This Conference, co-organised by the European Policy Centre, in collaboration with the Support to Opposition and Migration (SOM) Project research team, will discuss the findings of this project on the politicisation of migration in seven European countries: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. It offers valuable insights into the different levels of politicisation observed across the seven countries over a given period. There will be two main sessions: the first will look at the impact of policy measures adopted to deal with immigration and integration on the national and European debate. The second session will focus on the politicisation of Muslim immigration. Results of the project show that over the years, debates around immigration and integration have been increasingly framed in relation to Islam and to Muslim migrants. More importantly, they show that this evolution cannot be explained away entirely by the demographics of immigration or by the role of populist parties, as other political and societal actors contribute to this political evolution.
The conference will be kicked off by Yves Pascouau, EPC Senior Policy Analyst, and closed by Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs. In between, key findings will be presented by researchers from the SOM project team and a panel of experts and policymakers will be asked to present their views, including a member of cabinet of Maggie de Block, Belgian Secretary of State for asylum and migration, social integration and the fight against poverty (name to be confirmed), Luciano Scagliotti, Head of Italian Section, European Network Against Racism, Timothy Kirkhope MEP (ECR), Reza Aslan, University of California, Riverside, Dirk Jacobs, Professor of sociology and political science, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and Judith Sargentini MEP (Greens/EFA). The conference will be moderated by Jacki Davis, EPC Senior Adviser.