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Projects within the framework of the National Action Plan for Integration (PAN)

PAN-Projects 2020

Social capital in the integration of young adults - theory and practice

Volha Vysotskaya, José Oliveira, Birte Nienaber

The project focuses on the importance of social ties in the integration of young migrants from third countries living in Luxembourg. The analysis of the role of these ties in the integration of young migrants is important, as the period of youth is a formative period when social identities and feelings of belonging are developed. The overall aim of the study is to understand, investigate, explain and scientifically formulate the role of social capital in the integration of young migrants living in Luxembourg. It aims to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What social relations do young migrants rely on to engage in Luxembourgish society (e.g. types of bonding and bridging social capital)?
  • Which activities support or hinder social relations during the integration process in Luxembourg?

Achieved results:

  • Completion of an analysis of secondary quantitative data concerning socio-economic participation, education and languages, housing, acquisition of nationality, civic and political participation and ethno-racial discrimination of young third-country migrants;
  • 9 interviews were conducted with representatives of organisations and 12 young migrants of 7 different nationalities, aged between 18 and 29;
  • A Policy Brief for ministries and administrations and non-governmental organisations in contact with young adults and migrants was developed. These recommendations were specifically formulated with the objective of strengthening the acquisition of social capital by young migrants living in Luxembourg. The latter is considered crucial to better understand how the integration of young migrants contributes to fostering social cohesion within Luxembourgish society.
  • Project duration: 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • Study report
    Policy Brief
Le vieillissement actif au Luxembourg

Active ageing in Luxembourg (VAL): needs of Luxembourgish and non-Luxembourgish residents and their participation and non-participation in the activities offered by the different services (VAL)

Catherine Richard, Isabelle Albert (, Dr. Martine Hoffmann, Petra Vandenbosch, Nadia Bemtgen (GERO – Kompetenzzenter fir den Alter)

Immigration trends in recent decades have changed the demography in Luxembourg. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the needs of elderly people between the age of 50 and 70, by identifying, among other things, the specific needs of elderly migrants, and to identify current expectations in the context of active ageing. In addition, there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that prevent or facilitate the participation of seniors in active ageing and the access to professionalised services, such as the Senior Club, continuing education for elderly people, etc.

Project description: The “VAL” project is a research project, carried out in close collaboration between the team of the University of Luxembourg and the RBS – Center fir Altersfroen, which wants to study the social participation of elderly people, the integration of non-Luxembourgish people and intergenerationality. In a context, where people aged 60 and more, represent almost 20% of the total population, and one third of the people aged 60 and over are non-Luxembourgers it is essential to continuously re-evaluate the needs, as well as the living conditions of this population. This is a population that not only has strongly increased (a total increase of 67% between 2001 and 2020), but that has surely changed in character due to the immigration trends in recent decades.

Project objectives:

  • A better understanding of the needs (in the context of active ageing) of the 50-70 year old population, among others, highlighting the specific needs of elderly migrants;
  • A better understanding of the current expectations, in particular with regard to older people, 50+, Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers (in the context of the offer of senior clubs and the importance of “active ageing”);
  • A better understanding of the facilitators and barriers to participation, as well as the reasons for social isolation, and the sense of belonging (social, cultural and local) to the place of residence of Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers, and their cultural and local identification.

Target population: The project targets Luxembourgish and non-Luxembourgish people over 50 years old, living in Luxembourg.

Project duration: 1 September 2020 to 30 September 2021

Jouer la connexion

Scientific advice by Dr. Isabelle Albert for this project, which aims to help young people create their sense of belonging in a country made up of many different communities. The aim is to help them to feel like “the guys from Ettelbruck” or “the guys from Mamer” or “the guys from Luxembourg City” and not only like Luxembourgers, foreigners, refugees.

Project leader: Coopération Nord-Sud

More information

PAN-Projects 2021

Together against discrimination: Raising awareness among young people in Luxembourg through multilingual digital stories

The project aims to raise awareness among young people in Luxembourg on the issue of discrimination through the creation of multilingual digital stories. Passionate about animation (Stop Motion Animation) and its power to make us think about complex and difficult issues, our team is composed of young graduates and Master students supported by experts in education and development. The project applies an innovative digital creation method encouraging young people and their families to explore the phenomena of discrimination through the production of Multilingual Digital Storytelling. A digital story is a short video of 3 to 5 minutes, including images, sound, text and music to tell a personal story.

The project will involve young people in creative workshops. By encouraging dialogue and creativity, the process enhances the cultural and linguistic resources of each individual, and creates a better understanding of the attitudes and behaviours that lead to discriminatory acts and their consequences on the affected individuals. At the end of the project, the results will be presented to a wide audience in different forms (a pedagogical guide, podcasts, an exhibition, a film festival).

The project aims to propose a method that will contribute to building the confidence and self-esteem of people who have been discriminated in the past and to help raise awareness among a wider section of the Luxembourg population who can actively contribute to a positive change in fighting discriminations.

Target population:

The project will directly involve around 80 people who will participate in workshops. The project team is targeting a public of young people between 12 and 18 years old (girls and boys) and their families, resident in Luxembourg, from the city of Esch-sur-Alzette and its surroundings, of various socio-cultural origins and nationalities.

Project objectives:

  • Producing a pedagogical guide and podcasts that will be made available as pedagogical tools to a wider public.
  • Distributing a questionnaire to the participants (about 80) in order to identify their experiences with discrimination.
  • Organising about 30 interviews and 6 focus groups.
  • Raising awareness among young people (aged 12-18) and their families from mixed backgrounds who are exposed to the issue of discrimination.

Project duration: 1 July 2021 – 31 December 2022


The national Equality Body – Centre for Equal Treatment (Centre pour l’Egalité de Traitement) has contracted the UL for a research study regarding migration and discrimination. As of 1st September 2021, Prof. Birte Nienaber will lead a team of researchers (Dr. Volha Vysotskaya, Mariana Muzzi, N.N.)  to investigate and analyse unjustified restrictions and obstacles to the right to free movement or on discrimination based on nationality against EU national workers and members of their families. The project will include a quantitative survey as well as qualitative interviews with national experts and will provide a final report for the Equality Body by December 2022.

Marie-Curie-Fellowship CONDISOBS
This project will provide a unique and comprehensive analysis of the three key measures that were undertaken after the “refugee crisis” to govern asylum seekers’ mobility in the EU, which is to say hotspots, relocation, and border controls.

Since 2020 (funded by H2020)

PhD-Project EUMMEP: EU Migration Policies in Crisis: The role of traditional and social media in shaping the European policy attention and actions
The scope of this research is to analyse whether traditional and social media narratives have had an impact on policy initiatives relating to safe migration and protection of migrants within the EU. We live in an interconnected and globalised world where migration is expected to only increase. It is therefore important to understand the inter-connections influencing the EU’s ability to promote safe migration, provide protection and to prepare for similar challenges in the future.

(2020 – 2023) (funded by FNR, AFR)

MIMY is a comparative interdisciplinary study of migrant integration with the aim of empowering young migrants in vulnerable conditions and supporting integration strategies within the EU.

Since 2019 (funded by H2020)

Border Complexities
Recently, Border Studies are experiencing methodological shift, which aims at describing and investigating borders in more complex ways. Here, the focus lies on dynamic formations of actors, activities, bodies, objects and knowledge that become effective as border (de)stabilizations. These formations, which are called “Border Complexities”, are discussed in the five-part workshop series, which is carried out by five partners from Germany, France and Luxembourg, from different thematic angles.

(2019-2022, funded by DFH-UFA)

Border Realities
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series 2021/22 – Border Realities. On the Renaissance of Borders in Uncertain Times

(since 2019, UniGR)

The Government of Luxembourg has charged Prof. Birte Nienaber and Adolfo Somarribas for the University of Luxembourg with drafting the national report of the International Migration Outlook of OECD (SOPEMI) in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, and 2021.

Over the last few years, Luxembourg has responded to the arrival of asylum seekers by setting up temporary reception facilities dispersed over the territory of numerous municipalities.
More generally, across the world, refugees are accommodated in similar infrastructures, known as either reception centres or refugee camps. These facilities, and the prolonged length of time their residents stay there, contribute to the creation of a situation of ‘permanent temporariness’, which raises questions about the integration of refugees.
Are they included in, or excluded from, the state territory and its society?
To answer this question, we analyse the governance of reception facilities for refugees, with a particular focus on the role of local and municipal actors. We look at institutional settings, governance processes, and their effects on the inclusion/exclusion of refugees, and on refugees’ subjectivities. Going beyond categories of the global South and North, the case studies are located in Jordan and Luxembourg.

2018-2021 (funded by FNR)

The GAMMA UL-Chair on Regional Integration and Sustainability is responsible for coordinating research on policy coherence for development in the I-GAMMA research program (Use of Big Data and Machine Learning for the Integrality of Environmental Management of Sustainable Development) based in the Instituto de Ecología (INECOL), Mexico. In addition to the research conducted on sustainable development policy-making, the Chair works with coordinators of other branches of the project in order to contribute to the program’s impacts on civil society, governmental decision-making, and capacity-building and training. It also contributes to the reinforcement of science-policy coherence by focusing on how information is collected and utilized by academics and decision-makers. The Chair was established in August 2018 for an initial period of five years.

European Center for Competence and Knowledge in Border Studies
The UniGR-Center for Border Studies (UniGR-CBS) is a thematic cross-border network of approximately 80 researchers within the university grouping University of the Greater Region (UniGR) conducting research on borders, their meanings and challenges.

(2018-2022, Interreg)

This project aims at initiating a re-description of German literary history in terms of linguistic diversity and cultural openness. Thus, the project contributes to a better understanding of the cultural and historical foundations as well as the constraints and blind spots of contemporary discussions about multilingualism and literature.

(2018 – 2020)

Luxembourg takes an exceptional position with its diverse population and its foreign population percentage of nearly 47% even within a globalized world. Culture contact, meeting people of different nationalities and backgrounds, switching between languages are normal every day occurrences in Luxembourg. Children are growing up in mixed-national households, country of birth of children and their parents differ and dual citizenship is on the rise.

  • What are the consequences for the process of identity construal in such a complex environment?
  • Which impact has the constant switching between different cultural frames on identity processes?
  • Which acculturation strategies will young people develop, navigating across contexts?
  • Within these acculturation strategies, which patterns are best for outcomes such as wellbeing and academic achievement?
  • What role does the school context play in facilitating these positive outcomes?

2017-2020 (funded by FNR)

Since 2015, migration to and within Europe has challenged the adequacy of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). This has affected the implementation of both the CEAS and national asylum systems and called further harmonisation into question. Harmonisation is not a fixed term but incorporates varied meanings and practices. In legal terms, harmonisation has been explained as an approximation process towards minimum standards. In political terms, harmonisation focuses on policy convergence, of which legal harmonisation is only one of many mechanisms of convergence. CEASEVAL determined what kind of harmonisation and solidarity is possible and necessary.

2017-2019 (funded by H2020)

RELOCAL aims to identify factors that condition local accessibility of European policies, local abilities to articulate needs and equality claims and local capacities for exploiting European opportunity structures. It is based on case studies of local contexts (cities and their regions) that exemplify development challenges in terms of spatial justice.

2016-2020 (funded by H2020)

MOVE provides a research-informed contribution towards an improvement of the conditions of the mobility of young people in Europe and a reduction of the negative impacts of mobility.

2015-2018 (funded by H2020)

COST Action INTERFASOL Intergenerational Family Relations Across Europe

(until 2018)

The CALIDIE Doctoral Training Unit focuses on the fundamental question of how learners’ linguistic repertoires interact with their learning. It investigates particularly how multilingualism affects learning practices and processes, and how multilingualism can be capitalized on and transformed into a resource for educational success and social well-being.

since 2016 (funded by FNR, PRIDE)

Borders in Globalization (BIG) is an innovative, integrative, and sustainable network of academic partners from Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which is engaged with non-academic organizations that are involved in the management of borders and borderlands in Canada and worldwide. Border studies are global in reach, and so we ground our core partnership in Canada and associate with key research centers worldwide.

(since 2013) (funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, academic and non-academic partners)

The IRMA study focused on ageing migrants in the context of their intergenerational relations and compared them to members of their host nation.
A cross-cultural comparison between Portuguese and Luxembourgish triads of older parents and adult children, both living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, has been drawn.

Funded by the FNR, CORE Junior Track scheme (2013-2016)

The mission of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) is to promote the comparative examination of the human and environmental impacts of various aspects of regional integration across geographic areas and time periods through the creation of a cross-regional and interdisciplinary network. Moreover, the research conducted through this consortium could eventually support social action projects in local communities through improved understanding of evolving political and economic context.

(since 2007)