TandEM: Towards Empowered Migrant Youth in Southern Europe

With a view to enanching social cohesion in European societies, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the European University Association (EUA) and the Comunità Religiosa Islamica Italiana (COREIS), are implementing the European funded project “TandEM: Towards Empowered Migrant Youth in Southern Europe” in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.

SUMMARY OF THE ACTION
Recognizing Southern European countries’ diversity and recent integration experiences, the project contributes to building cohesive societies. TandEM aims at fostering the engagement of young third-country nationals (TCNs) and their Southern European peers in shaping inclusive societies in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. This will be achieved by empowering TCNs as subjects of migration narratives. Young TCNs will have the opportunity to shape the discourse on migration and diversity, by designing and participating in a regional social media campaign emphasizing youth’s multiple forms of identification, irrespective of their (migrant) background. Young TCNs and their peers will also be mobilized to improve interreligious understanding, by organizing inter-faith dialogues in educational institutions in target countries. In addition, the project will contribute to improving access to and integration of TCNs in higher education by conducting a comparative cross-country study aimed at understanding TCNs’ access-related needs, and identifying operational recommendations to remove barriers. These will feed into a pilot student mentorship scheme, which aims to build inclusive academic communities. Led by student associations, the pilot will facilitate the integration of TCNs into academic communities in Italy and Spain. The pilot’s lessons will feed into guidelines to enable its scaling up.

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
The project aims at fostering the active engagement of young third country nationals (TCNs) and their Southern European peers in building more inclusive societies in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.
More specifically the project will empower young TCNs and their peers as subjects, rather than the objects of the migration discourse. This will be achieved through the implementation of a regional (gender-sensitive) social media campaign targeting youth, and improving interreligious understanding. Similarly, it will enhance people-to-people contacts and exchanges between young TCNs and their peers, ultimately fostering mutual understanding and countering prejudice and stereotypes, thereby contributing to building more inclusive societies.
The European Uninversity Association will conduct a study focusing on the barriers faced by TCNs in accessing higher education in southern European countries. In addition, the project will pilot a student mentorship scheme that will, in turn, contribute to testing and assessing the potential of the direct involvement of youth in fostering more cohesive academic communities.
Finally, the project will provide different stakeholders from the target countries, including policymakers, with various opportunities to exchange good practices on actively engaging youth in integration and diversity activities. Exchanges between the six target countries to share experiences and good practices will be
organized, facilitated by the design and development of an online platform.

PARTNERS
IOM is a UN related agency, with 166 Member States and over 400 offices worldwide, whose primary mandate is to manage migration for the benefit of all.
EUA is an international organization bringing together 850 Universities in 47 countries; it is the largest and most comprehensive organisation representing universities in Europe, enabling its members to share practices and influence European policy on higher education and research.
COREIS is a national NGO with expertise in education, interfaith dialogue, anti-radicalization, and integration, with close relations with various religious communities, local, national and European institutions, and extensive grassroots level experience in training and youth initiative.