They should have been in Madrid, but instead the EPIC project partners gathered online, each connected from its country, for the EPIC Project’s Coordination Meeting.
The virtual event took place along 3 days, from Monday November 16th, to Wednesday November 18th and had the ambition to identify the project’s key priority based on the first assessments.
On Monday, the meeting was opened by ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida, who warmly welcomed the partners and thanked everyone for the participation and the strong commitment shown towards the project. Afterwards, Antonella pointed the attention on the essential work EPIC is achieving in order to improve migrants’ inclusion and don’t leave them abandoned, especially in this very historical moment. To conclude, Antonella Valmorbida highlighted the importance such a project like EPIC has in the broader framework of ALDA’s mission, being social inclusion and migrants’ integration a pillar action in the recently approved Strategic Framework of ALDA for 2020-2024.
The report Unsettling integration will be the basis for capacity building and pilot activities in the next 2 years
Back to the project, what strongly marked the meeting was the presentation of the Research Report Unsettling integration, conducted by Giovanna Astolfo, Harriett Allsopp, Jonah Rudlin and Hanadi Samhan, from The Bartlett Development Planning Unit of the University College London. The report has been elaborated starting from the results of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups with over 700 citizens (including migrants and refugees), on the basis of the existing literature, and will soon be publicly disclosed through EPIC’s website and social media.
The research aimed at investigating the multiple aspects of integration and will be the framework for the implementation of capacity building and pilot activities of the EPIC project in the next 2 years.
Once identified the key integration-priorities emerged from the research, smaller roundtables were set up (yes, online!) to analyses strengths and challenges of each priority.
The meeting also saw the presentation of the monitoring and evaluation instruments the project will implement to assess the progress towards its goals.
What’s after such a long and rich meeting? The outputs of the event will make it possible to create solid basis for the matchmaking and the exchange of good practices between the eight cities involved in the project, namely Lisbon (Portugal), Brescia (Italy), Gdansk (Poland), Ioannina (Greece), Oberhausen (Germany), Sisak (Croatia), Novo Mesto (Slovenia) and Vejle (Denmark).
Keep following the EPIC project on Facebook and stay tuned as more information will be soon available on its website www.epicamif.eu!