Europe and Migration

Young people from Eastern and Western European Countries met together in order to discuss the meaning of migration for the life of their countries, communities and themselves. The main question was how the vast migration movements in the late 20th and early 21st century have influenced the societies of both Western and Eastern Europe. In what sense is migration seen as a positive phenomenon? How do both hosting and sending societies use the potential of migration? What are its negative effects on societies and what are the means of dealing with them? How will migration develop in the near future?

The project consisted of three main steps:
*Step 1* Starting point was a biographical element: Ahead of the project the participants prepared short essays on the following topic: Migration – a problem or a chance for future Europe. What is your personal opinion based on your experience? The essays created a basis for further discussions.

*Step 2* Through theoretical input, study visits and discussions during the meeting participants discovered various perspectives of migration. The programme of the meeting on the one hand comprised of lectures given by experts on migration, study visits and meetings with migrants and on the other hand of presentations and discussions of the participants themselves. Topics discussed in detail were

  • Eastern and Western Europe and its different perspectives on migration.
  • Why do people migrate? – Problems of emigration in Eastern Europe and ways of dealing with them.
  • Problems of immigration in Western Europe and ways of dealing with them.
  • Possible means of fostering dialogue and understanding

This part set a ground for *Step 3*, during which - having analysed the complexity of migration in contemporary Europe, motivation of migrants, social processes resulting from migration – in working groups participants developed micro-projects stimulating sensitivity to migration issues in their local communities.