The European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano

Established in 1992 in Bolzano/Bozen, the main city of South Tyrol (Italy), the European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano (EURAC Research) is a private non-profit organisation for applied research and further education, supported by both private and public funding. EURAC Research is composed of 12 institutes with almost 400 collaborators, whose work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, and a healthy society.
Within EURAC Research, the Institute for Minority Rights pursues research on the protection of minorities and the management of cultural diversity. It focuses on issues of cohesion and governance in pluri-ethnic societies, including the new challenges related to migration into territories inhabited by minorities.
The Institute for Regional Development conducts applied research on ways to overcome spatial, environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting urban and rural areas, focusing on three themes: human-environmental interactions, sustainable mobility, and rural economy and society.

Andrea Carlà (Senior Researcher, PI)

PhD in Politics, New School for Social Research, New York – Postgraduate studies in Diplomacy and International Relations, University of Bologna, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Minority Rights of EURAC Research. His research focuses on the interplay among ethnic politics/minority protection, migration politics and security issues. He is the co-editor of “Migration in Autonomous Territories. The Case of South Tyrol and Catalonia” (Brill-Nijhoff: 2015) and author of articles in various academic publications.

Heidi Flarer (Researcher)

Researcher at the Institute for Minority Rights of EURAC Research, she is a sociologist specialized in social research methods with experience in gender issues and work sociology. She has been collaborating for several years with local public institutions, EURAC Research and the Free University of Bolzano dealing principally with methodological issue and data analysis.

Andrea Membretti (Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher)

Ph.D. in Sociology, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pavia, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Regional Development of EURAC Research. Actually his main research field concerns migration towards and from rural/mountain areas. He is author of several scientific articles and books on migration, local development and social movements. He is also the coordinator of the international research network ForAlps-Foreign immigration in the Alps (

Eleonora Psenner (Researcher)

Eleonora Psenner is a researcher with the EURAC Institute for Regional Development. Her academic background includes a BA in International Communication (University for Foreigners Perugia, IT) and MA in International Event Management (University of Brighton, UK in 2011) and in Innovation and Organisation of Culture and the Arts (University of Bologna/Carnegie Mellon University PA, in 2017). Her research focuses on the role of arts & culture and the creative industries as driver for innovation, intercultural integration and cultural policies in the rural – urban context.

Marzia Bona (Researcher)

She is a researcher at the Institute for Regional Development of EURAC Research. She holds a MA in International Relations, with an interdisciplinary background in politics, sociology, gender issues and human rights, with a focus on South East Europe, European Enlargement and migrations. She has been part of the research project “We were looking for peace”, investigating the transnational solidarity movements across Europe in response to the Yugoslav wars of dissolution.

Country Profile: Italy


South Tyrol is an Italian province at the border with Austria inhabited mostly by German-speaking population and a small Ladin-speaking minority with an extensive political autonomy and several measures to protect the specific cultural features of its population. Since the mid-1990s the province has witnessed the arrival of many persons migrating from foreign (EU and non-EU) countries, who have become a stable and important reality of South Tyrolean society. In 2017, the foreign population, composed mostly by first generation migrants and concentrated in the urban areas, represented about 9% of the resident population, of which two thirds came from non-EU countries (31% from non-EU European countries, 18% from Asia, 13% from Africa, and 4% from America). In the past years South Tyrol has remained entangled in the so-called “refuge crisis,” with around 1400 asylum seekers in the province. Furthermore South Tyrol is along the path of many people in transit attempting to reach Central and North-European countries through the Brenner Pass.

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