Over the last decade, Southern Europe has become the entry point for large numbers of refugees and migrants who are seeking a better life in Europe. While to some, Southern European countries may just be a leg in the journey, others are settling and building their lives here. Multiculturalism and diversity have shaped the face of Southern European countries for centuries. However, misconceptions and negative attitudes towards migration and diversity, based on fears and misinformation, are becoming the norm. Subsequently, it is essential to debunk false representations, share the positive contribution of diversity to every society and promote understanding among the different communities living in this part of the Mediterranean.
In this spirit, the project TandEM – Towards Empowered Migrant Youth in Southern Europe aims to build a bridge between migrant and local youth to promote dialogue, mutual understanding and cohesion in Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Cyprus.
The project is grounded in a network of universities, as the places of socialization and first integration for an increasing number of foreign students in Southern Europe, and the ideal places to design a youth-led response to discriminatory and toxic narratives on migration.
The project aims to encourage young Southern Europeans’ active participation in the integration of young migrants in their countries, while allowing young people to speak up and define their own identities.
Enhancing education, promoting understanding, encouraging communication and supporting integration.
Each of these goals will be promoted through specific regional and national activities, which will be implemented from January 2018 to December 2020.
Enhancing Education: a regional study will explore foreign students needs and barriers to access to higher education, mapping challenges to integration in Southern European universities and developing recommendations for national Governments, Universities, international organizations and students themselves.