Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2194
Following the summer of 2015, migratory movements towards and within the European Union increased substantially. As a consequence, actors involved in the reception and accommodation of asylum seekers and refugees multiplied and spread over different governmental levels, from the European Union to municipalities, and from state institutions to NGOs, religious organizations and activist groups. This session takes a closer look at the intermediate level of government and asks what role regions play in the current governance of asylum.
While the European Union’s efforts to find a fair and equal distribution of asylum seekers between member states still wait for a proper implementation, national distribution systems pass the burden of accommodating and integrating asylum seekers to regions and municipalities. But are regions and municipalities merely implementing national targets and strategies or are they actively shaping the accommodation and integration of asylum seekers? Are regions emerging as self-determined actors, or are they just another step in passing the burden down to localities and NGOs and volunteer organizations? Three years later the moment appears right to take stock of such developments.
Insights from this panel contribute to the broader literature theorizing regional immigrant integration, and to answering the emerging question of whether there is a particular regional response to the asylum governance To this end, the panel brings together four empirical and theoretical contributions from multiple disciplinary backgrounds. They each address a particular region: Danish/German cross-border collaborative refugee integration practices; the French speaking part of Belgium which offers opportunities to study the horizontal relationships between intermediary actors as well as vertical relationships between those and local actors; the variance in regional refugee integration policies and outcomes in Georgia and California (USA); and the regional and local integration concepts towards refugees in Saxony (Germany).