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Project information

Project team

Tim Leibert, Serhii Svynarets, Yuliana Lazova


GAL Escartons e Valli Valdesi, Italy; City of Osijek, Croatia; Informativno pravni centar, Croatia; Unione Montana di Ceva, Italy; National Union of mountain municipalities and mountain communities – UNCEM Piemonte, Italy; University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic; Center Rotunda Koper, Slovenia; Municipality of Postojna, Slovenia; University of Szczecin, Poland; Westpomeranian Region, Poland; Burgenlandkreis, Germany; Lodzkie Region, Poland

Duration of project

04/2019 – 03/2022

Funded by

European Union, Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE

Further information

Dr Tim Leibert
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-188

Serhii Svynarets
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-112

More info

ARRIVAL REGIONS project website


ARRIVAL REGIONS – Exploring social innovation approaches for the social and economic integration of non-EU nationals

As a consequence of demographic change, many rural areas in Central Europe have been affected by depopulation, ageing and brain-drain. In recent years, however, rural areas of Central Europe have emerged as new immigration destinations for both regular (needed workers) and irregular (war refugees) migrants from non-EU states. This new wave of immigration represents for many regions the first major migration movement that brought people to rural areas. Arriving non-EU nationals have already left a considerable footprint on the demographic structure of German and North Italian rural areas. However, once their asylum application have been processed many strife for major cities where they presume to find better employment opportunities. Yet, major cities are already challenged with high poverty levels, social segregation and insufficient affordable housing.

ARRIVAL REGIONS confronts both demographic change and migration-related challenges in rural areas by boosting integration of non-EU nationals.  Whereas regulatory schemes govern many aspects of life of incoming migrants (e.g. registration process, work permits), little is done in most rural areas to make migrants feel welcomed as new members of local societies. The social aspects of integration remain often disregarded due to existing prejudice and missing exchange platforms. ARRIVAL REGIONS therefore aims to develop social innovation approaches in 9 rural areas through creating inclusive local stakeholder alliances. Project partners understand social innovations mainly as novel approaches to meet social needs of non-EU nationals that are necessary for their successful integration. The experimentation with social innovation approaches is complemented by transnational learning exercises including study trips, training seminars, transnational peer review and joint discussion of targeted research papers.

The ARRIVAL REGIONS project is supported by the Interreg CENTRAL Europe Program and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


Arrival regions – How to combine demogaphic changes with social innovation policies. Roma: Unione Nazionale Comuni Comunità Enti Montani (Uncem), March 2022 (Comunità montagna; Special number). Full text (pdf 10 mb)

Leibert, Tim / Mikhaylov, Roman / Mrazova, Lucia / Svynarets, Serhii (2022): Tool Box – Interreg Central Europe_Arrival Regions. Leipzig: Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde. Full text (pdf 4,6 mb)

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