The Focus Group aimed to gather the opinions of professionals working in the field of youth and migration, with the intention of understanding the difficulties that prevent the active and lasting participation of young migrants in the political sphere at local, regional and national level. The actions carried out by these organisations and public bodies to promote the integration and civic-social participation of migrants were also analysed. All of this with the intention of defining possible lines of action to be included in a tookit for professionals in the sector to obtain official resources to promote the active civic and political participation of young migrants in the European Union.
Representatives of associations, NGOs and public authorities participated in the consultation. According to their experiences, the main difficulties or barriers faced by young migrants in Italy are of a bureaucratic or administrative nature, with long waiting times for the approval of applications for asylum, residence, identity cards, etc. Other problems faced by young migrants are the lack of political representation at all administrative levels. As well as the lack of responses to their political demands. All this added to personal needs and other priorities make young migrants gradually participate or feel less interested in the civil and political life of their host community.
Among the priorities and conclusions of the focus group, practitioners consider that the resulting toolkit should have: information on the bureaucratic processes that migrants will face, specific vocabulary on civic and political participation to be included in possible Italian training courses for young migrants, as well as recommendations and tools to facilitate the youth migrant’s engagement and active participation in public affairs.
In conclusion, the Italian focus group was a great opportunity to discuss about the problematics of migrants lack representation and young participation in political life. They provided different perspective about the main points of these problematics, some actions they are carrying on addressing it in some way, and to do a brainstorming of possible tools to improve the civil and political participation of young migrants. In general, the focus group participants expect a useful toolbox to facilitate the young migrants’ active participation in decision making process and/or a guide to follow them who couldn’t participate in the civic and political life yet.