6 March 2020 from 14:00 to 18:00

Development of shrinking European regions, while providing opportunities for successful integration of non-EU migrants

Welcoming Spaces kick-off Conference

The WELCOMING SPACES kick-off conference brings together researchers, policy-makers, NGOs, trade unions and businesses striving for the fair, inclusive and sustainable development of shrinking European regions, while providing opportunities for the successful integration of non-EU migrants.

WELCOMING SPACES aims to search for new ways to merge two policy challenges: how to contribute to the revitalisation of shrinking areas while also offering space for the successful integration of non-EU migrants in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (‘leaving no one behind’). Our point of departure are existing examples of ‘welcoming spaces’ which do exist in some places, but often remain invisible and dispersed in various European regions in Italy, Spain, but also Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. Such initiatives to create ‘welcoming spaces’ and initiating new types of government-citizen-migrant engagement are often citizen-based, but can equally be the outcome of initiatives by governments, grassroots organizations, NGOs, or businesses, including migrant-based/led. Given the local scale of most of these initiatives, their dispersion in space and political sensitivity, much of what is happening around these ‘welcoming spaces’ remains under the radar. The possibilities for upscaling such initiatives are hence under-explored. In our four-year WELCOMING SPACES project, we will address these issues, starting with our kick-off conference.

WELCOMING SPACES kick-off conference programme

Click the image below to enlarge, or download the programme flyer (pdf, 0,5 MB).

Programme Kick-off Colloquium Welcoming Spaces

About the Welcoming Spaces Consortium

Welcoming Spaces is coordinated at Utrecht University by Prof. Annelies Zoomers (principal investigator), Dr Maggi Leung, Dr Karin Geuijen, Dr Ir Marlies Meijer, Dr Bianca Szytniewski, Dr Alberto Alonso-Fradejas and MSc Rianne Hadders. Utrecht University leads this research project that is on the crossroads of two of its strategic themes: Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) and Pathways to Sustainability. The research will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of academic and non-academic partners from the Netherlands (Universiteit Utrecht/Landelijke Vereniging van Kleine Kernen), Germany (University of Siegen), Spain (University of A Coruña /CEPAIM Foundation), Italy (University of Bologna/FIERI), and Poland (Warsaw University/Fundacja Ocalenie).


Start date and time
6 March 2020 14:00
End date and time
6 March 2020 18:00