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Franziska Fischer focuses on integration of refugees into local structures and communities

Franziska Fischer currently pursues her PhD at the University of Victoria in the faculty of Political Science under the supervision of Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, director of the Centre for Global Studies.

Will a united EU identity ever be established? Does it possibly already exist? Many Europeans experiencing freedom of movement and other freedoms made possible by the EU have begun to recognise the privilege of their state's membership. However, far-right nationalist parties still find support within the Union and Euroscepticism prevails. Franziska explores European identities and integration not only of European citizens but also the recent influx of refugees.  

What attracted you to the field of European Studies/ fascinated you about the EU?

The EU is a fascinating political and cultural project that holds the potential to achieve a truly transnational identity sphere that could potentially connect humans beyond their national borders. Growing up in Germany and profiting from the freedom of movement and overarching opportunities, such as European wide connected universities and exchange programs, I began to realise the privilege growing up right in the middle of such a progressive project and realising its potentials. Despite its pitfalls and shortcomings manifesting themselves through recent issues such as the influx in refugees, I believe that the EU holds the key to bringing together minds, ideas and identities of the people to address contemporary issues that challenge the project 'EU'.

What is the most important issue to be addressed in your research?

The most important issue connected to my research is the question on how to successfully achieve integration of refugees into local structures and communities. Connected to this question is finding a way to measure successful integration that protects newcomers as well as the existing community from a loss of identity. In addition to that my research also aims to identify tools that could potentially be generalised for the purpose of supporting integration of refugees in western societies. One tool that will be explored in my research is the creation of music groups that brings together individuals from different background through one common passion.

Franziska Fischer currently pursues her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Victoria in the faculty of Political Science under the supervision of Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, director of the Centre for Global Studies.

She successfully balances her academic career and the arrival of her first child in January 2019. Franziska holds an MA joint degree in Erasmus Mundus Global Studies from the University of Leipzig and the University of Wroclaw with an additional research semester at Dalhousie University in Halifax Canada, and a BA in North American Politics and International Law from the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and Bishops University in Quebec, Canada.

Additionally, she has worked with the non-profit organization 'Lifting Hand International' in Serres, Greece in a Community Center for Refugees, managing and conducting the German language and the Music program. In context to her endeavors to connect refugees and local communities, she has established the network 'Share the world Project' in 2018, through which she aimed to give different voices a space to be heard and different narratives to be exchanged.


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