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Refugees and rural development: “Towards a merged and mobile approach”

Dec 14, 2016 | News

(14 December 2016) – AEIDL is quoted in a recent thesis by Lana Plug, Wageningen University. This thesis calls for the need to adopt both immigration and rural development policies from a mobile and human rights based approach, which would secure the rights of refugees and local rural development in a mutually sustainable way, in order to facilitate a successful accommodation of refugees in particularly declining rural areas of Europe now and in the future.

© Swedish Rural Network

This thesis aims at developing a merged and mobile approach towards two current issues of migration in Europe, namely (1) the high influx of refugees fleeing war and persecution in Africa and Asia and (2) the population decline of some rural areas in Europe due to urbanisation, which poses major complications to its communities.

The refugee crisis has shown that the influx of over one million migrants and refugees in 2015 has challenged European leaders, policymakers and citizens to a great extent, together with the coherence of the European Union and its position in the international sphere.

As most refugees arrive in urban areas, where a high pressure on the housing stock and employment rate are often already evident, interest is rising for accommodating and integrating refugees in particularly declining rural areas to partially counter urbanisation and the loss of facilities, services and labour that result from rural outmigration.

Experiences in the Netherlands and Sweden have shown that integration is a two-way process in need of involvement of both locals and newcomers through a sensitive, holistic and territorial approach.

Read the thesis