Managing mainstreaming: EU focusgroups on mainstreaming in education and social cohesion

MPI Europe held two focus groups in December 2015. Despite landing on a day of a national strike in Belgium, participants from the European Commission and civil society braved the lack of public transport to participate in rich discussions about how mainstreaming has been put into practice within the EU Institutions.

The first focus group on how the European Commission promotes mainstreaming in education, discussed the importance of education to the European Union’s sustainable, inclusive, growth strategy. The second focus group on social cohesion and neighbourhood policy, discussed the difficulties of addressing housing and homelessness in the European Commission, as it falls between policy portfolios. Participants highlighted the difficulties of horizontal coordination (working across DG borders on cross-cutting issues such as integration) and vertical coordination (taking into account the needs of the local level). Debate also centred on ways to better manage EU funds to promote integration objectives, especially in light of the new Asylum and Migration Fund.

Lyon focus group: Growing diversity and local impact anti-discrimination policies

The first focus group took place on the 21th of November 2014 in Lyon at the Regional Institute for Youth, Sport and Social Cohesion (DRJSCS in French), which is a regional body in charge of Social Cohesion policy. The focus group gathered professionals from national institutions in charge of integration of immigrants, as the Prefecture of the Rhône-Alpes Region, and from local institutions based in the two neighbourhoods chosen for the fieldwork, in both education and social cohesion fields. A short presentation by Mélodie Beaujeu (INED) on the first findings obtained in the first stage of the study was used to launch the discussion among participants. The central issue and question posed to the participants related to the advantages and disadvantages of adopting either a generalist approach and measures regarding integration issues or a more specific approach. The debate focused on whether the specific policies would result in the stigmatization of certain groups and on the relevance of having specific policies in a context where there is a growing diversity, and, at last, on the local impact of anti-discrimination policies.


Rotterdam and Amsterdam mainstreaming practices, Dutch focus groups

Interesting and insightful Dutch focus group on the mainstreaming of immigrant integration, with policy advisers and executive officers sharing their experiences  in the fields of diversity, education and social cohesion.

Interesting to learn more about the meaning of the mainstreaming practices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. While Rotterdam is strong in its discourse, it proves much more pragmatic in policy practices. In Amsterdam on the other hand, mainstreaming seems strongly engrained in education and social cohesion policies implementation.

Promising input for the upcoming Dutch report on Mainstreaming in Practice!

Mid-term meeting of UPSTREAM project

The mid-term meeting of the UPSTREAM project is to be hosted by COMPAS in Oxford, 5-6 February 2015. During the meeting, the project team will discuss the first project findings concerning the conceptualization of mainstreaming and the politics of mainstreaming; what does mainstreaming mean, and how and why do some governments mainstream their integration approaches whereas others don’t. Furthermore, during the meeting the first steps will be taken toward the analysis of the impacts of mainstreaming on integration outcomes.

The UPSTREAM project is due to be completed in June 2015. The project is co-funded by the European Integration Fund, and involves a consortium of 6 partners from various parts of Europe: Erasmus University Rotterdam, MPI-Europe, COMPAS Oxford, Complutense University Madrid, INED Paris and the Center for Migration Research in Warsaw. Transnational reports, country reports, and policy briefs of the project are featured on this website. A book publication based on the project is due in early 2016.

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Co-funded by the European Union European Integration Fund