Welcome to the podcast “Migration Talks”. This podcast presents and discusses migration research conducted by VUB and non-VUB scholars in an easily understandable language. The podcast is organised by BIRMM, in cooperation with the Jean Monnet Chair ‘Expand – Understanding Resilience in EU Justice and Home Affairs’. Our podcast is now also available on Spotify!
Podcast 1: Receiving and accommodating refugees in European cities : what shall – and shall not – be done?

In the first episode, we discuss how refugees are received and accommodated in European cities. This is a topical issue in Brussels, which has witnessed a reception crisis. In late 2021, refugees had to sleep on the streets in front of Belgium’s biggest reception centre due to a lack of accommodation. The Belgian federal instances failed to provide more place until the city of Brussels stepped in and offered hotel rooms. This situation raises question of wider relevance: Who is responsible for welcoming and accommodating refugees? Are there differences in the ways in which this is handled across Europe?

Hannah Vermaut (BIRMM coordinator) and Florian Trauner (BIRMM co-director and JM Chairholder) welcome two VUB researchers, who are highly qualified to discuss these questions: René Kreichauf (Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research - VUB) and Louise Hantson (project researcher at BIRMM for the Whole COMM project).

Want to read more on René Kreichauf's research?

You can follow Louise Hantson's research on the Whole-Comm website and you can read an interview on what the Whole-Comm research project is about.

Podcast 2: Big data and artificial intelligence for migration research

In the second episode, we discuss the potential and the risks of using big data and artificial intelligence (AI) for migration research. Asylum and migration authorities all over the world start to use more and more big data and AI. The European Asylum Support Office for instance uses machine learning to predict pressure on the asylum administrations of EU member states.

It’s not only authorities that look at the potential of big data. New data sources such as mobile phones, digital applications and social media, as well as satellites can help creating new and more detailed insights into human mobility. Should researchers use these opportunities? Or do they risk repeating or contributing to the downsides of big data – such as a loss of privacy?

Florian Trauner (BIRMM co-director and JM Chairholder) welcomes Tuba Bircan (research professor at Interface Demography - VUB) to discuss these questions.

Podcast 3: Racisme en discriminatie in de zorg

In deze aflevering van Migration Talks hebben we het over racisme en discriminatie in de zorg. De covid-pandemie maakte duidelijk dat er ongelijke uitkomsten in de zorg en gezondheidszorg voor etnische minderheden zijn. Is er sprake van racisme en discriminatie in de zorg? Hoe uit zich dat, waar komt het vandaag en wat kunnen we ertegenover stellen? We gaan erover in gesprek met dr. Saloua Berdai Chaouni (onderzoeker aan het departement Psychologie en Educatiewetenschappen van VUB) en Enata Mushimiyimana (studente Farmaceutische Wetenschappen aan VUB, mede-oprichtster van AfroMedica).

Florian Trauner (BIRMM co-director and JM Chairholder) welcomes Tuba Bircan (research professor at Interface Demography - VUB) to discuss these questions.

Podcast 4: The EU's Temporary Protection Regime for Ukranians: How does it work? 

In this episode, we talk about the EU’s response to the displacement of Ukrainians. The EU member states have opened their borders and welcomed Ukrainians. The EU as a whole has taken the decision to provide all newly arrived Ukrainians with a temporary protection status.

This has been a historic decision. Thus far, the EU’s asylum system was based on an individual assessment of protection claims. This will no longer be the case for Ukrainians – they will be protected as a group in the EU. What are the implications of such a temporary protection regime? What does this decision imply for the EU’s asylum policies at large?

We discuss this with Hanne Beirens, the director of Migration Policy Institute Europe, and Florian Trauner, co-director of the BIRMM research centre at VUB.

Podcast 5: What NEETs need: hoe kan het beleid jongeren met een migratieachtergrond beter bereiken?

In deze aflevering gaan we met Mariam Ait Hmeid (beleidsmedewerker LEVL) en Andrew Crosby (onderzoeker BIRMM) in gesprek over jongeren met een migratieachtergrond en de moeilijkheden die ze kunnen tegenkomen om een plaats te vinden op de arbeidsmarkt of in de maatschappij.

Vanuit het beleid wil men maar al te graag de afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt voor deze jongeren dichten, zeker nu, in tijden van arbeidsmarktkrapte. Maar wat gebeurt er daar eigenlijk? Kunnen we die kloof verklaren en waarom gaat het specifiek over jongeren met een migratieachtergrond? Werkt zo’n beleid? En ook, welke ervaringen hebben jongeren zelf? In deze aflevering vertellen Mariam Ait Hmeid en Andrew Crosby wat de belangrijkste uitdagingen zijn en wat het beleid beter kan doen.

Je kan de resultaten van het project van Mariam Ait Hmeid over en met werkloze jongeren met een migratieachtergrond vanaf december raadplegen op de website van LEVL. Je kan meer lezen over het onderzoek van Andrew Crosby en Géraldine André over NEET-jongeren in Brussel in dit artikel

Podcast 6: Over-or Underpopulation? Mobilisation and Persistence of Malthusian Framings in Migration Debates

In today's episode, we discuss the idea of overpopulation. Where and how it originated, why it is so persistent, and how it got to be linked to migration, anti-migrant discourses, and migration policies.

We discuss this topic with Soumaya Majdoub, who is focusing on these topics as a Ph.D. researcher at Interface Demography, and at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She just published a truly inspiring and eye-opening essay called 'Consuming like rabbits', which is now available in Dutch from ASP. Joining the conversation are Florian Trauner, co-director of the BIRMM research center at VUB, and Sibel Top, Coordinator of the BIRMM research center.

Podcast 7: The importance of Heritage Languages and Multilingualism in Belgium

Do you know what heritage languages are and why they are so important? In this episode, Jianwei Xu, Rik Vosters, Sibel Top (Coordinator of the BIRMM research center), and Ilke Adam (co-director of the BIRMM research center) discuss multilingualism in Belgium, typical misconceptions around language learning, and great ideas for future teachers

Podcast 8: Everyday Sexism & Racism in the Ivory Tower: The Struggles & Resistance of Early Career Researchers in Belgium

In this episode, we discuss the struggles faced by early career researchers in Belgium. We discuss this with Dr. Dounia Bourabain, who defended her PhD in September 2022 titled 'Everyday Sexism and Racism in the Ivory Tower. The struggles and resistance of early career researchers in Belgium'. In her thesis, she clearly debunks the myth of the university as the ideal meritocratic institution, wherein individuals can succeed and thrive on the basis of their individual merit, hard work, and skills. Dounia's PhD, however, also touches upon a pressing societal challenge, namely, how to foster real equality in the ivory tower. Joining the conversation are Ilke Adam, co-director of the BIRMM research center, and Sibel Top, Coordinator of the BIRMM research center.

Prof. Florian Trauner chaired the seventh edition of the ‘European Union in International Affairs’ (#EUIA21) conference. The EUIA podcast series explore different aspects of the EU’s international role and standing.'

EUIA21 Podcast: Journal Editors’ panel: Research and Publishing in  Times of a Pandemic

Academics seek to publish their work in good journals. Yet it is sometimes not easy to understand why a work has been accepted by one journal but not by another. How do journal editors take their decisions? Also, how has their work changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic? This panel brings together the editors of four academic journals: Olivier Costa (editor of the Journal of European Integration); Knud Erik Jørgensen (Global Affairs), Jocelyn Mawdsley (European Security); Richard Whitman (Journal of Common Market Studies). The Panel is moderated by Ramona Coman (President of the Institute for European Studies of the ULB) and Florian Trauner (Brussels School of Governance of the VUB, #EUIA21 Chair)

Podcast 1: Ten Years of Research on the European External Action Service

On 1st December 2010, the European External Action Service (EEAS) was formally established. It was a landmark event for EU foreign policy-making. Its establishment was also followed with interest and curiosity by the academic community. A bit more than 10 years have now passed. It is a good moment to reflect upon our knowledge on the EEAS and its influence on EU foreign policy. What do we know about this institution and what are still unexplored avenues of research?

#EUIA21 Chair Florian Trauner welcomes a group of four distinguished scholars: Federica Bicchi (London School of Economics); Jozef Batora (Webster Vienna Private University and Comenius University);  Ben Tonra (University College Dublin); and  Ana Juncos (University of Bristol).

Podcast 2: The Cooperation Between the EU and West Africa on Migration: a Win-Win-Win Scenario?

West Africa has become a priority region for the EU in terms of external migration policy. With instruments such as the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the EU has sought to proactively address the “root causes” of migration. At the same time, the Union has also called for negative conditionalities in case African governments refrain from cooperating on issues such as the return of irregular migrants. Can the EU’s enhanced engagement bring beneficial outcomes to the African countries of origin, the European countries of destination and the migrants themselves? How have the West African states reacted and adapted to the European migration agenda? 

#EUIA21 Chair Florian Trauner welcomes four forthcoming scholars: Melissa Mouthaan (University of Cambridge); Leonie Jegen (University of Amsterdam); Amanda Bisong (Free University of Amsterdam); and Omar N. Cham (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).  

Podcast 3: Conflicts of sovereignty in the EU - insights from Brexit and international trade agreements

The concept of sovereignty was initially coined in the Middle Ages in the context of the wars of religion in France. Sovereignty was defined as absolute and perpetual. New developments such as the emergence of polities beyond the state – like the EU – have challenged its meaning. By establishing supranational institutions, EU member states have agreed to limit part of their sovereign rights in order to cope with various transnational problems. In recent years, however, claims to sovereignty have multiplied and seem to become more divisive than ever. Within the EU and beyond, parties and citizens seek “to take back control”.

This EUIA podcast presents the findings of the project “Conflicts of Sovereignty in the EU”. Funded by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation, it is a collaborative project between the University of Cambridge and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Ramona Coman (President of IEE-ULB, a #EUIA21 co-organising institute) discusses conflicts of sovereignty regarding international trade (notably CETA) and Brexit with Christopher Bickerton (University of Cambridge); Julia Rone (University of Cambridge); Nathalie Brack (ULB); and Amandine Crespy (ULB).