As emphasised in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, a successful integration and inclusion policy is an essential part of a well-managed and effective migration and asylum policy. It is also essential for social cohesion and for a dynamic economy that works for all.
The Action plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027 proposes targeted and tailored support that takes into account individual characteristics that may present specific challenges to people with a migrant background, such as gender or religious background. Successful integration and inclusion depends both on early action and on long-term commitment.
Although national governments are primarily responsible for creating and implementing social policies, the EU plays a key role in supporting Member States through funding, developing guidance and fostering relevant partnerships. The main actions are:
- Inclusive education and training from early childhood to higher education, focusing on faster recognition of qualifications and language learning, with support from EU funds.
- Improving employment opportunities and skills recognition to fully value the contribution of migrant communities, and women in particular, and ensure that they are supported to reach their full potential. The Commission will work with social and economic partners and employers to promote labour market integration, support entrepreneurship and make it easier for employers to recognise and assess skills.
- Dedicated EU funding to promote access to health services for people born outside the EU and opportunities for Member States to exchange best practice.
- Access to adequate and affordable housing funded through the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund Plus, Asylum and Migration Fund and Invest EU, as well as funding platforms to exchange of experience at local and regional level on fighting discrimination on the housing market and segregation.
The action plan will be implemented by mobilising EU funding and by creating partnerships with all those involved: migrants, host communities, social and economic partners, civil society and the private sector. It will seek to modernise access to services by using digital tools. Finally, it will improve the evidence base for further development of policies and to ensure good monitoring of results.
The new action plan builds on the achievements of the 2016 action plan.
2016 action plan on the integration of third-country nationals
The 2016 Action plan on the integration of third-country nationals provides a comprehensive framework to support Member States' efforts in developing and strengthening their integration policies, and describes the concrete measures for the Commission to implement in this regard.
While it targets all third-country nationals in the EU, it contains actions to address the specific challenges faced by refugees.
The 2016 action plan included actions across all the policy areas that are crucial for integration:
- Pre-departure and pre-arrival measures, including actions to prepare migrants and the local communities for the integration process
- Education, including actions to promote language training, participation of migrant children to Early Childhood Education and Care, teacher training and civic education
- Employment and vocational training, including actions to promote early integration into the labour market and migrants entrepreneurship
- Access to basic services such as housing and healthcare
- Active participation and social inclusion, including actions to support exchanges with the receiving society, migrants' participation to cultural life and fighting discrimination
It also presented tools to strengthen coordination between the different actors working on integration at national, regional and local level - for example through the European Integration Network promoting mutual learning between Member States - and a more strategic approach on EU funding for integration.
- Action plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027
- Action plan on the integration of third-country nationals, 2016
- Factsheet on the action plan on the integration of third country nationals, 2016