ZuSudo International Spring School

EU enlargement, migration dynamics and local policy responses of cities – Bulgarian and Romanian migration in Europe (HYBRID)

14 – 18 February 2022 at the Ruhr University Bochum & online

When Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, it triggered heated discussions in many Western European countries. There were fears of a mass influx of immigrants due to the prosperity gap and the limited opportunities on the domestic labour markets.

In the public discussions about alleged ‘poverty migration’ or supposed ‘social tourism’, the focus is often, at least implicitly, on Roma minorities, possibly fueling Anti-Gypsyism.

On the one hand, the migration of Bulgarians and Romanians has proven to be extremely diverse, in terms of skills, labour market sectors, duration of stay and mobility etc. On the other hand, there are certain European cities where these migrants are perceived as groups with very specific needs, who increasingly live spatially segregated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and who have low labour market opportunities. Access to adequate and affordable housing is difficult while there are experiences of rejection by long-established neighbourhood residents. As a response, these cities developed specific approaches of integration policies that were supposed to match the diversity of intra-EU mobility.

This spring school brought together students, scientists and practitioners from selected European cities, part of the UNIC network and beyond.

Its focus was on:

1) the conceptual challenges of analysing transnational migration, integration and local policy making embedded in multilevel governance and

2) the comparison of these different dynamics in several European cities.

The programme consisted of a mix of lectures, group work and empirical exercises. Invited speakers came from different European cities and universities (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania among others).

Dr. Monica Șerban discusses extensively the different phases of Romanian migration.

Dr. Alexey Pamporov focused on the particularities of Romani migration from Bulgaria.

Szabolcs Sepsi presents the project “Fair Mobility”, an initiative of the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB). The project aims at strengthening migrant workers’ rights in Germany with specific emphasis on workers from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Milena Yolova and Lajoş Gabor present goals, current projects and challenges of the association Romano Drom eV.

Biser Alekov is a board member of the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO) and works as a municipal social worker in Brussels. He gives an overview over the diversity of Roma living in Brussels, Belgium.

Dr. Remus Anghel focuses on the different research perspectives on return migration in Romania.

We welcomed students from RUB and other European Universities, especially from the UNIC network joining online.

Before the actual course, we met for a preparatory Kick-Off-Meeting on 07.02.2022. ECTS credits were awarded as follows: active participation 3 ECTS, additional exam (e.g. paper) 5 ECTS.