International migration and globalisation have influenced the public policy agenda across Europe over recent decades. According to the 2016 Eurostat statistics, 20.7 million people with non-EU citizenship are residing in the European Union. Additionally, 16 million EU citizens live outside their country of origin in a different Member State. Migration movements are on the rise both within and from outside the European Union.
Migrants actively contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of European societies. The key to ensuring the best possible outcomes for both the migrants and the European Union is their successful integration into host countries. With a mandate to promote integration, the EU has put several measures in place. The most recent initiative is the Integration Action Plan, adopted in June 2016, designed to support the integration of third country nationals and providing a comprehensive framework to support the Member States in developing and strengthening their integration policies. The plan covers all areas relevant to integration, such as education and employment, access to social services, and active participation in the host societies. With the creation of a European Integration Network, the Integration Action Plan also aims to strengthen mutual learning among the Member States and the coordination between different actors at national, regional and local level.
Despite these efforts, integration is still widely perceived as a one-way process to be shouldered by the migrants, overlooking the responsibilities of the host societies. As long as migrants continue to be viewed as “threat” to Europe, the focus will remain economic rather than cultural and humane. If the cultural benefits and the enrichment that migrants bring to the host society remain undervalued, it will be challenging to ensure equal opportunities for migrants in Europe and to promote powerful, diverse, and multicultural societies. On a practical level, the recognition of foreign diplomas and certificates remains difficult, whilst discrimination and racism are widespread throughout the job market as well as across society.
This timely international symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss the current challenges of migration and integration in Europe and to reignite the debate over an EU-wide strategy to improve integration policies across the Member States. The symposium offers a platform for discussion on an improved European regulatory framework, supports the exchange of ideas and encourages delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate, whilst sharing best practices and lessons learnt.
14 Sep 2017 @ 09:15 am
14 Sep 2017 @ 04:30 pm
Duration: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre
Avenue du Boulevard 17