Presentation of the research project

A European Approach to
Multicultural Citizenship:
legal, political and educational challenges
Social Cohesion in Europe
Think & Act
Madrid, 4-5 February 2008
Dr. Ruby Gropas,
Research Fellow, Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
A few words about the
EMILIE project
Funded by FP6, Priority 7
– Research topic: CITIZENS-2004-7.2.1 – Values and religions in Europe
– Project duration: July 2006 - July 2009
Coordinating institute: ELIAMEP, Athens, Greece
For more project information visit:
 Interdisciplinary project studying experiences of 9 EU member states
with very different experiences of migration & integration
* Belgium
* Germany
* Poland
* Denmark
* Greece
* Spain
* France
* Latvia
* United Kingdom
 Aims to:
• respond to current ‘crisis of multiculturalism’ and the lack of common
EU intellectual framework to discuss relevant challenges &
• elaborate an empirically grounded European theoretical model for
multiculturalism that is appropriate to the European experience
Multiculturalism and social
• European societies are characterised by broad ethnic,
cultural, linguistic, religious diversity; immigration is a
large source of this and this is the case across all EU27.
• Common EU challenge: how to address challenges that
arise from this diversity and devise policies that aim at
minimising disparities, social exclusion and polarisation
• This involves rethinking policies, approaches and
discourses currently in place, and devising new
strategies. Even involves re-thinking perceptions of
national identity
• At the same time, not always necessary to ‘reinvent the
wheel’ so by identifying best practices we can see what
has been successful in come cases and how this can
perhaps be useful for similar challenges faced by others.
Multiculturalism is already a reality in EU
today; policy responses are lagging behind
Day-to-day interaction with different groups is a reality:
o 65% had at least one interaction with a person of different group in course of a
o Higher levels of interaction with different groups increase appreciation of benefits /
value of a multicultural society
o What kind of diversity is most commonly identified? 48% different ethnicity, 44%
different religion, 42% from other EU M.ST, 36% from outside EU
o Direct relation between amount of intercultural contact and age, level of education
and degree of urbanisation. [Youngest in cities have most intercultural encounters]
– -> relevant for future of Europe/ next generation of EU citizens
Attitudes towards cultural diversity among EU citizens:
o 72% believe that people with different backgrounds (ethnic, religious or national)
enrich the cultural life of their country
o [among these 23% consider that cultural diversity highly enriches their country’s
cultural life; Lux/ Ire/ Fr have highest levels of agreement]
o 83% agree with benefits of intercultural contacts while at the same time 2/3
strongly believe that own family/cultural traditions should be preserved
o Thus, in terms of intercultural openness and attachment to traditional values, 55%
of Europeans have a preference for cultural diversity but want the young to keep
their roots/ traditions while 25% have a cosmopolitan approach where cultural
openness is not linked to maintaining own traditions. [13% of EU citizens were not
open to intercultural dialogue]
Source: Flash Eurobarometer Dec 2007
EMILIE examines & compares
9 different EU experiences in 3 key policy areas
9 EU national experiences
– Belgium, France, UK (long
experience/ institutions re immigrant
integration, have re-elaborated national
identity to incorporate cult & rel diversity thru
different models & approaches)
– Denmark, Germany (have taken
long to develop integration processes in
spite of long/ large immigrant populations;
particularistic/ mono-cultural approaches –
based on egalitarian welfare state or monocultural identity)
– Greece, Spain (‘new’ immigration
countries with item currently top of the
agenda, large informal/illegal population &
integration policies long overdue)
– Poland (large both in and out migration,
becoming new immigration country;
multiculturalism associated with ethnic/
historical minorities)
– Latvia (low migration rates but high % of
stateless persons considered migrants with
claims that need to be accommodated,
multiculturalism associated with ethnic/
historical minorities)
• Three case-studies in each
– Educational challenges posed
by migration related diversity
(including multicultural
education & faith schools)
– Legal challenges with special
reference to discrimination
protection in workplace
– Political challenges with
special focus on voting rights &
civic participation
Special focus on education
• Importance of education for construction of national identity,
social inclusion and building society’s future citizens
• Different issues selected in each country depending on
relevance for particular case,
– for ex.: religious education; school curricula & multicultural
education policies/ initiatives; minority language education
• Focus on:
– Values discourses & understandings of identity & therefore
perceived value-conflicts in integrating immigrants & what
constitutes ‘difference’
– Question of religion: particularly claims of Muslim migrants &
how/whether these are being accommodated
– Identify points of tension & best practices
– & see whether there are cross-cutting European
dimensions around which value arguments & policy
responses are organised
Our approach
• Examined & critically assessed approaches to
multiculturalism & policy instruments that have
been developed in each M. ST.
• Through interviews with stakeholders we have
tried to identify gaps, corrective measures,
success cases
• Attempt to sensitivise policy-makers & educators
on main issues that need attention to manage
cultural diversity
Different case studies eventually led us to
similar, common questions / challenges (1/3)
Identity / values/ religion: definition of self and other
• How do you incorporate immigration & its history into the school
curricula? In some cases there is a connection with colonialist history
but there are other patterns and pathways that need to also be
• Inter/multicultural education: how can it be more than an ‘ethnic’ /
stereotypical representation of difference?
• Can the dialogue lead to mutual [and not one-way] exchange
between maj & min groups? Should language and culture of country
of origin courses be available for non-immigrant students too [in order
to ‘interculturalise’ all students…]?
• Is the ‘European dimension’ relevant in multicultural education
• What role for religious education in mainstream schools? How do you
address the reaction/ threat felt by ‘dominant’ religion in the receiving
society –Catholic Church/ Greek Orthodox Church?
Different case studies eventually led us to
similar, common questions / challenges (2/3)
Related practical issues
• What regulation/ state funding is necessary for faith
schools? To what extent can this be (perceived) in
conflict with citizenship education or secular/ republican
• How can religious practical needs be accommodated in
schools: gender separation? training of religious
teachers – domestic or from abroad? Celebration of
religious holidays? Availability of halal/ kosher food, etc?
• Need to adequately address educational needs of new
arrivals, immigrant children who have been in country for
a few years, 2nd/ 3rd generations and short term/
uncertain cases (i.e children of asylum seekers)
Different case studies eventually led us to
similar, common questions / challenges (3/3)
Wider exclusion/ inclusion challenges
• How do you balance between need to promote social cohesion and
common, civic values through education and criticism of pursuing
assimilationist approach? [ex. DK/ FR]
• What is the impact of highly institutionalised / monitored nondiscrimination directives?
• Are there initiatives that can avoid ‘flight from’ and ghettoisation of
schools with immigrant populations?
• How can the challenge of poor performance/ low achievement by
immigrant students be addressed?
• How can educators/ teachers/ school directors be prepared/
assisted in their work?
• How do you involve and integrate parents of immigrant children?
• How do you de-couple perception that underachievement/ learning
challenges is not ‘migrant’ or ‘Islam’ specific?
Policy relevant findings across
our case studies (1/3)
• Language, culture & history
– Learning language of receiving country is priority for inclusion/
participation: reception & support classes for children & parents
at schools
– Important to recognise and accommodate linguistic diversity
within immigrant population in teaching language of receiving
– Learning of language/ history of origin considered necessary for
social/ cultural capital of student
• Approach multicultural education in holistic way, as
cross-cutting dimension transcending school curricula,
disciplines, material, activities
– Critical reflection on subjects like history/ geography
– Diversification of religious education / or making it optional
Policy relevant findings across
our case studies (2/3)
• Classes
– Smaller sized classes with two teachers and/
or a cultural mediator (for students & parents)
– Suggestions for ‘quota policy’ of 10% but this
is discriminatory
– Whole-day schools to offer qualified
supervision in afternoons
– Potential side-effects: increase class cohesion
+ make schools attractive for majority
population and minimise ghettoisation of
Policy relevant findings across
our case studies (3/3)
• Focus on educators and teachers
– Provide on-going training
– Tap into human potential ( those who want to work in
schools with high percentage immigrants, or those
with immigrant background), and provide
recognition/incentives for them
• Institutional support required, cannot leave
things to ‘initiative’ and ‘conscience’ of
concerned educators and school principals
• Consider monitoring / evaluation of
implementation of official multicultural approach
– Gap sometimes between implementation & practice
– Equally gap between actual realities and how much
information trickles up to policy-makers
And a few last considerations…
- Existence of historical minorities affects approach to
multiculturalist policies (assimilation) and perception of
- Where first immigration wave consists of repatriates
and co-ethnic migrants or immigrants who are
culturally ‘close’ this creates an assimilationist direction
in multicultural education – hard to shed from attitudes
- How do we consider immigrant students? As
temporary residents? As future citizens of receiving
country? As citizens of an interconnected more global
world? How does this impact our approach to education
and how we invest in meeting and addressing the
challenges that result?
Coordinator: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, ELIAMEP, Athens, Greece: Dr. Anna
Triandafyllidou, Dr. Ruby Gropas
Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol, UK: Professor Tariq Modood, Mr.
Nasar Meer
National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), Paris, France: Dr. Patrick Simon, Dr. Valerie SalaPala
Faculty of Cultural Studies, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany: Professor Werner
Schiffauer, Dr. Frauke Miera
Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM), University of Liege, Belgium: Dr. Marco Martiniello,
Dr. Hassan Bousetta
Department of Social and Political Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain: Professor
Ricard Zapata Barrero, Ms. Nynke De Witte
Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies, Riga, Latvia: Dr. Ilze Brands Kehris
Department of Political Studies, University of Aarhus, Denmark: Dr. Per Mouritzen
Centre for International Relations, Warsaw, Poland: Professor Krystyna Iglicka, Ms. Katarzyna Gmaj