Implemented across 10 countries, the Horizon 2020 project MATILDE publishes portraits of its 13 pilot areas and sketches the conceptual framework that will guide the research

In order to assess the socio-economic and territorial impact of international migration of Third Country Nationals in rural and mountain areas, MATILDE researchers began with in-depth analyses of MATILDE regions. Each of the project’s 13 pilot areas has been examined by experts focussing on demographic developments, economic trends and the accessibility of basic services such as schools and hospitals. These variables are crucial for consideration because, for locals and migrants alike, they have an important role in determining the ‘attractiveness’ of a region and its prospective developments. Each region is presented through in-depth narrative reports complemented by cartographic representations.

The first MATILDE report (Deliverable 2.1 – Classification of Matilde Regions. Spatial Specificities and Third Country Nationals Distribution) looks at specific characteristics of migration patterns in each area; taking into account where the migrants came from, how many resided in the area, their share over resident population and their impact on the local demographic outlook. Demographic differences between migrant and local population, such as age, gender, educational background and birthrate have been considered. The report sensitizes for the marked diversity of migrants, in particular with regard to the origins, motivations and aspirations underlying their migratory choices.

The report also examines the “migration history” in rural and mountain areas of the 10 countries where MATILDE case studies will be carried out, considering the major migration phenomena: labour migration, forced migration, family migration, student migration and lifestyle/amenity migration. On one hand, the Scandinavian (Norway, Sweden and Finland) and Central European (Austria, Germany, United Kingdom) countries – immigration destinations since the 1970s – have gained and developed long-term experience in attracting, selecting and integrating migrants to meet their specific labour needs. Whereas for the Mediterranean countries (Spain and Italy), immigration from third countries is a more recent phenomenon, arising in the 1990s. New member states, such as Bulgaria, and candidates, such as Turkey, which since 2015 have been the hub of the Balkan route, were also considered.

The report highlights that the intensity of the migration phenomenon and its interactions with a region’s social and economic fabric can also vary within the same country. It is precisely these local processes that the MATILDE consortium research work will focus on over the next three years, highlighting the need for localised migration governance, guided by needs and strengths of the regions themselves. The aim is to provide a detailed picture and formulate policy recommendations that turn foreign presence into a factor of balanced and sustainable development of Europe’s rural and mountain areas.

In parallel to the examination of MATILDE regions’ territorial and migration features, researchers also developed Deliverable 2.4 – Report on conceptual frameworks on migration processes and local development in rural and mountain area. This report provides a conceptual framework for analyzing migration processes of TCNs and the protagonists’ interactions with local structures adopting a regional and territorial perspective.

Click here to access the full report Classification of Matilde Regions. Spatial Specificities and Third Country Nationals Distribution , published on MATILDE Website.

Click here to access the full Report on conceptual frameworks on migration processes and local development in rural and mountain area, published on MATILDE Website.

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