The H2020 research project “Whole-COMM: Exploring the Integration of Post-2014 Migrants in Small and Medium-Sized Towns and Rural Areas from a Whole of Community Perspective” is coordinated by the Collegio in partnership with FIERI with the scientific direction of Tiziana Caponio. The consortium is composed by Universitat Fur Weiterbildung Krems (AT), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE), Technische Universitaet Chemnitz (DE), European University Institute (IT), Centre D’informacio I Documentacio Internacionals A Barcelona (ES), Uniwersytet Wroclawski (Pl), Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (Nl), Malmo Universitet (SE), Migration Policy Group (BE), Sabanci Universitesi (TR), York University (CA).
Over the last few years, the EU has received unprecedented numbers of migrants and asylum seekers, often in an unorderly way. This has led to a growing immigrant presence in scarcely prepared small and medium-size towns and rural areas (SMsTRA). The way in which these local communities respond to this challenge will deeply shape the future of integration in Europe.
Whole-COMM proposes to address these issues through an innovative Whole-of-Community research approach which conceives of migrant integration as a process of community-making that: takes place in specific local contexts characterised by distinct configurations of structural factors; is brought about by the interactions of multiple actors with their multilevel and multi-situated relations; and is open-ended and can result in either more cohesive or more fragmented social relations. By focusing on SMsTRA, Whole-COMM contributes to filling a serious gap in existing research and policy debates which so far have been concerned primarily with big cities.