Metropolis Symposium

The IQ SYMPOSIUM 2017 at the Metropolis Conference in The Hague: "Business as Usual? Labour Market Integration of Immigrants in Europe"

Panel 1 Tuesday September 19: Labour Market Integration in Times of Uncertainty: Scenarios, Challenges, Solutions

Moderation: Mihaela Vieru
A number of cornerstones of European Union (EU) citizenship –  such as the freedom of movement and residence, as well as the non-discriminatory treatment of workers who are legally employed in another EU country –  have enabled hundreds of thousands of Union citizens to work and live in EU countries other than their own. However, in many countries across the EU these values have been questioned. This panel addresses the many questions that arise in this context: How will the changing environment across the EU affect the movement of EU workers and how might we expect to see the current patterns change?  Are there new policy solutions which can help to address the needs of businesses for migrant workers whilst providing reassurance that any negative consequences from the movement of labour, whether for migrants or for host societies, will be addressed? 

Session 1: „Mapping Migration Scenarios and Migrant Labour Market Policies in Europe”

This session provides a general understanding of the interconnectedness of the European labour market (“Europeanization”) and how this is linked to questions of migration in general (e.g. expected migration flows) and labour market policies EU migrants and Third-country nationals (e.g. the freedom of movement and residence, as well as the non-discriminatory treatment of workers).

Confirmed speakers:

  • Agnieszka Weinar, Scientific Coordinator of the Migration Policy Center
  • Jon Simmons, Deputy Director of Migration and Border Analysis and Research for the UK Government
  • Jürgen Schröder, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany)

Session 2: “Managing Labour Market Integration in Europe”
After mapping the migration scenarios and labour market policies for EU migrants in the previous session, this session will discuss the necessary steps to manage migration and labour market integration of EU immigrants in the uncertain times ahead. This will be done through a holistic approach: integration schemes and policies are discussed as a whole (in contrast to session 1 in the second panel at this symposium, which focuses on three specific integration fields; see description below). Will business as usual do? Or do countries have to develop new ways to approach labour market integration? What concrete solutions could or should be developed? According to what principles? And what are the chances and challenges of realizing potential novel approaches, especially in the uncertain times ahead?

Confirmed Speakers:
All presenters of the first session will join a moderated fishbowl discussion. Aditionally, Marta Siciarek (Director of Immigrants Support Center Gdansk, Coordinator of Gdansk Immigrant Integration Model and regional strategy of integration), will join the discussion.

Panel 2, Wednesday September 20: “Labor Market Integration in Europe: Good Practice”

Moderation: Liam Patuzzi
After the influx of hundreds of thousands asylum seekers in the past few years and in light of potential new migration movements within Europe, labour market integration programs continuously face a variety of uncertainties – how many migrants will come in the future, what kind of qualifications will they bring, and how should they be prepared to enter the labour market in their countries of choice?  Focusing on three major receiving countries - England, Germany, and Sweden - this panel debates the concrete practices within the field of labour market integration – including the recognition of foreign credentials, as well as the intercultural opening of companies, employment agencies, and local governments. Which well-tried practices remain promising in the current context, which fresh approaches could or should be developed, which good practices can be identified or transferred across Europe?

Session 1: “Principles of Good Practice in Labour Market Integration”

The aim of this session is to discuss the principles, underlying rationales, and present and future developments of selected labor market integration policies of EU and non-EU immigrant in Sweden, Germany, and the UK. The focus will be, first of all, on the validation of competences in general, as well as on diversity management. The discussion of the principles at hand, may include questions of accessibility, as well of sustainability, accountability:

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Pieter Bevelander, Director of the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity, and Welfare MIM
  • Rachel Marangozov, Institute for Employment Studies
  • Robert Koch, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Session 2: “Examples of Good Practice in Labor Market Integration”

The second session discusses concrete examples of good practices in the three countries at hand, which, ideally, reflect the general principles discussed in the first session. A special focus lies on those practices that attempt to anticipate the effects of the changing times ahead within labour market integration, especially in terms of new labour market migration flows within Europe.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Good Practice Finland: Shania Shin, Chamber of Commerce Helsinki
  • Good Practice Germany: Julia Lubjuhn, Web Portal Recognition in Germany
  • Good Practice Norway: Ane Lillehammer, NOKUT

Panel 3, Thursday September 21: “Factual Communication in Post-Factual Times”

Moderation: Mihaela Vieru
Populism on all sides of the political spectrum draws from what is now labelled “post-factual” communication strategies –  strategies, in other words, that are driven by the communication of beliefs rather than data; that are often disconnected from the factual details of policy; and that choose to ignore evidence which might contradict their claims. This panel will consider the underlying principle of post-factual communication and discuss how discourse might be better informed by evidence.

Session 1: Session 1: “Understanding Populism and Post-Factual Communication in Europe”

This session attempts to provide, first of all, a general understanding of the connection between populism and post-factual strategies, by defining the main aspects of the latter two (presentation 1). Subsequent presentations will gradually zoom in on the concrete consequences and potential effects of post-factual communication strategies within the field of labour market integration (presentation 2), circling around the question: Why does it matter for labour market actors to understand populism and post-fact strategies? The final presentation discusses potential counterstrategies against post-factual discourses within public communication, with a special focus on labour market integration communication. In contrast to the second session of this panel, which attempts to formulate very concrete practical guidelines, this session attempts to outline the principles of efficient counternarratives, especially in terms of the handling of facts and the handling of complex/conflicted realities in differentiated and appealing ways.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Marley Morris, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR
  • Ulrike Grassinger, Director Projects at Counterpoint

Session 2: “Countering Post-Factual Discourses: A Brainstorming Session”

The second session is an organized brainstorming session with the presenters of the first session. Aditionally, Michael Hameleers from the University of Amsterdam will join the discussion and summarize the basic aspects of populism in order to enable the speakers and audience to boil down the general lessons and principles learned on populism and post-factual strategies in session 1 to practical guidelines of how to deal with post-factual discourses. This brainstorming session will circle around one specific case study, such as high(er) refugees’ unemployment rates. Europeanization designates the process through which political and economic dynamics of sovereign European countries have become part of the organizational labor market logic of the EU.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Michael Hameleers, University of Amsterdam

+ Brainstorming with all of the above