Thought-provoking findings presented in two new MATILDE reports: ‘13 Reports on
Action-Research Results in Each Case Study’ and ‘Comparative Report on Action-Research in Rural and Mountain Areas’.

After analyzing intensively and profoundly the impact of migration in rural and mountain European areas, the Horizon 2020 project MATILDE publishes two new reports –  Action Research report presenting 13 case studies in the MATILDE countries (Deliverable 5.3) and a Comparative Report on Action-Research in Rural and Mountain Areas (Deliverable 5.5). 

Reports present the results of participatory action research conducted in the 13 MATILDE regions between mid-2021 and early 2022, focusing on TCNs integration paths and on the role of migrants within processes of local development in rural and mountain areas of Europe. In each country, activities took place under the coordination of the Local Case Study Working Group, with full involvement of local stakeholders and good media coverage in most cases.

Both reports explore the process of implementation of shared methodologies and participatory tools in order to provide in-depth analysis of the role of third country nationals (TNCs) in the socio-economic development of rural, mountain and remote European regions. Participatory activities allowed multi-level interactions and brought together various actors – local partners, researchers, local stakeholders and TCNs – with the aim to reflect on reality and create a continuing change together.  

In the frame of the action-research, initiatives have been designed and realized with the twofold objective of examining the socio-cultural image of migrants constructed at local level and at the same time engaging local communities and foreigners towards new social perceptions of the migratory phenomenon. The collectively acquired knowledge during the activities is of great interest as it shows manners of achieving a new sense of community connectedness. 

The publication 13 Reports on Action-Research Results in Each Case Study (Deliverable 5.3) sketches the framework in which each MATILDE national team adapts chosen participatory interactive research tools to specific needs of the territorial contexts with respect to local economic and social conditions. Thus the role of migrants and the impact of carried activities were further explored in the following case study regions: Austria , Vorarlberg and Carinthia; Bulgaria, Haskovo and Harmanli; Finland, Ostrobothnia and North Karelia; Germany, Bavaria; Italy, South Tyrol and Turin; Norway, Innlandet County;  Spain, Aragón; Sweden, Dalarna; Turkey, Karacabey; United Kingdom, Outer Hebrides (Scotland).

This innovative method of participatory action-research allowed researchers to closely study and describe possibilities for bringing solutions for positive change in perception and practices. The method has been employed as a way to go beyond the confines of strict data collection and generalization of their statically significant results from a distance.  

A cross-regional comparative perspective of the main results achieved through a variety of action-research activities is illustrated in the Comparative Report on Action-Research in Rural and Mountain Areas (Deliverable 5.5). It focuses on findings formulated around 3 main dimensions of contribution of TCN’s for the development of remote European territories: labor and the economy, demography and social relations, and the spatial-territorial dimension.

In this report MATILDE researches provides concrete proposals aimed at practical solutions for rethinking foreign immigration.

With the goal to counterbalance misunderstanding about migration, MATILDE reports develop a fact-based recognition of the multi-facetted impact of TCNs on territorial cohesion as well as local, national and EU both current and future economic development.

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