Image of migration and integration in a polarized society
Where are we today?
Since 2015, when the so-called refugee crisis reached its peak, migration has become a key issue of public interest and political debate. It has become a topic, which deeply divides society, provokes fear among many, influences political developments, election campaigns and their results, and which has substantially shaken EU unity. However, over the past two years the number of asylum seekers in the EU has dropped almost to levels before the crisis, and the topic is slowly fading into the background. At the same time, labour shortages and low unemployment in the Czech Republic have led to a growing influx of foreign workers, whose integration poses new challenges for our society.
How do these changes influence the current debate on migration? How does the media present migration nowadays? What does it mean for our society and how does it influence the migration and integration policies of our country? What role did the topic of migration play during this year’s European parliamentary elections campaign?
These and other questions will be discussed by Radha Sarma Hegde, media, culture and communication expert from New York University; Grigorij Mesežnikov, director of the Slovak Institute for public affairs and lead editor of the publication “Phantom Menace: The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe,“ which will be presented during the debate; Eva Valentová from the Association for integration and migration, integration expert and one of the publication’s author, and Adéla Jurečková from the People in Need foundation, who will present results of her organization’s current research of the media image of migration in Czechia.
The debate is organised by the Consortium of Migrant Assisting Organisations in cooperation with the Prague Office of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.