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EMILIE A European Approach to Multicultural Citizenship: legal, political and educational challenges Social Cohesion in Europe Think & Act Madrid, 4-5.

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Presentation on theme: "EMILIE A European Approach to Multicultural Citizenship: legal, political and educational challenges Social Cohesion in Europe Think & Act Madrid, 4-5."— Presentation transcript:

1 EMILIE A European Approach to Multicultural Citizenship: legal, political and educational challenges Social Cohesion in Europe Think & Act Madrid, 4-5 February 2008 Dr. Ruby Gropas, Research Fellow, Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

2 A few words about the EMILIE project Funded by FP6, Priority 7 –Research topic: CITIZENS – Values and religions in Europe –Project duration: July July 2009 Coordinating institute: ELIAMEP, Athens, Greece For more project information visit:  Interdisciplinary project studying experiences of 9 EU member states with very different experiences of migration & integration * Belgium * Denmark* France * Germany* Greece * Latvia * Poland* Spain* United Kingdom  Aims to: respond to current ‘crisis of multiculturalism’ and the lack of common EU intellectual framework to discuss relevant challenges & elaborate an empirically grounded European theoretical model for multiculturalism that is appropriate to the European experience

3 Multiculturalism and social cohesion European societies are characterised by broad ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious diversity; immigration is a large source of this and this is the case across all EU27. Common EU challenge: how to address challenges that arise from this diversity and devise policies that aim at minimising disparities, social exclusion and polarisation This involves rethinking policies, approaches and discourses currently in place, and devising new strategies. Even involves re-thinking perceptions of national identity At the same time, not always necessary to ‘reinvent the wheel’ so by identifying best practices we can see what has been successful in come cases and how this can perhaps be useful for similar challenges faced by others.

4 Multiculturalism is already a reality in EU today; policy responses are lagging behind Day-to-day interaction with different groups is a reality: o65% had at least one interaction with a person of different group in course of a week oHigher levels of interaction with different groups increase appreciation of benefits / value of a multicultural society oWhat kind of diversity is most commonly identified? 48% different ethnicity, 44% different religion, 42% from other EU M.ST, 36% from outside EU oDirect relation between amount of intercultural contact and age, level of education and degree of urbanisation. [Youngest in cities have most intercultural encounters] –-> relevant for future of Europe/ next generation of EU citizens Attitudes towards cultural diversity among EU citizens: o72% believe that people with different backgrounds (ethnic, religious or national) enrich the cultural life of their country o[among these 23% consider that cultural diversity highly enriches their country’s cultural life; Lux/ Ire/ Fr have highest levels of agreement] o83% agree with benefits of intercultural contacts while at the same time 2/3 strongly believe that own family/cultural traditions should be preserved oThus, in terms of intercultural openness and attachment to traditional values, 55% of Europeans have a preference for cultural diversity but want the young to keep their roots/ traditions while 25% have a cosmopolitan approach where cultural openness is not linked to maintaining own traditions. [13% of EU citizens were not open to intercultural dialogue] Source: Flash Eurobarometer Dec 2007

5 EMILIE examines & compares 9 different EU experiences in 3 key policy areas Three case-studies in each –Educational challenges posed by migration related diversity (including multicultural education & faith schools) –Legal challenges with special reference to discrimination protection in workplace –Political challenges with special focus on voting rights & civic participation 9 EU national experiences –Belgium, France, UK (long experience/ institutions re immigrant integration, have re-elaborated national identity to incorporate cult & rel diversity thru different models & approaches) –Denmark, Germany (have taken long to develop integration processes in spite of long/ large immigrant populations; particularistic/ mono-cultural approaches – based on egalitarian welfare state or mono- cultural identity) –Greece, Spain (‘new’ immigration countries with item currently top of the agenda, large informal/illegal population & integration policies long overdue) –Poland (large both in and out migration, becoming new immigration country; multiculturalism associated with ethnic/ historical minorities) –Latvia ( low migration rates but high % of stateless persons considered migrants with claims that need to be accommodated, multiculturalism associated with ethnic/ historical minorities)

6 Special focus on education Importance of education for construction of national identity, social inclusion and building society’s future citizens Different issues selected in each country depending on relevance for particular case, –for ex.: religious education; school curricula & multicultural education policies/ initiatives; minority language education Focus on: –Values discourses & understandings of identity & therefore perceived value-conflicts in integrating immigrants & what constitutes ‘difference’ –Question of religion: particularly claims of Muslim migrants & how/whether these are being accommodated –Identify points of tension & best practices –& see whether there are cross-cutting European dimensions around which value arguments & policy responses are organised

7 Our approach Examined & critically assessed approaches to multiculturalism & policy instruments that have been developed in each M. ST. Through interviews with stakeholders we have tried to identify gaps, corrective measures, success cases Attempt to sensitivise policy-makers & educators on main issues that need attention to manage cultural diversity

8 Different case studies eventually led us to similar, common questions / challenges (1/3) Identity / values/ religion: definition of self and other How do you incorporate immigration & its history into the school curricula? In some cases there is a connection with colonialist history but there are other patterns and pathways that need to also be considered. Inter/multicultural education: how can it be more than an ‘ethnic’ / stereotypical representation of difference? Can the dialogue lead to mutual [and not one-way] exchange between maj & min groups? Should language and culture of country of origin courses be available for non-immigrant students too [in order to ‘interculturalise’ all students…]? Is the ‘European dimension’ relevant in multicultural education agendas? What role for religious education in mainstream schools? How do you address the reaction/ threat felt by ‘dominant’ religion in the receiving society –Catholic Church/ Greek Orthodox Church?

9 Different case studies eventually led us to similar, common questions / challenges (2/3) Related practical issues What regulation/ state funding is necessary for faith schools? To what extent can this be (perceived) in conflict with citizenship education or secular/ republican principles? How can religious practical needs be accommodated in schools: gender separation? training of religious teachers – domestic or from abroad? Celebration of religious holidays? Availability of halal/ kosher food, etc? Need to adequately address educational needs of new arrivals, immigrant children who have been in country for a few years, 2 nd / 3 rd generations and short term/ uncertain cases (i.e children of asylum seekers)

10 Different case studies eventually led us to similar, common questions / challenges (3/3) Wider exclusion/ inclusion challenges How do you balance between need to promote social cohesion and common, civic values through education and criticism of pursuing assimilationist approach? [ex. DK/ FR] What is the impact of highly institutionalised / monitored non- discrimination directives? Are there initiatives that can avoid ‘flight from’ and ghettoisation of schools with immigrant populations? How can the challenge of poor performance/ low achievement by immigrant students be addressed? How can educators/ teachers/ school directors be prepared/ assisted in their work? How do you involve and integrate parents of immigrant children? How do you de-couple perception that underachievement/ learning challenges is not ‘migrant’ or ‘Islam’ specific?

11 Policy relevant findings across our case studies (1/3) Language, culture & history –Learning language of receiving country is priority for inclusion/ participation: reception & support classes for children & parents at schools –Important to recognise and accommodate linguistic diversity within immigrant population in teaching language of receiving country –Learning of language/ history of origin considered necessary for social/ cultural capital of student Approach multicultural education in holistic way, as cross-cutting dimension transcending school curricula, disciplines, material, activities –Critical reflection on subjects like history/ geography –Diversification of religious education / or making it optional

12 Policy relevant findings across our case studies (2/3) Classes –Smaller sized classes with two teachers and/ or a cultural mediator (for students & parents) –Suggestions for ‘quota policy’ of 10% but this is discriminatory –Whole-day schools to offer qualified supervision in afternoons –Potential side-effects: increase class cohesion + make schools attractive for majority population and minimise ghettoisation of schools

13 Policy relevant findings across our case studies (3/3) Focus on educators and teachers –Provide on-going training –Tap into human potential ( those who want to work in schools with high percentage immigrants, or those with immigrant background), and provide recognition/incentives for them Institutional support required, cannot leave things to ‘initiative’ and ‘conscience’ of concerned educators and school principals Consider monitoring / evaluation of implementation of official multicultural approach –Gap sometimes between implementation & practice –Equally gap between actual realities and how much information trickles up to policy-makers

14 And a few last considerations… -Existence of historical minorities affects approach to multiculturalist policies (assimilation) and perception of threat -Where first immigration wave consists of repatriates and co-ethnic migrants or immigrants who are culturally ‘close’ this creates an assimilationist direction in multicultural education – hard to shed from attitudes -How do we consider immigrant students? As temporary residents? As future citizens of receiving country? As citizens of an interconnected more global world? How does this impact our approach to education and how we invest in meeting and addressing the challenges that result?

15 EMILIE Team Coordinator: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, ELIAMEP, Athens, Greece: Dr. Anna Triandafyllidou, Dr. Ruby Gropas Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol, UK: Professor Tariq Modood, Mr. Nasar Meer National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), Paris, France: Dr. Patrick Simon, Dr. Valerie Sala- Pala Faculty of Cultural Studies, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany: Professor Werner Schiffauer, Dr. Frauke Miera Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM), University of Liege, Belgium: Dr. Marco Martiniello, Dr. Hassan Bousetta Department of Social and Political Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain: Professor Ricard Zapata Barrero, Ms. Nynke De Witte Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies, Riga, Latvia: Dr. Ilze Brands Kehris Department of Political Studies, University of Aarhus, Denmark: Dr. Per Mouritzen Centre for International Relations, Warsaw, Poland: Professor Krystyna Iglicka, Ms. Katarzyna Gmaj THANK YOU!


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