21/06/2024 – Conference ‘Welcoming Europe’? Understanding migration in the context of global aging, depopulation and rural-urban transformation (Utrecht University)

Conference: ‘Welcoming Europe’? Understanding migration in the context of global aging, depopulation and rural-urban transformation

Co-organised by the Welcoming Spaces (H2020) in collaboration with the focusarea Migration and Societal Change – and UGlobe (Utrecht University).


Current discussions about the link between migration – ageing – depopulation often end in polarised debates about whether or not migration is ‘the’ solution – the contribution migrants can make to ‘filling gaps’ and/or the revitalisation of shrinking areas. There are however multiple paradoxes and dilemmas. Based on the outcomes of our H2020 Welcoming Spaces programme (2019-2024) and multiple UU-related research programmes we want to broaden the debate – unravel the connections between ageing – shrinkage and migration; and come with concrete suggestions for achieving ‘spatial justice’ and ‘leaving no one behind’.

Keynote speakers

Helga de Valk, Director, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
Tanja Bastia, Professor, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

The conference will host various panel discussions with academics, policy makers and practitioners. There will also be a book launching, photo exhibit, and poster presentations. Confirmed panellists include Prof. dr. Monique Kremer (Chair, Netherlands Migration Advisory Council), Prof. Sabine Meier (RheinMain University of Applied Sciences), Prof. dr. Ajay Bailey, Dr. Ilse van Liempt,  Prof. Joost de Laat, Dr. Dora Sampaio (Utrecht University), and others to be confirmed.

With the H2020 Welcoming Spaces team: Prof. dr. Annelies Zoomers, Prof. dr. Laura Oso, Prof. Dr. Maggi Leung, Dr. Karin Geuijen, Dr. Bianca Szytniewski, Dr. Ricardo Martins, Dr. Sara Miellet,  Dr. Marlies Meijer, Dr. Ester Driel, Jofelle Tesorio. Other partners from the EU, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland and Germany are also expected to join.

Side events

Book launching: Modern guide to spatial justice in Europe: Engendering welcoming spaces for migrant emplacement and inclusive development in ‘left behind’ areas
Photo exhibit: Visualising welcoming spaces across Europe – featuring photos taken by migrants and long-term residents

Are you interested in participating in the conference and/or joining the poster presentations? Please contact Jofelle Tesorio (j.p.tesorio@uu.nl).

Start date and time:
End date and time:
Location: Janskerkhof 2-3, room 0.01

More information can be found here.