International labour migration in European rural regions - the example of Saarland, Germany

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International labour migration in European rural regions - the example of Saarland, Germany

International labour migration is one of the main challenges in the 21st century for rural areas within Europe. So far, rural areas have not been in the focus of research. The project DERREG, financed by EU FP7, has investigated this phenomenon. Qualitative interviews with international labour migrants have been carried out in the rural border area of Merzig-Wadern, Saarland in the South-West of Germany. The results of these interviews on motivation, working situation, professional experience, family background, social networks, future plans, satisfaction and suggestions of improvements regarding the situation of migrants show heterogeneity, in comparison with urban migrants. However, it can be concluded that the international labour migrants are a benefit to communities in rural areas if they are well integrated.

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