Chapter 1: On the potential of immigration for the remote areas of Europe: an introduction
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Migration is an inevitable part of development and transition. Migrants can be agents of development, contribute to economic growth, sustain jobs, and improve rural livelihoods. Exploring local partnerships in rural areas, in turn, is a core element in the development and implementation of inclusion and integration policy. At the same time, immigration has become an issue that sharply divides today’s European and national political arenas. With significant variations across and within countries attention tends to focus on how to limit migration’s impact rather than on constructing governance to untap its development potential and consider immigrants as resources. Instead of seeking to measure the efficiency of migration, our focus is on migration’s social impact - understood here as the changes to the social structure and the transformation of the everyday world that we share with others. It is much more, we posit, than a step-by-step process for identifying the outcomes and fulfilment of certain legal requirements.

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