Migration and integration of immigrants in their new host countries have become increasingly important for European countries and societies. According to OECD’s report of main indicators in 2018 “Around 58 million foreign-born residents live in the EU – 11.5% of its population. Around two-thirds are from non-EU countries”.
Each European country has the right to implement its own integration policies whose base is “The Common Basic Principles for the Immigrant Integration Policy”, which were adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in November 2004 and reaffirmed in 2014 and which delineate integration as “a two-way process of mutual accommodation by all migrants and by residents of the EU Member States” (Eurostat 2017).
The integration process involves
- education & access to institutions,
- goods and services
- and society
and aims to increase economic, social, cultural and political participation, as it is proposed by Commission’s European Agenda in 2011. On 2016 the Action Plan adopted by the European Commission offers detailed description of integration policies including their challenges. Some of the proposed policy areas that are crucial for integration are:
• Involvement of countries of origin: Pre-departure and pre-arrival measures, in order to include migrants and the local communities for the integration, support the migrants while in the EU, and migrant’s preparation for temporary or definitive return with acquired experience and knowledge;
• Education, acquiring language knowledge through training, adaption of the country’s educational system by including civic education and educators’ training;
• Employment and vocational training for the promotion of early integration into the labor market and migrant entrepreneurship;
• Access to basic services such as housing and healthcare with health systems which foster integration and culturally adapted health promotion programmes.
• Active participation and social inclusion, including actions to support exchanges with the receiving society, migrant participation in cultural life and fighting discrimination. The acquisition of citizenship reveals migrant integration and recognition in the hosting countries, offering them fully active, legal citizenship rights and duties. However, there is still a lack of policy focus when it comes to the integration of migrant women (Li, 2018).
European institutions and youth organizations are constantly stressing the importance of youth participation in the promotion of active citizenship, their social inclusion and their contribution to the development of democracy. In this framework, the Institute of Entrepreneurship development as a partner of RAYSE project contributes from its part in the youngsters’ integration by fostering their awareness about their rights and duties, their social inclusion, as well as the dialogue among locals, institutions and people with migration background.
Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals. Brussels, 2016, June, 7. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/proposal-implementation-package/docs/20160607/communication_action_plan_integration_third-country_nationals_en.pdf
European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. 2011. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:52011DC0455
Eurostat. 2017, May. Migrant integration, 2017 edition. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/8787947/KS-05-17-100-EN-N.pdf/f6c45af2-6c4f-4ca0-b547-d25e6ef9c359
Komsi, P., Onyango, S., Spring 2014. “Social Integration of Second Generation Young Men with Immigrant Backgrounds in Finland”. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c5bc/8a404569b4d9c3b297a505c5f2acc43a5658.pdf
Li, M., 2018, November 12. “Integration of migrant women”. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/feature/integration-of-migrant-women
OECD. 2018, December 09. “Indicators of Immigrant Integration”- Settling In 2018. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/publications/indicators-of-immigrant-integration-2018-9789264307216-en.htm