In-depth article covers EUMARGINS

Recent article portrays EUMARGINS’ research on inclusion and exclusion in Europe.

Aftenposten, one of Norway’s largest newspapers, covered the EUMARGINS-project on April 16th 2010. The heading of the article is “Immigration. Integrated, but excluded”. The article presents some of the findings from EUMARGINS' first book, which will be published by Ashgate in June. This book provides a review of current research, statistics, laws etc in 7 European countries. In the newspaper article, project leader Katrine Fangen also analyses some findings from the project's sample of more than 200 lifestory interviews with young adult immigrants.

Norway More Restrictive After  Financial Crisis

Generally speaking, minority adults have faced a vulnerable situation after the financial crisis hit, as they are often the first ones to lose their jobs. Norway is less affected by the financial crisis than many European countries. Nevertheless, Fangen states that in Norway attitudes towards immigration have become more restrictive after the financial crisis.

Spain and Italy: Inclusion in Black Labour Market

In Italy and Spain it is relatively easy for irregular immigrants to get work on the black market. In a broad sense, they are therefore easily included on the labour market. However, many immigrants in Spain and Italy are excluded long-term from other parts of the labour market and live on low wages.

Sweden Most Liberal Citizenship Policy

It is difficult to obtain citizenship in Italy. Gaining citizenship has ramifications for inclusion, as citizenship opens up many other rights. In relation to the other project countries, Sweden has the most open citizenship policy. In Sweden, it is not required to pass a language test before gaining citizenship, as opposed to the other countries.

Russian-speaking Minority Defined as Non-Estonians

In Estonia, a large proportion of the population is stateless. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian-speaking minority has been defined as immigrants and non-Estonians. The definition as immigrants collides with many Russian-speakers’ own self-definitions. Having lived in Estonia for generations, many of them regard Estonia as their home. The struggle for acceptance as equal citizens has led to youth riots, similarly to the 2005 youth riots in France.

Minority Youth React Against Negative Public Opinion

Citizenship and participation on the labour market are important inclusion factors, but a disproportionate amount of negative media coverage of minority youth entails that many young adults feel excluded in greater society. Public discourse in all the seven countries links minority youth with crime and violent riots. Specific group are scapegoated: youth of North-African origin in France, Latin-American immigrants in Spain, Albanians in Italy and Somalis in Norway. When minority youth in Norway and Sweden call themselves ‘nigger’ and ‘foreigner’ it can be seen as a counter-reaction to such negative labelling.

Immigrants Can Maintain Welfare States

The Aftenposten-article concludes that EUMARGINS regards immigrants as being central in sustaining European welfare states. “Europe’s population is ageing and the work force needs young people. We should therefore be more open to the idea of more immigrants”, states Fangen.

Read the whole article in Norwegian

By Brit Lynnebakke
Published Sep. 22, 2010 2:01 PM - Last modified Oct. 3, 2012 1:48 PM