The second speedup meeting of OPPORTUNITIES


Changing attitudes, changing contexts

The second hybrid speedup meeting of the EU Horizon 2020 OPPORTUNITIES was held in Paris at the end of March. We were warmly welcomed by our French partner GRDR and the Director of the Cité des Métiers. The highlight of this meeting was the public debate held on Wednesday 30 April.

The context today has been completely changed by the war in Ukraine. There is no longer a crisis of Europe, on the contrary, there is more cohesion than ever. A new welcoming culture has also emerged. But has anything changed fundamentally? Are there possibilities for a new story, a new discourse?

The meeting started with an insight into which and how narrative strategies are used. We discussed strategies like Narrative Event Modeling, Narrative Purpose and Chaff, Narrative Aggregation and Normalization, Narrative (Re)alignment and Redirection, and Multiple and Competing Narratives. The discussion will enrich the next paper on Narrative Dynamics and Migration, Centrifugal vs. Centripetal Forces.


We learned a lot of the surveyed sentiment towards migrants in four countries. These varies widely, which means that no 'one size fits all' policy is possible. There is a need for creative policymaking in tune with local sensitivities, in other words. The OPPORTUNITIES project aims to set a 'level telling field' where all views can be heard—but national sensitivities vary widely, a fact that must fully be taken into account. Research shows that the greater the number of migrants in a Western country, the better the acceptance in that country. Yet the paths towards acceptance and integration may differ from one country to the next. As a result, 'European solidarity' in developing coherent migration and integration policies may be a noble goal, but for such a plan to be successful the various national contexts need to be taken into account. More of this research: see the Resources webpage.

All partners responsible for the Cross Talks presented their target group and the state of preparations. The target groups are diverse and rich. An overview:

  • Young migrants’ students and workers (aged 18-30) (PT)
  • Migrants involved in integration projects and access to work (aged-35) (IT)
  • Migrants (aged 20-40) involved in services for victims of human trafficking and labour exploitation (IT)
  • Newcomers (FR) 
  • Elderly who have experienced migration and have a narrative with the benefit of historical hindsight (FR)
  • Migrant women with individual migration project (studies, employment) (FR)
  • Students coming to complete their studies or for a first work experience (FR)
  • Migrants entering the EU as a step forward into their personal and professional development- a “will” migration (ROU)
  • Migrants living in Europe for approx 5 years, mostly with a job. (AT)
  • Migrants of first generation (various ages and African countries), migrants with and without papers (BE)

The coming months the interviews will be held and the stories will be created. In September the first re-enactments are foreseen.

We discussed a draft paper on the level playing field and its implications for the level telling field. This working paper will be released shortly to open the discussion with a wider audience.

We had a first meeting with the Advisory Board (see the webpage Teams and Advisory Board) where we also discussed the policy brief about the unaccompanied children.

A general assembly was held in the late hours.

The highlight of the three-day event was Wednesday's public discussion. You will get more information about this in a separate newsletter.

And as usual, we enjoyed a nice meal in Mama Africa


Terms used:

Event modeling