The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies perceives conferences as opportunities not only to present acquired knowledge, but also to generate new knowledge. Several conferences organized by the Institute resulted in further studies and new publications which were not the product of an occasion but a result of collaboration between experts and scientists before, during and after the conference.
International Scientific Symposium New (Im)migrants in the EU: Facing the Challenges of Integration
Zagreb, 15 February 2016
The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies in Zagreb in cooperation with the Institut Français, Goethe-Institut Kroatien and Österreichisches Kulturforum Zagreb, as members of the network European Union National Institutes for Culture ‒ EUNIC Croatia, organized an international scientific symposium entitled “New (Im)migrants in the EU: Facing the Challenges of Integration” which was held on 15 February 2016 at the Goethe-Institut Kroatien in Zagreb.
At the beginning welcoming notes were delivered by Mrs. Katrin Ostwald-Richter, Director of the Goethe-Institut Kroatien, Mr. Luc Levy, Director of the Institut Francais in Croatia, and Dr. Sonja Podgorelec, Acting Director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies in Zagreb. At the Symposium sociologists, lawyers, historians and anthropologists from France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia as well as representatives of civil society, humanitarian and religious organizations and the refugees themselves, first discussed the theoretical starting points and definitions of the "integration“ concept and its limitations, and then the similarities and differences in experiences of different European Union countries on the issue of integration policies and practices.
The Symposium was divided into keynote lectures, two panel sessions and the Round Table. Invited keynote lectures were held by Prof. Mirjana Morokvašić from the Institut des Sciences sociales du Politique, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Paris, titled “Contested integration: From an ideal of inclusion and belonging to a tool of selection and exclusion”, and Prof. Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha from the Zentrum für Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft und Studium Generale, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie ‒ KIT, Karlsruhe, titled “Facing the Challenges of Integration in Germany and the European Union”, while the moderator was Mr. Luc Levy, Director of the Institut Francais in Croatia.
In the first panel session, the researchers presented on the concepts and theories of integration, as well as the policies and practices of immigrants' integration in multicultural host societies taking into account the socio-economic context and comparing the experiences of other EU countries, such as Austria and Belgium. The session was moderated by Dr. Sanja Klempić Bogadi, senior research associate in IMIN, and the speakers were: Dr. Saša Božić, Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Zadar and Dr. Simona Kuti, Research Associate at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Dr. Katerina Kratzmann, Head of the Country Office of IOM for Austria in Vienna, and Dr. Snježana Gregurović, Research Associate at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies.
In the second panel session, the researchers had presentations on challenges and prospects for future integration policies in Slovenia, on legal standards and administrative capacities for integration of refugees into Croatian society, and on issues of guardianship and reunification of foreign unaccompanied minors in Croatia. The session was moderated by Dr. Saša Božić, Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Zadar, and the speakers were: Dr. Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, Director of the Peace Institute in Ljubljana, Dr. Goranka Lalić Novak, Assistant Professor at the Chair of Administrative Science at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb and Anamarija Kovač, lawyer at the Croatian Law Centre, Dr. Drago Župarić-Iljić, Research Associate at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies and Dr. Dubravka Mlinarić, Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies.
It was highlighted at the Symposium that the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies created the expert report "Integration of migrants in the European Union with reference to Croatia: Position paper of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies", which discusses integration dimensions and policies. The Symposium finished with the Round Table entitled "Integration Policies and Practices in Croatia: Current State and Perspectives", where representatives of civil society organizations, humanitarian and religious organizations, including migrant associations' representative, discussed the successes and shortcomings of the current and future prospects of the Croatian integration policies and practices. The Round Table was moderated by Dr. Drago Župerić-Iljić from the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, and the participants were: Mevludi Arslani (Meshihat of Islamic Community in Croatia), Tea Vidović (Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb), Prince Adewale Soniyiki (Association of Africans in Croatia) and Branko Orišković (Croatian Red Cross). Discussions with the audience followed all lectures, presentations and the Round Table and thus contributed to further consideration of this very complex issue.