Publication: “European Cities Network on Migration: Getting the Skills Synchronized”

© ELF & Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Migration increasingly becomes a challenge for Europe. The so-called “crisis” is primarily a crisis of deficient migration management. It creates political conflicts on the transnational, national, and local levels. Tailoring integration strategies to local contexts while maintaining a coherent European approach is particularly challenging. Local communities are the first to deal systematically with incoming migrants. Migrants’ experiences at local levels determine their long-term integration. However, they play a limited role in related policy debates and decision-making.

The “European Cities Network on Migration” aims at strengthening migration management along liberal principles through a transnational network of local communities. Local community stakeholders cooperate to share experiences and practices regarding the integration of migrants and they develop inclusive, sustainable common policies based on European principles and carry these to the European level.

Over the last two years, stories and practices from Turkey, Greece, Spain, and Germany have been shared in documentaries, meetings, and round-table discussions, in order to exchange knowledge and experiences and establish a mechanism to learn how to benefit from the opportunities of migration. More precisely, representatives from local governments, entrepreneurs, academics, activists, and NGOs from the respective countries convene in a network to support the liberal narrative for integration.

In 2022, the 2nd year of the European Cities Network on Migration was conceptualized with workshops on Greece, and Turkey and the final experts tour and round-table in Brussels and Cologne. The outcome of the research in all respective countries was the ELF publication with title “European Cities Network on Migration: Getting the Skills Synchronized”, edited by Prof. M. Murat Erdoğan.

This publication aims at contributing to the establishment of sustainable, inclusive, and target-group-oriented training policies for migrants by supporting the consistency of training opportunities for migrants according to the current/future demands of European job markets through research and discussions with focus groups such as migrants, employers, NGO representatives, decision-makers, etc.

The project seeks to contribute to this vision by matching migrants’ skills and qualifications with labour market needs in European cities – since effective, long-term and target-group-oriented training policies are essential in order to achieve the goal of promoting economic integration. These will be shared with decision-makers to design a holistic strategy that includes effective, long-term, and target-group-oriented training policies and modules.

Also, as part of the project, local community stakeholders from Turkey, Spain, Greece, and Germany learn from each other’s experiences and practices regarding skills-based training, vocational education, and entrepreneurship training. The project supports the economic liberalism approach by focusing on strengthening individuals at the core of the economic integration process.

European Cities Network on Migration: Getting the Skills Synchronized