About the project



The project’s title is a reference to the concept of flexicurity, which the European Commission promotes as an answer to the EU's dilemma of “how to maintain and improve competitiveness whilst preserving the European social model.” While the EU promotes finding a new balance between these two values, the demand for a highly flexible workforce is in the reality often satisfied by migrants. The employment of foreigners from poorer countries is a highly attractive solution in situations, where domestic workers are scarce, too immobile and inflexible, or simply too expensive. Employers praise migrants for being undemanding and willing to work flexible hours. However, this flexibility is not simply part of the migrants’ mentality, but also caused by the way foreigners are in many cases employed. While employment arrangements differ by country, industrial branch and migrant group, they have in many cases in common that they by-pass the usual regulations of the labour codes and receive only a minimal amount of social security, if any at all.

The FLEXI-IN-SECURITY project introduces four interrelated modules that explain and illustrate the current situation of migrant workers and the practice of human and social rights in selected EU countries:

International comparative research and informational portal

Within this module, reports from selected EU countries were created. The reports present the social security system and effective actions that minimize the vulnerability of migrant workers. Based on these reports, practical recommendations designed for employers, public sector representatives, representatives of trade unions, and NGOs working with migrants concerning the employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic were published.


Catalogue of documentary reports and photography
Ten reporters paired with ten photographers have documented the socio-economic changes in the immigrant communities of the EU countries through real life stories. In the various social systems environments, the different levels of migrants' vulnerability appear.


Exhibition of documentary photography

Focusing on the life of migrants in European cities in time of economic crisis

During 2011, a mobile exhibition based on the real life stories of migrant workers during the economic recession in selected  EU countries was introduced in the Czech Republic (Prague, Brno, Ostrava and other towns), Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Poland. The exhibition was also accessible via internet as an extension of the existing webpage MigraceOnline.cz. Part of the exhibition was also included in the printout of the documentary reports.

Discussions, seminars and education training
Debates on the current situation of labor migrants in the context of a European experience, as presented in the documentary reports and in the international comparative research, took place within this module. The debates were carried out in the Czech Republic (Prague, Brno, Ostrava and other towns), Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Poland. A special seminar was prepared for employers, state bureaus representatives and other interested parties in the Czech Republic.

Web-blogs of visual researcher

The artists (ten researchers and ten photographers) reported continuously on the results of their documentation work during the first preparatory period of the project (April-November 2010). The outcomes of the blogs are published on the information portal Migraceonline.cz and document the research activities and experience from the field.



Discussions, exhibitions, seminars and education training

Czech Republic


CONFERENCE

State policy and the integration of migrants into society - conference + debate + workshops

4. 5. 2011 Goethe Institut Prague, 9:00 - 16:30

The Multicultural Center Prague and the British Council organised the conference as part of the FLEXI-IN-SECURITY and MIPEX projects.

For more information see the programme.
 

EXHIBITIONS

29. 4. - 6. 5. 2011 PARDUBICE, Pernštýnské náměstí

14. 3.-13. 4. 2011 OSTRAVA, train station Ostrava-Svinov

23. 2.-14. 3. 2011 BRNO, square Svobody

 

2. 2.-21. 2. 2011 PRAGUE, square Republiky

The exhibition opening took place at the square Republiky at 18:00.

Main speakers:

Andrea  Baršová (Department of Human Rights and Minority Protection, Office of the Government of the Czech

Republic) and Marie Jelínková (Multicultural Center Prague).


DEBATES

26. 5. 2011 PRAGUE

Migration and (im)migrants in the Czech Republic

18:00
Czech Centre, Rytířská 31, Prague 1

 

31. 3. 2011 PRAGUE

Visa policy in the times of economic crisis

United Nations Information centre Prague

Speakers:

Jan Vyčítal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Pavel Pořízek, Office of the Public Defender of Rights

Daniela Kortišová, PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech Republic

Svatava Matoušková, GOOD WORKER s.r.o.

Karolína Puttová, AFS Interculture Programmes

 

3. 3. 2011 BRNO
Situation of migrants during economic crises

Jiří Mahen Library (Kobližná St. 4, Brno) at 5 pm.
Speakers:
Pavel Čižinský, Counselling Centre for Citizenship, Civil and Human Rights, Multicultural Centre Prague,
Marina Melkonjan, Organization for the Help to Refugees, Brno,
Marta Vodičková, South Moravian Centre for the Support of Integration of Third Countries Nationals,
Martina Vodičková, SOZE, Faculty of Social Pedagogics at Masaryk University

The debate was chaired by Michal Vašečka (Faculty of Sociology at Masaryk University and Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture). To sum up the outcomes of the debate, we may conclude that there is a generaly positive attitude among the ranks of local and regional government in Brno and South Moravian region. However, in comparison with much greater possibilities at national level, there is a little potentiality for these topics to be significantly influenced at the local or regional level.

Contemporary trends of regulating migration in the Czech Republic have been perceived as a matter of 'selective migration'. Migrants are being cathegorised and looked upon basis of their profession (low skilled vs. highly educated migrants), and put into socio-professional cathegories, or on basis of their cultural proximity (nearby countries vs far-away countries).


28. 2. 2011 PRAGUE

Situation of migrants in the time of the economic crisis - new concept of the economic migration

United Nations Information centre Prague

Speakers:

Marie Jelínková, Pavel Čižinský, Martina Kalinová, Pavla Novotná, Pavel Novák, Jan Žikeš

Moderator: Michal Nekorjak

 


Germany


DEBATE     

12. 5. 2011 Frankfurt (Oder) 
FLEXI-IN-SECURITY – Discussion about the situation of migrant workers in time of crisis

Europa-Universität Viadrina, Große Scharrnstrasse 59, Frankfurt (Oder)

Speakers:

Jakob Hurrle, Prag (FLEXI)
Piotr Szenajch, Warschau (FLEXI)

Sabine Kroner (Migrationsforscherin - kritnet)
Heiko Glawe (DGB, Bezirk Berlin-Brandenburg, Abt. Wirtschafts- und Strukturpolitik)
Witold Kaminski (polsakrada)

Reported by Respect-Netzwerk N.N.

Moderater: Dr. Jennifer Schevardo (Institut für angewandte Geschichte, FFO)

Englisch/ German 

 

MigrantInnen sind von der weltweiten Wirtschaftskrise besonders stark betroffen. Viele Unternehmen reagierten auf die Krise, indem sie Arbeitskräfte entlassen haben. Häufig waren MigrantInnen die ersten, die gehen mussten. In vielen europäischen Ländern führte das zu schweren sozialen Verwerfungen. Grund genug, die Beschäftigungsverhältnisse von ArbeitsmigrantInnen innerhalb der Europäischen Union einer grundlegenden Überprüfung zu unterziehen. Das Projekt FLEXI-IN-SECURITY thematisiert die Krise in der Krise durch eine Ausstellung auf der Stadtbrücke in Frankfurt (Oder) und zusätzlich durch eine Abendveranstaltung.

Die Veranstaltung wird realisiert durch den Rejs e.V. und die Mittel der Brandenburgischen Landeszentrale für politische Bildung und der Stiftung Menschenwürde und Arbeitswelt


EXHIBITION
1. 5.  - 15. 5. 2011 Frankfurt (Oder) on the Oder Bridge between Frankfurt and Slubice
The Flexi-in-security photo exhibition will be officially opened in Germany in the town of Frankfurt (Oder) on the 1st of May 2011 during the traditional Labor Day Bridge Festival. The festival will take place on and around the Oder brigde - the town bridge connecting Germany (Frankfurt an der Oder) and Poland (Słubice). The citizens of Frankfurt and Słubice who cross the bridge every day, as well as the numerous students of Viadrina University and visitors of both towns will be able to see the exhibition until the 16th of May.


Before the exhibition opening, on the 29th of April, the Flexi-in-security project will be presented to an expert audience and the media during a conference dedicated to the free movement of workers after the 1st of May 2011, the day from which on workers of most new EU member states will not face restrictions on the German labour market any more ("Freie Fahrt für Arbeitnehmer/innen zwischen Ost und West - Perspektiven des Ablaufs beitrittsbedingter Übergangsfristen zum 1. Mai 2011").

On the 12th of May a public reading of texts from the project, as well as a debate on the current situation of migrant workers will take place in the Viadrina University. Several project participants as well as a number of experts on labor migration will take part in the discussion.

 

Photogalery from the event


Sweden
 

DEBATE

17. 4. 2011 Public debate at the Immigrant Institutet (3 p.m.)
Invandrarnas situation i Sverige och i olika länder i Europa i tider av ekonomisk kris”.
I samband med utställningen ”Flexi-in-security” bjuder Immigrant-institutet till samtal om de frågor som utställningen väcker.
Inledning och presentation: Miguel Benito.

Fritt inträde. Alla välkomna!
Tid: söndagen den 17 april 2011 kl 15.00-17.00.
Plats: Invandrarnas Hus, Katrinedalsgatan 43, Borås
Information om utställningen på: http://www.immi.se/kalender/2011/flexi-in-security-presentation.pdf


France

 

EXHIBITION

The FLEXI-IN-SECURITY Exhibition will be held in Dijon within the framework of the annual cultural event "Printemps d'Europe". MKC Praha has therefore became a partner of the City of Dijon, The European Campus of SciencesPo Paris Institute and students' project: "Sans Visa, Sans Visage?" organising from the beginning of this year various presentations about immigration issues to raise public awareness. Dijon has been for a long time a city with a real interest in Central and Eastern Europe and has been cooperating with many countries in the region. FLEXI-IN-SECURITY will be another special opportunity to deepen this interest and enrich the cultural exchange between France and the Central and Eastern Europe region.

The exhibition opening on 4. 5. 2011 at 18:30 will resemble a large public and present the immigration topic – so actual in France - from a different angle. Dijon is the capital of the Region of Burgundy that is actually a destination of many European immigrants. FLEXI-IN-SECURITY is therefore a project much needed to contribute to the complex understanding of immigrations from the respective countries' point of view.



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