International Spring School 14 – 18 February 2022

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
Registration via email to andreea.nagy[at]

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 large disparities in wealth 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, and in an overall perspective, the migration of Romanians and Bulgarians has proven to be extremely diverse, in terms of countries of arrival, skills, labour market sectors, duration of stay and mobility, transnational orientations etc. On the other hand, there are certain European cities where these migrants are perceived as groups with specific problems and needs for support, who increasingly live spatially segregated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Educational and labour market opportunities are seen as comparatively low. 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 guided by their long-term integration practices and orientations, by more recent changes in the overall understanding, and approach to integration, as well as national, regional and European funding lines and cooperations.

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

Its focus lies 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.

We welcome Bachelor students from RUB and other European Universities, especially from the UNIC network who will join through Zoom. Interested Master students can also attend on request.

Participation requires the additional attendance of a Kick-Off-Meeting and the reading of selected texts during the week before the actual Spring School. ECTS credits are awarded as follows: active participation 3 ECTS, additional exam (e.g. paper) 5 ECTS.

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

14 February 202215 February 2022 16 February 2022 17 February 2022 18 February 2022
Day 1 Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Course topics & dynamics, EU-Mobility framework and EU enlargement
Theoretical & empirical perspective: Local authorities between migration & integration Perspectives of migrants and arrival municipalities Perspectives of migrants and origin municipalities Practitioners’ perspective