From Integration to Solidarity: Insights from Civil Society Organisations in Three European Cities

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

From Integration to Solidarity: Insights from Civil Society Organisations in Three European Cities


  • Viviana d'Auria Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Racha Daher Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Katharina Rohde Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium


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Abstract:  This article sheds light on the lack of cohesion in asylum approaches between EU member states and questions the dominance of the ‘integration’ paradigm. It argues that civil society organisations (CSOs) have, through solidarity, challenged the bias ‘integration’ involves and the exclusion it generates. To do this, it examines three case-based practices led by CSOs that operate in three European capital cities—Rome, Brussels and Berlin—and that embrace mobility in the context of front-line, transit and destination countries, respectively. With the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015 acting as a threshold moment, the cases navigate a complex web of relationships amidst a fragmented debate about asylum, and varying national and local frameworks in Europe. Through the comparison of cases, the article argues that the political possibilities of such practices and their enduring engagements with the urban, remain limited. However, the shift in discourse from ‘stasis’ and ‘integration’ to ‘mobility’ and ‘solidarity’ that the three cases embody, represent a critique that fundamentally challenges urban planning and its role for asylum.

Keywords:  asylum; civil society organisations; displacement; integration; solidarity

Published:   20 December 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v3i4.1688


© Viviana d'Auria, Racha Daher, Katharina Rohde. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.