in rural and mountain areas, engaging local stakeholders and beneficiaries, and to elaborate and share policy recommendations and governance solutions. Overall, the project improves knowledge on the social and economic development potential of TCNs in rural and mountain areas. It helps understanding the mechanisms behind the socio-economic integration of TCNs and it provides policy makers, practitioners and local stakeholders with analytical tools and place-based solutions/policy recommendations to counteract misperceptions and untap the migration potential in rural and mountain regions.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 461 697,00
70211 KUOPIO

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Manner-Suomi Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi Pohjois-Savo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 461 697,00

Participants (26)