Wednesday, 27.02

BOS 5: Communicating better by drawing on the evidence about immigration – contributing to a new narrative on migration

Workshop
Zeremoniensaal

Christian Strohal, William Lacy Swing, Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie, John D. Skrentny, Iryna Ulasiuk, Ali Aslan

The need to promote a better understanding and a data-driven approach, concerned with the economic, social and cultural impact of migration, in order to properly address widespread public concerns over migration issues will be at the centre of this panel. Debates will focus on sharing best practices in policy interventions as well as in civil society action in various countries, aiming at depoliticising migration. Furthermore, the need to challenge discriminatory descriptions and incorrect statements in the media will be discussed.

Rapporteur: Christian Strohal

Moderator: Ali Aslan

The need to promote a better understanding and a data-driven dialogue about the economic, social and cultural impact of immigration in order to address properly widespread public concerns over migration issues will be at the centre of this panel.

Three main questions will be raised and thoroughly discussed:

  1. Getting a comprehensive overview of the benefits and costs of immigration for host countries in order to develop better, accurate and straightforward public information as well as better public debate. The need for a broad approach that includes economic data on the impact on the labour market, international trade, innovation, technological change and productivity, consumption patterns, tax revenue and social security payments, but also social and cultural issues. Immigration may indeed affect social cohesion and, in turn, social cohesion impact on the level and distribution of well-being in society. Thus, we should not overlook issues such as inequality, social mobility across generations, cultural diversity and cross-cultural relations, and social attitudes towards immigrants, including discrimination and prejudices. Practical projects such as expanding the use of successful tools, namely to map out social cohesion, may be considered.
  2. Using policy interventions as well as civil society action to create expectations and construct a positive narrative around migration. Debates will focus on sharing best practices about ongoing experiences in various countries aiming at depoliticising immigration, presenting it in data-driven, rational terms and also liberating the word integration from ideological debates such as those that surround multiculturalism and/or assimilation debates about integration.
  3. On the basis of the central role played by media - including social media and entertainment media - at large as an important driver of public opinion on immigration, discussion of positive examples of cooperation with media, for example between local authorities and local media or through government-sponsored training for journalists on understanding immigration. Furthermore, the need to challenge discriminatory descriptions and incorrect statements in the media through an early response mechanism will be discussed.