The POLITIS project incorporates the perspective of third-country nationals through including them in the research structure. For this reason, POLITIS recruited 70 students and young researchers from over 40 different countries around the world that are currently studying in an EU Member State. The objective was to create a network of student researchers that would be trained by the POLITIS team on issues relating to EU immigration, intercultural dialogue, civic participation and interviewing techniques in order for them to identify civically active immigrants (preferably from their national group) in their EU country of study and to interview them. The aim of the POLITIS summer school was to provide this training and prepare them for their role within the POLITIS project.

In co-operation with the POLITIS research team from the University of Oldenburg, Germany, the European University Institute of Florence, Italy, and the CCME, Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, ELIAMEP organized the first POLITIS Summer School at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Greece between the 12-17th July 2005. One of the Summer School’s primary objectives was to concentrate on intercultural communication and to raise awareness of the way stereotypes and institutionalised prejudices alongside cultural background and language may influence the way we communicate and perceive others through a series of practical exercises.

The Summer school programme included a lecture on the representation of migrants’ interests at the European level aimed at providing insight into lobbying in Brussels based on firsthand experience.

The core of the programme focused on ‘active civic participation’ and how this relates to immigrant groups and the POLITIS project. The situation of immigrants and immigrant activism in the 25 EU Member States was approached from a comparative perspective. Part of the workshop concentrated on cross-country comparisons serving to identify: a) the most civically active immigrant group and the most defining reasons for this activism in each Member State; b) the main obstacles for immigrants’ involvement in public life; and c) a special element or feature relevant for immigrants’ involvement in public life in each Member State.

Summer School Report