Refugee Integration via Internet Based Revitalization of Rural Europe
Do 0.4% refugees imply a “European Refugee Crisis”? No, at such a level it should be fully viable to accept people. Looking closer there are underlying unbalances leading to a “European Solidarity Crisis”, a crisis which is often mistaken for a refugee acceptance issue.
Economic and demographic strengths are unevenly spread between European countries and between urban and rural areas. Whereas the North and West face growth and inflow, the South and East face stagnation and outflow; this division constrains refugee absorption capacity.
Refival’s proposition is to optimize the spreading of jobs/tasks to deprived zones. This creates an inclusion and a sustainable synergistic exchange between areas. Via the increased job flexibility offered by the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, jobs can be moved to people instead of people to jobs. Refival defines this process as “Inclusion Sourcing”.
With more than 150 million EU jobs being services related, every percent Internet based tasks means a potential of 1,5 million people to be freely migrated geographically. When jobs can be brought to lower living cost/salary areas, companies gain a competitive edge, which enhances the general prosperity and balance in Europe.
Main limitation is a lack of job matching candidates in deprived or rural areas. Due to the past outflow, a fresh injection of refugees or unemployed is needed. Relocation of Internet based tasks offers a starting point for upward economical mobility to them.
Fully understandable, refugees are currently targeting prosperous European cities and exclusively want to move there; especially if there is already a social network of compatriots present. However, this forces governments to spend large amounts of money on welfare at high subsistence-cost locations. Question remains if it would not be better to invest in refugees rather than to allocate almost all budgets for their survival needs.
In contrast to cities, rural villages offer ample low priced clean and safe room to refugees. Villages can thus help people to discover, grow and exploit their potential; villages can fulfill a “refugee incubator” role. Balancing overpopulated cities with underpopulated villages is synergistic; urban and rural environments can complement each other.
Inclusion of rural areas should be top priority both at government policy as well as at corporate social responsibility level. It addresses the disadvantage of the more than 100 million people currently living at rural locations in Europe and would assist many refugees or unemployed who face better employment and integration chances by moving there.
Of course all this should not be an in any way forced development; it should be a voluntary choice for both refugees and the receiving rural communities.
Refival is seeking partners and stakeholders to participate in its cultural tolerance based initiative that simultaneously most economically allocates resources whilst offering fast integration of newcomers. Please contact me if you are interested to contribute to this.
More detailed information is provided to those interested at www.docs.refival.org.
Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk
(Initiator & Project Developer)