Budget: 1.3 M €, of which 80% from the European Regional Development Fund, Central Baltic Interreg IVA Programme
Why this project?
In order to maintain and to increase the competitiveness of our cities and regions, we need skilled and educated foreign labour. While the region is already a relatively attractive destination, we are not benefitting fully from the international talents moving in and living here – nor are the internationals benefitting from the opportunities the region should have on offer. The EXPAT project addresses the factors that hinder the expats’ smooth arrival and good quality of life in the Central Baltic Sea Region and develops methods and solution to improve the identified challenges, because this will serve the interests of both the expats and the region as a whole.
What do we do?
The project seeks to facilitate the improvement of services and networks available to the international talents and their families before their departure from their home country, upon their arrival in the region and during their stay. This means, for example: Ensuring the visibility and accessibility of accurate information on the region and immigration procedures already in the country of origin. Better coordination among the public service providers for all the necessary registration, permits and practical information for newcomers. And physical and digital spaces for professional and social networking with both locals and other internationals.
The novelty and added value of the project is in combining existing social and professional networks into one platform. Furthermore this platform will also act as an information channel for the public administration to efficiently communicate with international talents.
1. The social network platform will be piloted to
· enhance the interaction between internationals and locals. A place where they can meet and get to know each through hobbies and leisure activities.
· improve access to the practical knowledge on living in the CBSR e.g. taxation, civil rights and benefits
2. An information package on soft departure to the CBSR
3. Improved soft landing services through stakeholder cooperation, including potential creation of new services
4. Reports on the themes of social networks, soft departure and soft landing services
Achieving our aims
The EXPAT Project is divided into four work packages, three of which are thematic and one administrative. For the WP Leaders and other project partners, please see "Project facts".
WP 1 Project Management and Communication
WP 2 Social Network Development
WP 3 Soft Departure
WP 3 Soft Departure
WP 4 Soft Landing
The bulk of the project divides roughly into four phases: Benchmarking and inventory, Content development and pilots modeling, Piloting and Wrap-up.
Benchmarking and inventoryThe idea is to gather information on the soft landing and soft departure services and networks both generally (a database) as well as expats' subjective experiences of them. Additionally, the project actively seeks imitable functional practices through case study visits to Stockholm Global Expat Center and Amsterdam's Expatcenter and by highlighting good practices in the partner regions. We will already begin engaging stakeholders during this phase.
Content development and pilots modeling
In this phase, the project partners will analyse the results from the first phase to develop models of an online social network platform that addresses the issues and opportunities discovered in each region. In the meanwhile, we'll commence a series of workshops with key local actors (e.g. service providers) and stakeholders (e.g. expats and businesses) to incorporate their views onto the development of the pilot.
In this phase we will pilot the social network platform and collect feedback from its users. The local workshops will be wrapped up with a session focusing on the continuation of stakeholder cooperation independently of the project.
We will collect feedback from the stakeholders on the whole project and draft recommendations. We will present the results of all phases and local workshops to policy makers. Finally, we will arrange a closing conference open to the public with the aim of engaging international talents, locals and policy makers in the discussion initiated by the stakeholders.