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Improving the social inclusion and integration of migrant communities

  • 22 December 2015

Like many parts of the European Union, the regions of Tyrol in Austria and South Tyrol in Italy have a history of receiving migrants from different parts of the world. A cross-border project brought the two regions together to develop tools, analyses and information services which are helping to ensure the smoother integration of immigrant communities while tacking issues such as racism and discrimination.

The aim of the project was to contribute to the reduction of xenophobia and racism amongst the population by raising awareness through initiatives and campaigns in the long term, as well as through educational programmes with young people and measures for a better life together in support of diversity.

Roberta Medda-Windischer, MigrAlp project coordinator.

The proportion of migrants making their home in both Tyrol and South Tyrol has increased in recent years. In the Italian region, new migrants predominantly hail from Albania, Morocco and Pakistan. Meanwhile, migrants from places such as Turkey, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have made their home in the Austrian Tyrol. In addition, seasonal migration is a feature of both regions as people come to work in the tourism and agriculture sectors.

Building effective strategies

Both the Italian and Austrian authorities recognise the need to develop successful, informed integration strategies to ensure community cohesion. The MigrAlp project was therefore established to provide the information and analyses required to frame effective policies in this sensitive area.

The project team researched regional and local migratory issues by studying different communities and their needs in a range of areas including work, family life, education and leisure time. The resulting study revealed the dynamics used by individual groups as they try to integrate themselves into the local community and jobs market.

More than a game

MigrAlp also sought to explore issues related to discrimination and racism towards young people. To that end, it developed a role-playing game called SpaceMigrants 2513, which helped to shed light on the value of cultural diversity. The game was rolled out in schools and youth clubs to groups of between 15 and 20 young people. 

The MigAlp team hopes its work will contribute to improving relations between people of different backgrounds at school, work and in everyday life. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “MigrAlp - Service Centre for Migration, Integration and Information” is EUR 783 850, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 499 704 from the Operational Programme “Italy-Austria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.