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Europe: EIN Members meet in Tallin

The 4th meeting of the European Integration Network (EIN) took place in Tallinn on 15 November 2017. Members discussed values and integration contracts. They focused on the definition of values, ways to transmit them and advantages and issues linked to the use of integration contracts in that respect. Presentations by Member States showed that approaches at national level on this topic are quite diverse, in particular regarding the use (or not) of integration contracts, their compulsory nature (or not) and how values are embedded in these integration contracts.

The following key points were gathered during the meeting:

  • When defining and promoting values, broad consensus is needed. In addition, evidence must outweigh emotion when developing policies in this regard.
  • As the topic of values is abstract, the best way to learn and acquire them is through engagement; volunteering or instance.
  • While some values may differ between the receiving society and newcomers (regarding gender or sexuality for instance), there is no essential difference in attitudes towards democracy and individual freedom between immigrant and local populations.
  • Integration contracts, while often used by Member States, are only useful when they are the result of genuine mutual agreements, include positive language, are tailor-made and include education and employment aspects.
  • Incentives (guidance, training, vouchers etc.) must first be provided before sanctions for no-participation in integration measures/contracts.

Since October 2016, the European Integration Network brings together representatives of national public authorities from all 28 EU countries and 2 EEA countries: Iceland and Norway. Its primary role is to promote cooperation among EU Member States and to foster dialogue with European, national, local and regional authorities, as well as civil society organisations in the area of migrant integration. Learn more