The first phase of the project started in November 2017. To generate ideas for a concrete outline, the partners met in Osnabrueck (Germany) and had a first workshop. The special focus of this meeting was placed on the topics diversity and intercultural competency. Another focus were to generate measures to build up these competency and to sum up the information of research in this area. Especially focused were the situation of migrants.
The comparison of the corporate European partners came to result, that migration is a widespread and very actual topic in Europe. All of the countries did have many contact areas with migrants and integration was a much discussed topic. But the basis conditions are very different in each country. Information in detail you find in Migration in the corporate European countries of project – short information.
All in all the partners determined, that it is important to get a better understanding of the social and economic influences in context of migration. An essential point is the employment of migrants as well the productivity. Until now it did not exist a ‘best practice’ for the European areas how integration should be managed.
An important aspect in context of integration of migrants in the social and economic daily live is to reduce distrust and fear in the native society of the country. A study in the Czech Republic in the year 2016 showed the result, that all in all 43% of the asked seniors were afraid because of migrants und the consequences of migration. These negative attitude were mainly built up thought the influence of different media. The research project shall help to reduce this negative attitude. The results of former research shows, that important competencies for this reducing are communication, intercultural knowledge as well as intercultural competency (for more information go to Competences).
An essential aspect of integration is the situation of the local labour market of each country and the opening of the market for refugees. The European labour conditions had changed a lot thought globalisation and mechanisation. Especially the innovations in technology and the change of global trade exert a dominating influence to the labour market, borders merge more and more. Nevertheless the conditions of the European countries are very different e.g. in relation to industrial safety of employees and minimum wage limit.
The immigration of the refugees changed the situation of the east- and west Europe labour market. This means new challenges for economic, society and politics.
An important point in that context is the skills shortage. It is discussed in many countries more and more. The government have to support the over regional cooperation as well as to enlarge the educational system in order to prevent emigration and to prohibit the loss of high qualitied employees (Farrel, 2013).
The exchange of the involved partners about the course of action and concrete provisions arrived at the conclusion that intercultural competency plays a prominent role in each country. Knowledge about cultures, skills, experiences of life as well as personal attitudes are important components, to act intercultural competent (Early & Peterson, 2004).
The project team strives for different goals. These are written down in various work packages.
As said in the beginning migration is a highly topical subject that should be observed in economics as well as in politics and society. One focused area of the whole project is work package 1. This is aimed at generating the application for the Horizon 2020 supporting programme 2018-2020, in order to ensure the financing of the project. The Horizon 2020 is a supporting programme of the European Union for the promotion of research and innovation projects.
In December 2017 there was a first workshop in Osnabrueck (Germany). The partners generated a pool of ideas, subsequent they excerpted the concrete plans (named ‘Calls’ in the Horizon 2020). In the end they focused on two different applications at Horizon 2020 for two calls. The calls are registered in the topic: ’Migration, Europe in a changing world – Inclusive innovative and reflective societies‘. The names are:
- Understanding migration mobility patterns: elaborating mid and long-term migration scenarios
- Social and economic effects of migration in Europe and integration policies (RIA)
The applications for the calls should be finished until end of summer 2018. The first call highlight the social and economic effects of migration and the second call highlight the elaborating of mid and long-term migration scenarios. Further education programs for teachers, parents and refugee children should be developed in order to generate a higher understanding and a higher acceptance in (the different) multicultural societies.
The partner of the project changed new information via Skype and Dropbox to keep themselves up-to-date in context of the application for Horizon 2020. Furthermore an important part of the workshop were to generate a timeline and to determine the responsibilities for the different work steps.
Another meeting was in March of 2018 in Brno (The Czech Republic). The focus was to substitute about advancements and to plan the next steps. Besides there were reports about projects and other research working that is done in the involved countries. All of these reports focused topics in context with the goals of the research project. You can find a conclusion of these reports and more information about the meetings in the description of the workshops.
To get the relevant information for the application the partners contacted the national organisations. They needed country-specific information and statistics about migration and also contact to networks, which may support the project. So they found stakeholder for the project, which should complement knowledge of research and add new perceptions. The opening of the calls will be in November 2018.
In addition to the first work package, which is focussed, there are five other work packages. The second one is working on the identification of a frame model for the development of global and intercultural competency. As written in the beginning, this competencies are very important to promote the cultural understanding and to permit an integration of refugees in the daily live.
One part of this work package is to develop a research study for consulting university students and the society. The results should help to form suggestions for action and measures. Also the results may help to reach the targets of work package 1.
To develop a competences structure model for global competency is the focus of the third work package. Its aim is to find out, which skills are needed to interact with people of foreign cultures. This skills should be trained by people who work with multinational cultures. Another part of the work package is to develop critical incidents. A critical incident includes an example situation and different ways to handle with it. One of these ways shows the ‘best-way-of-practise’. With the method you can learn which behaviour should be shown in difficult situations. The method is very near to praxis. So you can find very good results of transfer.
The fourth work package also includes to work on the competency model and to find measuring scales for the different skills. How can you see, if the relevant skills are learned by one person? Which of the skills should be promoted by special methods? To answer these questions and to get an objective view it is important to find a fixed valuation system.
In context of research it is very important to have a complete and right documentation of the progress of project and of the results. This documentation ensures that all partners and multiplicands are on the actually status pf project and that they find all relevant information. A continuous flow of data and information is essentially. Aim of the fifth work package is to guarantee this.
The sixth work package work on ensure the quality and support the transfer. The results of project should be used long-term and so they will be published on different data bases.
In the end of the project the findings and results from the data base of the project could be used by policy and organisations (economic organisations as well as non-profit organisations). The data may help to support the integration of migrants and refugees in the European labour market.
By planning the application for Horizon 2020 the team provided to develop one topic of research. In the end they changed the plan and found the decision to applicate for to calls. So the calls broach the issue of economic as well as social aspects of migration and organisations and the economic sector can benefit from the results in a larger frame.
The communication and discussions with multiplications and net bases, which were found by the team, will improve the consideration of special features of the east-European culture in context of integration in the local labour market. As well it will support the international economic collaborations. Concrete suggestions for action will be inferred that focus the diagnostic of working skills. This relevant working skills will be given to interested parties to improve their work methods. The Supporting of measures for diversity by advisory activities of the partners will lead to implantation of results in organisations. Corporate concepts should be developed, which will shared with consulting companies.
The project helps to promote the cooperation and communication between the different sectors and to improve the European integration of migrants. Especially for Germany it means to reduce discrimination against migrants as well as negative attitudes. Besides the opening of the labour market would be easier. Furthermore it helps to raise the interest for diversity and intercultural opening on the European scale.
To sum up it is important to strengthen the cooperation in the economic sector and to support the exchange between the different sectors. So integrative growth and new opportunities for employment can be promoted. The increased interest for the named topics and the participation in further projects the team tries to achieve the reduction of discrimination and negative attitude against refugees. In the long term the team seeks to promote a union of innovation, consolidation and composition of networks as well as to support new models of business and the exchange of knowledge.
Probabilities of success in economic activities (like mergers and acquisitions) shall be strengthen by focussing on the east-European area. The inclusion of specific cultural influences support the success in addition.
The research team trailed cultural and intercultural examinations by a mix of measurements as well as the alliance of fundamental researches and applied researches in the area of middle-eastern-Europe culture. Besides quantitative surveys are conducted in the involved countries. This enables an overview about attitude of the inhabitants against migrants and refugees. On that basis academic and praxis-relevant implications for research and economy can be inferred.
A special focus of the project is on Eastern Europe, which picture the attitude of the Eastern Europe people against refugees. In that context cross-cultural results are considered as well as cultural-specific results from Eastern Europe. These cultural-specific influences will be highlighted in particular.
The project team develops two calls for Horizon 2020, which engage in the complex of themes ‘Europe in a Changing World’. Social aspects of migration will be considered as well as economic aspects of the different countries. This findings are important for economic processes and just as well for further research. New research projects could be based on the results and focus some deepening findings of this project.
The results of the surveys, which were done while project, will be presented on congresses, conferences as well as symposiums and also will be spread into general public. For example it was done on the Enterprise and Competitive Environment Conference in March 2018 in Brno. During the project the bilateral research relationships should be build up and integrated in an efficient research network. This network shall continue to exist after the project is completed.
The research network conduces not only for development but also consolidate the cooperation with economy especially with the regional organisations. It might also encourage the active and consistent cooperation of the corporate institutions beyond the end of the project.
The network enables to strengthen a positive culture of diversity Europe-wide. Besides members of the network can communicate about experiences and problems. Via multipliers of the network the transfer of scientific perceptions can be put into praxis and also measures can be implemented nearby work.
A high interest of the scientific community on the results of research is expected because of the increased international activities of organisations that be based in western areas. The topics intercultural competency and intercultural communication were not observed in mainstream research for long time but existed as niche topic.
First fundamental findings in the frame of integration of refugees/ migrants as well as reduction discrimination are expected. Further research can be based on these. The supporting of young talent research in scientific qualification might be help to push this progress. An established scientific basis for cultural-comparative results in context with reduction of discrimination and promotion of integration can be build up with the results of the project. This helps to support internationalisation and transfer of knowledge.
Referring to activities of research diversity and intercultural competency should be explored in a larger setting. The results will support the integration and reduction of discrimination as well as negative attitudes against refugees. The specifics of Eastern Europe countries and culture will be measured. In the long term internationalisation and orientation of research on Europe will be promoted. As well the transfer of knowledge from research into the praxis (e.g. of organizations) is sought. Therefor a platform to transfer knowledge will established.