Research Projects


The Aleksanteri Institute acted as a partner in a project that focused on questions of welfare and migration. The team of four researchers and co-workers - Aino Saarinen, Maija Jäppinen, Virve Hietala and Heini Puurunen - took part in PRIMTS : Prospects for Integration of Migrants from "Third countries" and their Labour Market Situations: Towards Policies and Action, funded by the European Commission for 2008-2010 and coordinated by Assist. Prof. Mojca Pajnik, Peace Institute, Ljubljana.

The final seminar of the Finnish research team was held in Helsinki on May 26th, 2010 when also a press release was published (pdf, in Finnish).

Programme of the seminar (pdf, in Finnish).

Keynote abstracts, Natalie Gerbert & Sointu Toivonen (pdf, in Finnish)

Photos from the seminar - click for a larger version!

Sointu Toivonen, Petr Potchinchtchikov, Natalie Gerbert and Abdirizak Mohamed
The seminar was opened by Dr. Aino Saarinen and researcher Maija Jäppinen


The audience


See also: RWN - Russian Women as Immigrants in Norden - Finland, Norway, Sweden: Gender Perspectives on Everyday Life, Citizenship and Social Justice (2004-2007).


Many migrants from “third countries” are recruited to the European Union labour markets for unskilled labour. They contribute to the growth of the EU economy by filling in positions that are unattractive to the “native” workforce, responding to job demands where many are exposed to abuse, violations of contracts or exploitation in the informal market. Current integration policies declare integration as a two-way process that should equalize the migrants’ opportunities with those of the “nationals.” However, these policies often remain at the descriptive level, lacking mechanisms that would enable and accelerate integration.

The PRIMTS project responds to these challenges by considering precarious labour market positions of “third country nationals” and analyses these from the perspective of integration bills with the purpose to contribute to long-term benefits of “third country nationals,” particularly male and female workers in lower sectors of economy. A further objective is to establish proposals for comparable flexible integration policies at the EU level tailored to specific needs of “third country nationals” who are faced with deskilling and hardship in the labour market. A central assumption is that integration policies should attend to the agency of the persons involved.

The project involves “third country nationals” as partners in communication, its main objective being to propose advanced policy mechanisms with positive effects on marginal situations of “third-country nationals”. This is expected to result in implementation of more flexible policies, securer working environment and diminishing of discrimination towards migrants.

Approach and methodology

The analysis covers six EU member states: Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Slovenia and employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Statistical analysis of migration flows of “third country nationals” and their situation on the labour market is accompanied by qualitative research.

Lightly structured depth narrative interviews will be conducted with “third country nationals” in the six countries. The interviews will enable the examination of migrants’ access to the labour market, their situations on the labour market, as well as their relations with employers and other relevant parties. In this way, the narratives will show how migration, integration and labour market policies are implemented in practice, and how they affect migrant’s lives.

In addition, focus groups will be facilitated that will allow a more detailed and structured debate about the most prominent issues raised by the interviewees in individual narratives. Focus group discussions will provide argumentation on the current state of affairs in migration and integration policies related to “third country nationals’” access to the labour market.

Project structure and time frame

PRIMTS started in December 2008 and will run until June 2010. The project work is divided in the following phases:

1. Analysis of the data on employment and unemployment of “third country nationals,” including information on demographic composition, research of sectors of their employment, and of geographical spread of migrants’ labour. As a result, six state of the art country reports.

2. Migration policy assessment at both national and EU level. As a result, six country reports on migration and integration policies that affect the situation of “third country nationals.”

3. Fieldwork phase comprising 16 lightly structured depth narrative interviews with “third country nationals” per country, focus groups with 6 to 10 “third country nationals” per country, and analysis of the interviews and the results of the focus groups. As a result, six country reports on the analysis of the interviews and focus groups, which will propose advanced integration mechanisms.

4. A final comparative report of the research results, with a broader European perspective for a comparative analysis and recommendations

A research seminar around the Primts issues will be arranged in September-October 2010; more information in August.

Project Co-ordinator

Assist. Prof. Mojca Pajnik
Peace Institute, Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies
Metelkova 6 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia

Phone: + 3861 234 77 20
Fax: + 3861 234 77 22
E-mail: mojca.pajnik[ at ]

Project teams

University of Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute – Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, Finland

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

  • Prof. Andrea Petö: petoand [at]
    Noemi Kakucs: kakucsn [at]

Department of Education, University of Florence, Italy

  • Prof. Giovanna Campani: campani [at]
    Dr. Olivia Salimbeni: olivia.salimbeni [at]
    Tiziana Chiappelli: gyziana [at]

Institute of Social Research at J.W.Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  • Dr. Maria Kontos: kontos [at]
    Dr. Sidonia Blättler: Blaettler [at]

Peace Institute, Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Dr. Mojca Pajnik: mojca.pajnik [at]
    Dr. Veronika Bajt: veronika.bajt [at]
    Sanja Herič: sanja.heric [at]

Symfiliosi, Cyprus

  • Dr. Nicos Trimikliniotis: nicostrim [at]
    Corina Demetriou: oflamcy [at]
Printable brochure (pdf)