Europe for Citizens – project ACCESS

Institute for Eastern Studies participates, along with six other partners from different European countries in an international project “European Association: Common Challenges, Experiences of Shared Solutions for Migrants” (ACCESS).

Program: Europe for Citizens
Project: European Association: Common Challenges, Experiences of Shared Solutions for Migrants
Strand 2 – Democratic engagement and civic participation
Measure: Networks of towns
Timeframe of the project: 1.1.2017 – 31.12.2018 (24 months)

Detailed information about programme

The question of European identity fuelled many debates in recent years and the individuation of a common point of view appears crucial for the success of the communitarian project. The increasing immigration waves reinforce the opposition between those who sustain integration process and who proposes new border closures and the limitation of the Schengen treaty.

The concentration of foreign residents and minorities in specific areas of the cities brought to phenomena of ghettoization, increasing the distance between communities that, even if they live nearby, do not have opportunities for dialogue and mutual understanding.

In rural and mountainous areas, this trend seems less pronounced: the small number of inhabitants allows more direct interactions between native inhabitants and foreigners.
Institutions from 6 European countries will work together within the ACCESS project to demonstrate the possibility of rapprochement between foreigners and local populations. Work will be intended as the main instrument of individual fulfilment and recognition in society: for this reason, the partners will share innovative solutions of inclusion of migrants and minorities mainly through job placement experiences.

ACCESS includes a variety of activities on a large scale addressing the Lisbon Strategy, the EU Territorial Agenda, the Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System, the Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals.

The exchange will promote replication of the most successful experiences in other contexts and will demonstrate the valuable contribution that small rural communities can bring to the issue of integration and to the consolidation of European Union.


While migration waves are a phenomenon that can be limited but hardly stopped from increasing, European Union has to find the best solutions to foster the inclusion and participation of migrants and foreigners in general to the common project of Union.

In this respect, to reflect overall on how to enhance the integration of beneficiaries of international protection, the Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System underlined that ways need to be found to raise the awareness of the labour market actors on the value and potential contribution that beneficiaries of international protection can bring to their organizations and companies.

One of the objectives of the project is to demonstrate that local ways for the inclusion can be found starting from rural areas, showing concrete results of achieved experiences and stimulating a debate also targeted to EU citizens worried by the effects that migration phenomena can bring to society and economy. The scale of events (over 800 participants), best practices demonstration, international exchange and dissemination plan are designed in order to foster European citizenship and increase mutual understanding.


Democratic and civic participation of citizens will be encouraged in all initiatives, some of which foresee a great involvement of general public and citizens in activities as workshops, conferences, study visits… Virtuous processes of volunteer cooperation and collaboration will be started or strengthened in the medium and small municipalities where the activities will take place, promoting interaction between citizens from different low demographic areas.

All the project ACCESS events