September 2018 – December 2019
The Citizens Are United aimed to engage EU citizens on the stigmatisation of migrants with a view to encourage civic participation, promote tolerance and understanding. TCAU was a follow up to 2016’s project – “The Citizens are Speaking”, where the issue of stigma was first raised by the Third Country Nationals themselves during implementation. TCAU aspired to address the gap within the EU’s integration policy; more specifically the rise in stigmatisation of TCNs that has only increased along the years; and the promotion of opportunities for inter-cultural engagement/volunteering at Union level.
Stigma represents a mark of degradation associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person and determines actions like social exclusion, isolation, exploitation, bullying, discrimination, reduced opportunities. Stigmatization not only refers to personal characteristics or limitations, but also to group/cultural/ religious/ racial/ethnic identity. The project aspired to a change in attitudes when dealing with TCNs and to more active involvement of policy makers at all levels to spearhead policy changes, to have standardised procedures throughout EU Member States.
The project included a volunteering activity and publication of a guide book with recommendations to reducing stigma, that was channelled to policy makers, migrant lobby groups, MEPs, and national politicians from participating Member States. The conferences revolved around topics that were tackled in a series of official documents and resolutions of EU institutions, namely: the Communication paper on European Agenda for integration of TCNs, the Commission Staff working paper on EU initiatives supporting the integration of TCNs, the European Agenda for Migration and the Handbook on Integration for policy-makers and practitioners.