Current migration and refugee fluxes present opportunities as well as challenges. European communities and municipalities as well as organised civil society have considerable experience in integrating a highly diverse and culturally rich immigrant population into the local community. We should make better use of their experience in developing strategies on how best to integrate immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers and encourage their participation in labour markets and society.
SOLIDAR is delighted to be a member of the new Horizon 2020 project SIRIUS, led by the Caledonian University of Glasgow, which aims to support the development of an inclusive integration agenda. SIRIUS wants to outline an optimal mix of policy pathways for labour market integration including concrete steps that Member States along with the EU can take to ensure that migrant-integration policies and the broader system of workforce development, training, and employment programmes support new arrivals’ access to decent work opportunities and working conditions.
On 13 February 2018, SIRIUS will be officially launched in Brussels in the framework of a lunch talk which aims to foster exchange among practitioners and stakeholders who contribute to building successful local integration practices. A detailed agenda will follow shortly.
As part of our work on migration and integration, SOLIDAR, together with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) has published “Story of a journey across Europe: From first reception to integration of migrants” which focuses on the migrants’ journey across Europe, from the problems of the very first reception to the integration stage. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable migrants, namely women and minors, as their numbers have been growing. This book is an assessment of first reception services in Greece and Italy and of the integration of young migrants in Germany. The book symbolically covers the three countries that have been most affected – in absolute terms – by what has been called the refugee crisis, which an increasing number of observers now define as a crisis of solidarity.