European Integration Network members meet in Vienna
The fifth meeting of the European Integration Network (EIN) was held in Vienna on 12-13 November 2018. This meeting of the EIN focused on the integration of migrant women in Europe, with over 50 representatives from EU Member States, Norway and Canada in attendance.
The main session of the meeting focused on exchange of best practices. Presentations were made by representatives from Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Poland and the European Migrant Advisory board, which advises the Urban Agenda’s partnership on migrant inclusion and is composed of migrants and refugees working in policy and scientific fields.
Mr Thomas Liebig from the OECD shared insights on the potential of migrant women in the workforce and key issues in their labour market participation. Participants of the meeting also visited the Austrian Integration Fund, which offers civic orientation and language courses to registered migrants and asylum beneficiaries, including courses specifically for women.
Key takeaways from the meeting include:
- It is important to involve women with a migrant background and refugees in designing policies, strategies and programmes for integration and to base those instruments on their needs.
- It is crucial to actively reach out to women. Engaging at an early stage pays off. Places regularly frequented by women, like kindergartens and schools, are good places to get in contact with migrant mothers.
- Positive measures are needed to promote gender equality. Leaving it all to chance will result in inequality.
- Further measures are needed to make it easier for migrant women to get their qualifications recognised.
- Second chance opportunities are important for migrant women, as they tend to start their professional careers later than men do.
- As integration measures are often implemented at the local level, various levels of the state need to coordinate their efforts.
The meeting was opened by Mr Matthias Oel, Director for Migration, Mobility and Innovation at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), followed by a welcome and introduction from Dr Susanne Raab, Director-General for Integration, Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
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. Learn more
Read the EWSI Special Feature on the integration of migrant women
Image © Österreichischer Integrationsfonds