Local, national and international Policy Councils are at the very core of ITHACA. Organised in 7 partner-countries (France, Netherlands, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Azerbaijan) they are participative events that provide an operational base for the entire project. They involve researchers from the consortium together with invited academic researchers, practitioners, policy makers and migrants. The coming International Policy Council is the first of three under the project, designed for stimulating a more informed debate with the identification of topics related to the public debate on migration and the urgency of the European migration agenda. It will take place on the 13th of May 2022 at the Department of International, Legal and Historical-Political Studies of the University of Milan – UMIL.

This first International Policy Council will be centred on Media Representations and Self-Representations of Migrants in COVID-19 Times , on which it will be led a reflection on media and their role on shaping opinions and policies. The relationship between media and narratives is mutual, influencing each other and resulting in a crucial support for the development of new policies. To the Policy Council of the 13th of May 2022, all the ITHACA partners will take part: The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, UNIMORE (Italy) that is as well the ITHACA’s coordinator; the University of Sorbonne (France); the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR (Switzerland); the University of Leiden – LEIDEN (Netherlands); the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens – NKUA (Greece); the French National Research Council, Institute for the Near East – CNRS-IFPO (France); the University of Milan – UMIL (Italy); the Archive of Migrant Memories (Italy); the ARCS Tunisie (Tunisia); the Institute of Geography, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences – IGAZ (Azerbaijan); the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane – AUI (Morocco). The stakeholders present on this day will be from the European Parliament, Caritas, UNICEF, UNHCR, NGOs.

The day’s schedule foresees the presentation of the main outcomes emerged from the local and national policy councils held in the 7 countries. The partners will highlight the different experiences of past PECs and recommendations that have emerged at local and national level. The invited stakeholders will thus provide their feedback on the comparison of different PCE’s experiences on which the discussion will then take place. As with all Policy Council rounds – at local, national and international level – the results of the discussion to be held on May 13 will be released and published on ITHACA website. Furthermore, short interviews will be filmed during the event and will feed into the first ITHACA communication video.

The day before the first ITHACA International Policy Council will be dedicated at the Steering Committee that will monitor the project’s progress and provide guidance and direction for the next goals foreseen by the grant agreement. It will be followed by the discussion on the project’s communication and dissemination strategies and results. This is going to be the first Steering Committee of the project to take place in person.