The KING project’s objective is to elaborate a report on the state of play of migrant integration in Europe through an interdisciplinary approach and to provide decision- and policy-makers with evidence-based recommendations on the design of migrant integration-related policies and on the way they should be articulated between different policy-making levels of governance.
As the name of the project suggests – Knowledge for INtegration Governance - the logic underlying KING’s research design is that effective policies should be firmly rooted in a sound knowledge of reality, i.e. facts and needs that are actually observed on the ground. Accordingly, most of the KING project is devoted to the gathering of evidence and data, with the aim of exploring whether and to what extent the successful integration of migrants into receiving societies could represent an important contribution to EU economic and social development.
Migrant integration is a truly multi-faceted process. The contribution of the insights offered by different disciplines is thus essential in order better to grasp the various aspects of the presence of migrants in European societies at national and sub-national levels, and, ultimately, the very meaning of integration. This is why interdisciplinarity is at the core of the KING research project. The presence of experts from seven different disciplines - EU Law and Policy, Political Science, Public Administration, Social Science, Applied Social Studies, Economics, Demography – ensures the comprehensiveness of the picture concerning migrant integration which is resulting from the research produced by KING.
For gaining a genuine understanding of migrants’ integration processes, the complex policy-making mechanisms that govern integration policies are properly to be taken into account and evaluated. KING closely looks at the full range of positive and negative effects of integration governance and mainstreaming, so as to shed light on well- and poorly-managed integration policy and practice and to learn from successes and failures.
From the European Union to local authorities, the interplay of different levels of policy-making and the involvement of different types of actors produce results that significantly vary between and within countries and that need adequately to be assessed.
Hence, the ultimate goal of the KING project is to provide evidence-based policy recommendations on how to govern the manifold aspects of migrant integration at all levels of governance and across the different policy fields in order fully to realise the potential that migration represents for European societies.
The KING project relies on the close cooperation and support of an Advisory Board and a Steering Group.
The Advisory Board comprises expert specialists from the seven disciplines covered by the KING project - EU Law and Policy, Political Science, Public Administration, Social Science, Applied Social Studies, Economics, Demography – including both academics and policy-makers.
The Steering Group comprises senior researchers from the ISMU Foundation, the KING project coordinator, and representatives of the projects’ partners.
The Advisory Board and the Steering Group jointly define the major research axis and the scientific content of the research. Each Advisory Board member is in charge of the research to be conducted in his or her discipline of expertise; the Steering Group supervises the project’s implementation phases and elaborates the related documents and research outputs.
A KICK-OFF MEETING took place in Brussels on 4 October 2013 where the Advisory Board and the Steering Group defined the overall direction of the project. This consists in the conduct of preliminary desk research to be followed by an empirical in-depth analysis of specific key topics identified within the desk research. To carry out these two tasks, each Advisory Board member chose and coordinated a team of three to four researchers, also expert in their fields, who are assigned a range of topics to cover.
Desk Research (November – December 2013)
Between November and December 2013, the members of the research teams set up by the Advisory Board conducted Desk Research and wrote the related paper, to a specified minimum length, summarising the current state of knowledge in their specific area of investigation. The Advisory Board members then summarised and commented on the ensuing results in a Written Note. The total output from this phase comprises a total of 20 papers and 7 written notes.
Midterm Results (January – March 2014)
On 6 and 7 February 2014, most of the researchers involved in the project participated in a WORKSHOP held in Milan – “Integration Policies through the lens of the Common Basic Principles. New perspectives from KING research”. The workshop’s goal was to establish the Midterm Results of the project and to systematize the extensive work produced during the desk research phase through the lens of the 2004 EU Common Basic Principles on Integration. The outcome of the two-day brainstorming session is a document titled “Common Basic Principles on Integration. Evidence and Recommendations from the KING Project” on in which specific issues with related evidence and policy recommendations have been listed under each Common Basic Principle.
The Midterm Results of the KING project were presented and discussed during a CLOSED-DOOR SEMINAR titled “Assessing the relevance of the KING’s project”, held in Brussels at the European Policy Centre on 17 February 2014. Attending the event were the-then Director General of the DG Home Affairs of the EU Commission, Stefano Manservisi, representatives of other EU Commission DGs, as well as representatives of regional bodies, think-tanks and NGOs. (Download the Programme and the List of Participants here).
The inputs resulting from the workshop held in Milan and the seminar held in Brussels provide the basis for the drafting of a Midterm Executive Summary of the KING Project, carried out by the Steering Group during March 2014.
Empirical Deepening (April – June 2014)
The Advisory Board members, together with their research teams are in charge of conducting an EMPIRICAL IN–DEPTH ANALYSIS, aimed at further exploring the main aspects of the process of integration and the governance of integration policies as they emerged from the desk research. Each team selected the topics requiring further investigation and chose the research methods best suited to exploring the designated field and the Advisory Board member’s academic discipline.
Taking stock of results and drafting the final result (July – September 2014)
The Steering Group is in charge of collecting the results of the empirical research referred to in 4. above, and drafting the KING’s project final report.
Presentation of the Final Report Executive Summary at METROPOLIS2014 (3-7 November 2014)
An executive summary of the final report and hence of the results of the entire project is to be presented at the Metropolis2014 International Conference, taking place in Milan from 3 to 7 November 2014.
Finalization of the KING project’s FINAL REPORT (November – December 2014)
Dissemination (January – March 2015)
The KING project’s definitive results and final report will be presented at the project closing conference, which is to take place in Barcelona in January 2015, and will be disseminated more widely thereafter.