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EMILIE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 28205
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Greece

Multicultural Europe: rising to the challenge

A group of European researchers addressed issues of multiculturalism and diversity integration in a changing EU landscape. Project efforts highlighted the need to take a contextual approach to discussing, conceptualising and resolving critical migration concerns.
Multicultural Europe: rising to the challenge
The interdisciplinary project 'A European approach to multicultural citizenship legal political and educational challenges' (Emilie) was set up to address Europe's 'crisis of multiculturalism'. Project partners sought to remedy the lack of a common EU intellectual framework for discussing challenges related to multicultural citizenship.

Emilie's objectives focused on highlighting, at the empirical and policy level, weaknesses and challenges of current EU immigrant integration policies. At the theoretical level, the approach promoted a context-orientated debate on integrating diversity, multiculturalism and citizenship for the development of theoretical insights relative to the situation in Europe.

Emilie partners from Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom were chosen to represent migration and integration experiences across five phases of research. Starting out, the goals of the research approach were to outline migration for each country and conduct a critical review of public debates on integration and multiculturalism. This would be followed by undertaking three empirical case studies in each country, integrating the national case studies and critically reviewing the challenges identified through them. Lastly, the main value discourses and perceived value conflicts among the countries studied would be compared. Particular emphasis was placed on the successful integration and participation of Muslim immigrants into European societies as one of the region's major multiculturalism challenges.

The project aimed at an in-depth investigation of national debates and approaches to accommodating diversity as well as questioning the extent to which debates, policy challenges and best practices have a European currency. Other areas of interest included examining the secularised character of European societies and how the perceived importance of religion plays a role in cohesion or divergence.

Project partners organised an academic workshop on migration and diversity challenges in Europe in Berlin in 2009. The event focused on the conceptual and theoretical dimensions related to cultural diversity and the challenges of multiculturalism in the rapidly changing European landscape.

Emilie efforts revealed serious imbalances and deficits in the areas of multiculturalism and diversity integration for many EU Member States, despite concerns for cultivating certain values and public morality. The situation varies across different contexts and is further influenced by varying degrees of sub-state nationalism and regionalism.

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