Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - EMIGRE (European emigration governance - emigration and diaspora policies and discourses in the post-crisis era.)

The purpose of the project is to analyse the impact of emigration and diaspora policies implemented on national and EU-level on migration strategies of EU nationals.
The project looks at the EU member states from the perspective of emigration governance. The main underlying theme of this research is that emigration and immigration are two sides of the same coin and thus European migration governance should be approached from two angles to understand its full dimension. The European Union is in fact still a region of emigration, with a majority of migrants staying within its boundaries, however important numbers leaving EU every year. Based on current global trends emigrants should be perceived as a potential asset. ÉMIGRÉ analyses emigration and diaspora policies of three EU Member States (France, Portugal and Poland) as well as EU-level responses to emigration in the specific context of emigration to Canada. I would like to know whether policies and actions of the EU countries support EU nationals in their migration project.

The key objectives are:
1) To close the knowledge gap on migration from the EU.
2) To enrich international migration governance studies by providing comparative analysis of actions of EU Member States in regards to emigration management.
3) To determine the relation between State identity formation/shifts and success of policy learning/policy transfer processes between levels of governance.
4) To contribute to evidence-based policy making at the EU level

In the first phase of the project I focused on field-work in Canada: I interviewed nearly 70 recently arrived EU nationals who live in Canada. I met with EU diplomats, migrant and diaspora associations, Canadian government officials and representatives of migrant service providers. I also gathered statistical data for analysis. The documentary "Europe outside Europe" that I produced was screened in May 2016 in Ottawa and is scheduled for screening in Brussels later this year.

The first results indicate that Europeans living outside of the EU do not develop European identity (as opposed to the earlier historical examples of e.g. Italians developing Italian identity on emigration while still being divided at home). European diaspora has little link to the European Union, new generations have none, despite having an EU passport. The member states are solely responsible for all the links with EU nationals abroad, for building political and social ties with them. In these interactions, EU is usually left aside. EU citizenship has a meaning only within EU borders. At the same time EU nationals are an ethnically diverse, multicultural crowd. They often hold two or three passports, some are ex-immigrants to Europe or their descendants.

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