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The 14th IMISCOE Annual Conference on “Migration, Diversity and the City” took place in Rotterdam, on June 28-30, 2017. IMISCOE – International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe is Europe’s largest interdisciplinary research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity studies. The research network currently consists of 39 research institutes from all over the European countries and from various disciplines including economics, political science, sociology, law, demography, public administration, social geography and history. More than 600 researchers were involved in the event. YMOBILITY contributed to the Conference with the national teams of Germany, Latvia, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and UK, and organized two sessions dedicated to youth mobility.


UNIROMA1 participated to the IMISCOE conference by presenting two papers: “Young Italians on the move: intentions and decision making” (Session “European Youth mobility: Factors involved in migration intentions and migration decision making”) and “Italian youth mobility torn between quest for opportunities and family ties” (Session “Young migrants in European Cities”).

International mobility of young Italians is a theme that is attracting more and more attention in the scientific and public debate in Italy. The phenomenon is, by many authors, considered as the dramatic consequence of an economic crisis that has hit the country since 2007-2008; it is, also, considered to be the consequence of a structural crisis of the country, concerning its incapacity to give a perspective to the future of the youngest ones.

During the conference useful comparisons could be possible with researches developed in other Southern European countries – Portugal, Spain, Greece – and with researches concerning young Italians in Northern EU countries.


Members of the University of Sussex team co-chaired two panels ‘Young Migrants in European Cities’ with the University of Surrey team. The Sussex team presented two joint papers: one on Brexit and youth mobilities in the UK, and the other on ‘lower-educated’ young migrants’ work trajectories in the UK. The questions of continuous learning post-migration and the multitude of skills that ‘lower educated’ young migrants develop were lively debated especially in the light of perceived meritocracy and possibilities for individual job-search and career progress in the UK, compared to many other EU countries. The team received many comments and questions related to uncertainties young Europeans could face in post-Brexit UK. Uncertainties prevail but young EU migrants consider various tactics to respond to these uncertainties: ‘wait and see’ is the most popular tactical response, but some consider return migration or moving to other country.

Dr. Laura Morosanu (see photo) presented a joint paper with Russell King, Aija Lulle (University of Sussex) and Manolis Pratsinakis (University of Oxford), as part of a panel on “Knowledge and skills in migration: Rethinking ‘brain waste’, ‘brain gain’ and ‘brain circulation’”, Rotterdam, 30 June 2017.


The Surrey research team presented two papers at the IMISCOE conference on Migration, Diversity and the City at Rotterdam, on June 28-30th. Hania Janta and Allan Williams presented a paper entitled: “Upwards, downwards or sideways: a comparative study of the human capital, employment and occupational mobility of young Europeans”. This paper draws on their analysis, with co-authors Gang Li and Calvin Jephcote, of the more than 5,000 migrants and returned migrants in the large scale YMOBILITY panel survey. They emphasised the importance of plance and termporality in mediating learning, and experiences of occupational mobility. The discussion focussed on the range of knowledge and other transfers realised by returned migrants, and on the measurement of the additionality of the human capital acquired via migration.

Nilay Kilinc, who was part of the Surrey team for the YMOBILITY experimental research, presented a paper on her related doctoral research on the lifestyle migration of young second generation Turkish ‘returnees’ to Antalya: “(Re-)inventing ‘home’ under the Sun?: Euro-Turks’ Translocal Space in the Mediterranean Tourism Hub of Turkey”.


The Spanish team has been very pleased to chair one of the panel session during the 14th IMISCOE Conference on “Youth mobility in the EU: Factors involved in migration intentions and migration decision making in a changing economic and political context”. The panel gave attention to present main results and conclusions of the project Ymobility by some of the team members of the consortium (University of Sussex, UK; University of Cork, UK; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; University of Bielefeld, Germany; University of Almeria, Spain and Latvia University).

The paper presented by the Spanish team in this panel explored the gender differences regarding the reasons to migrate and to return of young Spanish returnees.

Furthermore, another paper was presented containing the finding of the Ymobility project during the panel session on “EU Youth Mobility in a Time of Crisis: Causes, Contexts and Con-sequences”. This presentation explored the main motivation factors to return of young Spaniards and their labour market insertion after their return to Spain.


The University of Bielefeld members have participated in different forms in the 14th IMISCOE conferences in Rotterdam.

A panel with the title: Temporary Migration and Social Inequalities has been offered (chair: Mustafa Aksakal).

In this panel two presentation has been discussed:

  • i.Temporary Migration and Social Inequalities: : An appraisal of research gaps (Mustafa Aksakal)
  • ii.‘The impact of categorisations of temporary migrants in Policies: Evidence from research into highly educated Asians in Germany’ (Kerstin Schmidt)

b.In the panel Youth mobility in the EU: Factors involved in migration intentions and migration decision making in a changing economic and political context following activities were accomplished:

  • i.Discussion of papers in the first part of the panel (Mustafa Aksakal)
  • ii.Presentation of the paper Failure in labour market integration? Decision making processes among young Romanian and Spaniard migrants from in Germany in the second part (Mustafa Aksakal)


Henrik Emilsson from Malmö University presented ‘Dreaming of Sweden – Latvian and Romanian youth migration to Sweden’ at the panel ‘Young Migrants in European Cities’.

The presentation discussed why young Europeans from the new EU member states want to move to, and stay, in Sweden despite economic difficulties, under-employment and trouble finding accommodation. Six main factors for explaining the mobility patterns were highlighted: Free language and university education, Romantic relationships, Cosmopolitan life-style, English language, Idealization of Sweden, and Work-life balance. The findings show that many of the young migrants didn´t chose to move to Sweden for the short term economic opportunities, but rather a longing for a different life-style.