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Media Policy Makers Researchers Civil Society Organizations
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Gender and Migration in Hungary: Sharing experiences and knowledge
24 giugno 2009

How was the interaction between CSOs and researchers? Did they have a collaborative behaviour? Fighting?patronising?

In general, the climate of the workshop was constructive and was characterized by tolerance towards the other group. The researchers and CSOs seemed to understand each other well, perhaps due to the fact that many of them had been collaborating previously to some degree. They also agreed on most of the positive and negative issues and opinions brought up at the meeting. The criticism they voiced was largely directed at ineffective legislative and financial conditions, which are the scope of political stakeholders and policy makers, a group that did not participate at the meeting.

CSOs did, however, point out that the research of gender and migration can only be effectively conducted with considerable prior knowledge and cited examples when junior researchers (mostly PhD students) did seek their help without having the necessary knowledge of the complexity of the topic they were going to research. The outcome of this research, they claimed, would be unreliable.

Which aspects of the presented research results have been more appreciated by the CSOs?

CSOs, being practice-oriented, welcomed most research that targeted the specific women and immigrant subgroups that they are working with. However, the research presented, especially European research, was often far broader and included target groups which, in the current national context, are irrelevant for civil society organizations (e.g. young second generation immigrant women, a category almost non-existent in Hungary). National research, it seemed, was more in harmony with the needs and the day-to-day work of CSOs.

Which directions did the CSOs indicate for the research in the future?

As can be expected from question 2 above, CSOs had a number of suggestions for future research topics – most of which were also welcomed by the researchers present – taking into account the unique features and current trends of Hungarian, or on a more general level East Central European, migration and gender issues. CSOs mentioned that in some cases a broader, more interdisciplinary aspect in this research, pointing beyond the confines of statistics or sociology, would be beneficial. This could be implemented by including cultural, linguistic and historical aspects in the issues researched.

Which was the reaction of the researchers to the direction shaped by CSOs?

The researchers reacted positively to the research topics suggested by the CSOs. The difficulty, in their opinion, lies in how to receive funding for these topics. Most of the EU-funded research operates with target groups and tries to answer problems which are significant in old member states but are sometimes less prominent in new ones. Therefore EU funding, at times, generates research that is too general and blurs regional and historic differences, or encourages research whose target groups are not significant in Hungary. For example, in EU terms, all “third country” immigrants fall in the same category but in Hungary there is a large difference between ethnic Hungarians coming from Ukraine or Serbia (their proportion is significant in the distribution of migrants) who do not regard themselves as immigrants at all, and migrants from Asia or Africa.

Another problem is that European funding for this type of research is now more available, while researchers experienced in using them are still not prepared enough. In this situation, some financial resources remain unspent or are re-allocated to other, more prepared, member states.

Have some collaboration plan emerged for the future between CSOs and researchers?

The willingness to collaborate was voiced and evident by both CSOs and researchers. Both groups are ready to deepen their links, and had actual suggestions how to do so. For example, they could join their forces to inform the policy makers and the media regularly (once every year or semester) by offering a comprehensive overview of recent immigration phenomena in Hungary. However, individually they lack the resources for this and asked for the help of GEMMA to coordinate this effort and offer material and intellectual contribution in the process.




[List and synthesis of European projects on Gender & Migration]

[SWOT Analysis - EN]