Banner Viadrina

Current Projects

Implementing entity: Centre for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at the European University Viadrina
Financing entity: European Commission
Period of implementation: 2022-2025
Project area: Didactics

Project description:
Activities within the Jean Monnet Programme promote excellence in teaching and research about Europe and European integration processes. The seminar addresses the question of how equal opportunities and social coexistence in Europe can work out in spite of the growing diversity and conflicts related to e. g. religion or worldview. The students analyse the current situation and the biographies of many new Europeans, refugees, migrants (mainly from Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Spain, but also from outside the European Union).

The aim of the seminar is to convey theoretical concepts of integration and social cohesion, look for best practice solutions to the existing challenges and discuss these solutions with other students as well as politicians.

More specifically, it is about the so-called onboarding – a term derived from economics, where it means the integration or increased involvement of employees or partners in a company or its workflow.

It is important that migrants from outside the European Union as well as internal European migrants receive onboarding that allows them to take full advantage of the life in Europe and the opportunities that it offers.

The seminar shall convey knowledge about the European Union and participation mechanisms as well as interpersonal, intercultural and group-related skills.

Implementing entity: Institute of Political Science at the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project partner: Centre for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at the European University Viadrina
Financing entity: Polish-German Foundation for Science

Research team:
Research project leader: Prof Piotr Madajczyk, PhD
Research project leader Germany: Kamila Schöll-Mazurek, PhD
Research project leader Poland, Magdalena Lemanczyk, PhD
Period of implementation: 2019-2023
Project area: Research

Project description:
The object of the research are mixed Polish-German marriages and consensual unions, whereas the subject of the research are children born to such couples. So far, research on mixed Polish-German marriages has been focussing on questions of assimilation, education, bilingualism and various forms of family life. The question of national identity and self-identification of children born to these couples has hardly been covered. Nevertheless, it is an important topic: In Germany, there are approximately 120,000 mixed Polish-German couples, most of them (84%) being marriages between a Polish woman and a German man. In Poland, mixed Polish-German marriages and consensual unions exist as well. Partly, such couples are formed by a person of Polish nationality and a member of the German minority in Poland. The exact number of such couples is difficult to estimate. The other part, however, are couples formed by a Polish and a German citizen. Bearing this in mind, it becomes obvious that the topic of the planned research is closely linked to two other aspects, the first one being the aspect of migration. Here, migration from Poland to Germany is largely predominant, while migration from Germany to Poland rarely occurs. The other aspect is related to a national minority which, to a large extent, does not originate from migration – the German minority in Poland.
This planned project is an empirical study and shall include our present knowledge on the topic. Therefore, research will be conducted in two steps. The first step shall comprise a historico-political analysis of the Polish and German state policies towards mixed Polish-German marriages (including consensual unions). The second step shall encompass the analysis of in-depth interviews conducted in both countries with adult children of mixed Polish-German couples (marriages and consensual unions) as well as with their relatives that played a significant role in the socialisation process of these young people. Additionally, a short written survey will be conducted, the results of which shall also be incorporated in the results of the research.
The project is a joint venture of Polish and German researchers. It focuses on the factors and processes that play the most significant role in the construction of a person’s national identity. The category “national identity” is defined very broadly in this project; it shall be understood as a multidimensional process of constructing a person’s sense of self in specific historical, social and institutional contexts. This discursive and constructivist approach to national identity shall allow for an identification not only of its relatively stable elements, but also of specific factors, practices and strategies that may lead to its transformation.

Implementing entity: German Trade Union Confederation – Ostbrandenburg District Office
Financing entity: Small Projects Fund (KPF) of the Euroregions PRO EUROPA VIADRINA of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Research team: Norbert Cyrus, PhD; Kamila Schöll-Mazurek, PhD
Period of implementation: 2021-2022

Project description:
During the last 20 years, changes have occurred in how we deal with labour rights in cross-border employment in the European Union. At present, the prevention of unequal treatment of domestic and migrant workers is a declared objective. “The same pay for the same work in the same place” is the goal. Still, the reality is far different. In some industries, employees are still exploited on a large scale, especially in agriculture, logistics, hotels and restaurants as well as in private households. Service contract workers and self-employed persons working cross-border are particularly affected.
Facing this challenge, the project shall establish a guide for local authorities and advice centres which are responsible for the control and enforcement of labour rights in cross-border employment in the Euroregion Pro Europa Viadrina.
The guide shall provide information about the responsibilities and possibilities of these institutions and promote cooperation in the enforcement of labour rights beyond borders.

Implementing entity: Federal Association of Intercultural Women in Germany (registered association)
Financing entity: Federal Agency for Civic Education
Research team: Hannah Heyenn (University of Kassel, Comparative Research Network); Kamila Schöll-Mazurek, PhD
Period of implementation: 2021-2022
Project area: Research

Project description:
Comparing to their share of the population, women with migration history are largely underrepresented in political parties and bodies at the municipal level, such as Foreigner’s Advisory Councils or Integration Councils, as well as in local parliaments. This is due to a number of reasons. Therefore, the “Politfix” project aims to adopt a holistic approach in order to overcome existing obstacles and to increase the number of women with migrant background in political parties, local parliaments, Foreigner’s Advisory Councils, Migration and Integration Councils in Hesse and Lower Saxony. In the face of Covid-19, migrant women need innovative instruments in order to help keep and possibly increase their number in such political bodies.

Aims of the research:

  • To identify structural, social and individual barriers that prevent migrant women from being elected into political bodies such as Foreigner’s Advisory Councils, Integration Councils and local parliaments and actively participating in their everyday work,
  • To address the issues of racism, discrimination and risks related to an active political participation of migrant women.

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