The ESPON “Territorial and Urban Potentials Connected to Migration and Refugee Flows” project is specifically devoted to the analysis of the implications for territorial cohesion deriving from the so-called refugee “crisis” that peaked in 2015. In fact, this research was developed in the aftermath of the important migration phenomena that in the last years have reshaped the geopolitical roles of the countries throughout the European continent. The area investigated by our project, the Adriatic-Ionian and Danube macro-regions, provide a comprehensive geographical scope to analyse and assess the impacts of migration and refugee flows, since it includes altogether countries of arrival, transit and destination of these flows. The geographies encompassed by the project include also the countries traversed by the “Balkan Route”, what became known as the main gateway to Europe for hundred thousand migrants and asylum seekers – and the path along which some of the most dramatic events took place. It is important to underline that the research team has decided to include also Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the country coverage, in order to produce an exhaustive overview. The project outcomes demonstrate that the analysis of territorial opportunities and challenges connected to migration flows cannot be carried out without taking into consideration also the effects of the complementary dynamics of urbanisation and shrinking rural areas, which are affecting many territories across the countries of our interest. In fact, as this project as well as previous studies have explored, large urban centers are increasingly attracting newcomers, while depopulation and ageing residents are the most common trends one can retrieve in the rural and inner areas spread out throughout the macro-regions. The combination of the socio-demographic phenomena analysed by the project leads to important comparative conclusions: the two macro-regions and the additional countries are characterized by intense and multidirectional migration dynamics, which include internal, macro-regional and external flows of people. These dyamics are vital for the territories’ economic performance, and reveal that even besides asylum flows, mobility is a defining feature of the area. A proper understanding of this multifaceted mobility is thus necessary to manage and to turn into an asset what today is depicted – mostly and erroneously – as a threat to security and prosperity. Territorial cohesion has to happen within this framework. Therefore, considering the challenges that have already caused profound political tensions between EU member States, this project has collected evidence and insights that will hopefully prove crucial for macro-regional strategies and the future European Territorial Cooperation programmes. The resulting policy recommendations of this ESPON targeted analysis support a policymaking shift from emergency management to long-term planning for integration of newcomers. Migration has already proved to represent an enormous advantage for territorial growth: a proper policy framework can enhance these opportunities even further.

MIGRATUP - Territorial and Urban Potentials Connected to Migration and Refugee Flows. Main Report - ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme

Stefano Bianchini
;
Marco Borraccetti;ZOPPI, MARCO;Marco Dubbini;Elisa Magnani;Matteo Proto;Filippo Pistocchi
2018

Abstract

The ESPON “Territorial and Urban Potentials Connected to Migration and Refugee Flows” project is specifically devoted to the analysis of the implications for territorial cohesion deriving from the so-called refugee “crisis” that peaked in 2015. In fact, this research was developed in the aftermath of the important migration phenomena that in the last years have reshaped the geopolitical roles of the countries throughout the European continent. The area investigated by our project, the Adriatic-Ionian and Danube macro-regions, provide a comprehensive geographical scope to analyse and assess the impacts of migration and refugee flows, since it includes altogether countries of arrival, transit and destination of these flows. The geographies encompassed by the project include also the countries traversed by the “Balkan Route”, what became known as the main gateway to Europe for hundred thousand migrants and asylum seekers – and the path along which some of the most dramatic events took place. It is important to underline that the research team has decided to include also Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the country coverage, in order to produce an exhaustive overview. The project outcomes demonstrate that the analysis of territorial opportunities and challenges connected to migration flows cannot be carried out without taking into consideration also the effects of the complementary dynamics of urbanisation and shrinking rural areas, which are affecting many territories across the countries of our interest. In fact, as this project as well as previous studies have explored, large urban centers are increasingly attracting newcomers, while depopulation and ageing residents are the most common trends one can retrieve in the rural and inner areas spread out throughout the macro-regions. The combination of the socio-demographic phenomena analysed by the project leads to important comparative conclusions: the two macro-regions and the additional countries are characterized by intense and multidirectional migration dynamics, which include internal, macro-regional and external flows of people. These dyamics are vital for the territories’ economic performance, and reveal that even besides asylum flows, mobility is a defining feature of the area. A proper understanding of this multifaceted mobility is thus necessary to manage and to turn into an asset what today is depicted – mostly and erroneously – as a threat to security and prosperity. Territorial cohesion has to happen within this framework. Therefore, considering the challenges that have already caused profound political tensions between EU member States, this project has collected evidence and insights that will hopefully prove crucial for macro-regional strategies and the future European Territorial Cooperation programmes. The resulting policy recommendations of this ESPON targeted analysis support a policymaking shift from emergency management to long-term planning for integration of newcomers. Migration has already proved to represent an enormous advantage for territorial growth: a proper policy framework can enhance these opportunities even further.
Stefano Bianchini, Marco Borraccetti, Marco Zoppi, Paola Cavanna, Marco Dubbini, Elisa Magnani, Matteo Proto, Filippo Pistocchi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/663133
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