The challenge of integrating beneficiaries of international protection in the European Union
Subscribe nowReceive every three months the new issue of European Insights in your mailbox Subscribe
Why talk about the integration of refugees in "European Insights"?
Over the last few decades, the issue of migrant integration has changed a lot in Europe. Each country certainly bears the traces of its history, the successes and failures in the integration of previous generations; and sagas such as that of the “Belloumi family” (Stéphane Beaud) are not the same from one country to another. And yet, we are not able to analyse the fate of immigrants today as Emmanuel Todd did in the 1980s, based on a comparison of integration models for Turks in Germany, Algerians in France or Indians in England.
Because immigration has become a shared issue. The origins, routes and even smugglers are increasingly the same in each of the European countries of destination. And the share of international protection needs as a cause of migration, which has increased significantly, contributes to this becoming a shared challenge.
The integration of refugees is therefore an issue that is on the rise in Europe, not to mention that of their families, who will soon be joining them. We need to talk about it.
It is actually urgent if we think of the saturation of integration systems, which we are witnessing in France, a land of asylum, in dedicated accommodation (CPH), in the CADAs from which recognised refugees are struggling to get out, and, finally, in the streets and in the camps, where our people on the ground often find between 15 and 20% of statutory refugees.
At the same time, this Commission is getting restless, undertaking an EU-wide public consultation in the summer of 2020, publishing two new reports on 9 November, and adopting a new Action plan on integration and inclusion on 24 November.
Finally, we need to talk about it because there is a need for a common vision in this area where European jurisdiction is only indirect (housing, languages, education, care, are the business of the States, or even cities), based on coordination and incentives, towards national actors who often only see their own needs, linked for example to demography and the labour market here and now.
We do not want this common vision to emerge in public opinion only in security crises such as the one this autumn.
Thierry Le Roy, President of France terre d’asile