This project is funded under Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities

Media Policy Makers Researchers Civil Society Organizations
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Policy Dialogue Workshop
07 dicembre 2009



1. Did the policy makers appreciate the research results presented?

The policy makers were very interested in the research results. Especially because they usually do not encounter research results from FP projects. They do receive information from and exchange in dialogue with researchers but usually only in the case of nationally financed, smaller scale projects or projects financed by DG Justice, Freedom and Security through the European Integration Fund and the European Refugee Fund.


2. Which needs have been expressed by the policy makers?


Policy makers working in the field of gender and migration need to be connected more as currently the gender and migration areas are administered independently, in different ministries. Consequently, their work is just accidentally harmonized and they know about each other only indirectly, through researchers working in both fields or expert groups whose members are delegated by several ministries. Often the level of bureaucracy prevents policy makers from being in closer contact or respond more freely to emerging needs by the target groups.

Policy makers also expressed the wish to learn more about FP projects and results in the areas of gender and migration, with the hope that the research topics undertaken will be applicable to the Hungarian situation. Currently, a considerable amount of migration research and also some gender research responds mainly to the needs of older member states.

3. Which are the most effective ways  indicated  from the discussant to bridge research and policies?

 In Hungary being included in the information flow (i.e. the exchange of information between research and policy making) seems to be a key issue. The policy makers, at least on the departmental level in ministries know about the research being undertaken in their specific field (e.g. equal opportunities or the integration of migrants), collaborate with researchers and meet regularly at events (conferences, workshops, press conferences etc.) However, to forward the information and the recommendations from the departmental level to the ministerial level (ministers and state secretaries) and the legislative level (parliament) is problematic. The media could help but in reality most often it reinforces the stereotypes and negative images of migrants, including migrant women, in a society which is not tolerant to minority groups, as studies and polls show. Therefore the mediating potential of the written and electronic press is not yet utilized.

  ⇒  Which is the most effective way to transfer research results to policy makers?

Policy makers are willing to learn about research results but it is difficult to engage them in a dialogue about these results. Therefore researchers often have the impression that their recommendations are lost, although the results have been communicated to the policy making bodies. Therefore the real challenge does not lie in communicating research results to policy makers but rather to have policy makers use the results and feed them into the process of policy making, be it legislation, problem solving or response to emerging needs.

The interactive nature of the researcher – policy maker dialogue must be reinforced. Policy makers need to respond more to the recommendations of research while researchers must seek even more opportunities to reach policy makers via events, and the media.

4. Which recommendations or key messages emerged from the debate?

There is a need for a national forum for the exchange of information. Research and policy making in gender and migration is fragmented (gender and equal opportunity issues versus migration and integration issues are handled separately on the policy making level as well as in research funding). Researchers as well as policy makers need easier access to information regarding their professional activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas. Information on research touching on gender and migration issues should be more easily accessible (e.g. through a dedicated national research portal).

Schools play a key role in integrating migrants. Education policies, both national and local, need to acknowledge their responsibility in integration and have to seek to be more open to the special needs of immigrant children.

Teachers and other cultural mediators would need training in how to deal with issues of integration in schools. Education policy should respond to this challenge as soon as possible.

The role of media would be important in eliminating the negative connotations of migration. Instead, media often reinforces these connotations by repeating negative stereotypes associated with migrants.

Currently the research on migration focuses mostly on immigrants (in line with FP7 and Integration Fund priorities). However, research shows that there is a considerable emigration from Hungary (as well as in most of Eastern Europe). Studies show that a very high percentage of young people is considering leaving the country. This is a threat that policy making should respond to. Furthermore, more research on emigration would be needed.







[Recommendations from the Hungarian workshop Gender & Migration between Research and Policies ]