Professor Simone Baglioni, Sirius coordinator, was part of a European Commission delegation visiting the University of Isfahan, Iran, on 27-28 November. The mission intended facilitating knowledge exchange on migration and refugee studies among European and Iranian researchers, and to discuss research-funding opportunities offered by the EU research programme Horizon 2020.
Due to its geographical location, demographics and economic opportunities Iran is a country of origin, transit and destination for migrants and asylum seekers, some of which reach Europe. Research exchange between Europe and Iran can ease the development of reciprocal policy and practice learning processes based on evidence and results.
Thus, the conference aimed at:
- Identifying and synthesising migration and displacement-related research—particularly research from the region-focusing on drivers, trends, patterns, flows, as well as the existing legal and institutional framework of migration policy and other governance-related aspects;
- Capitalising on research results and discussing them from the perspective of research and cooperation programming both in Iran and the EU;
- Identifying areas for potential cooperation at research, policy and practitioner level, addressing the full science to policy and implementation interface, including capacity-building.
Academics of both sides presented their work across four workshops addressing issues such as key drivers in migration research, migration governance and discourses, integration in cities, international protection and internal displacement. Professor Baglioni presented findings from the SIRIUS project about the role that legal provisions related to migration statuses and employment policies play as either (the very few) enablers or (the many) barriers to labour market integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in European labour markets. Professor Baglioni advocated for ease in legal provisions of asylum in Europe to allow asylum seekers and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection a smoother and quicker entry into employment (for more information on SIRIUS findings please visit here).