E-Newsletter
14 March 2019 / 113

EU Highlights

Why not ask migrants and refugees?

Migrants and refugees are often in the best position to assess how integration measures are working. Yet when it comes to integration policy-making, they typically play only a minor role in shaping the policies that impact their lives. The European Migrant Advisory Board has set out to change this situation and recently published a consultation showing what migrants and refugees think about integration measures.

How EU Member States approach labour market integration

The European Migration Network looks at the current state of national labour market integration policies across the EU, with highlights from both the public and private sectors of promising integration practices.



Upcoming Events

Bari, Italy – The Migration Conference 2019

18/06/2019 08:30
(The Department of Political Science at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
The seventh edition of The Migration Conference will be held in Bari, Italy from 18 to 20 June 2019. The conference provides an opportunity for an interdisciplinary discussion among experts, young researchers and students, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of migration. This…
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Porto - International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism

28/03/2019 09:00
(Centre for Intercultural Studies Office 333 Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 São Mamede de Infesta Portugal)
Registration is now open for the 2019 International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism. The Conference organised by the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the Oporto Polytechnic Institute will take place on 28, 29 and 30 March 2019 in Porto and will be divided into…
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Tallinn – Nordic-Baltic Migration Conference 2019

29/03/2019 09:30
(KUMU Art Museum, Weizenbergi 34/Valge 1, Tallinn, Estonia)
The seventh Nordic-Baltic migration conference in Tallinn focuses on the challenges of migration policies, including the role of education in the integration of migrants into the societies and labour markets of receiving countries. Speakers from the Nordic countries and Estonia will talk about…
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Malta – Workshops for young migrant and local entrepreneurs

16/03/2019 09:30
(Volunteer Centre, Melita Street, Valletta, Malta)
Starting 16 March 2019, the People for Change Foundation will host a series of five-hour entrepreneurship workshops for migrant and local youth, to be held on Saturdays at the Valletta volunteer centre. Each session of the workshops will cover a different topic related to entrepreneurship, with…
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Latest News

Spanish government launches Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants

The first meeting of Spain’s Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants took place on 14 February 2019 in Madrid. The Forum is a consultative body to the government whose main objective is to promote the participation and integration of immigrants in Spanish society.

Cristina Blanco, a sociologist with extensive academic and research experience in the field of migration, has been appointed President of the Forum. Secretary of State for Migration, Consuelo Rumí, chaired the meeting and highlighted the significance of the Forum, noting that it will advise the government in designing public policies that strengthen social cohesion.

The Forum’s first meeting comes during a time of uncertainty in Spanish politics as Vox, a far-right political party that takes a hard line on immigration, recently won 12 seats in Andalusia’s provincial elections. During the meeting, Rumí stated that the role of the Forum, its new president and the government’s next Strategic Plan for Citizenship and Integration serve as ‘part of the antidote against the populist and nationalist discourses that some want install in our country’. She expressed optimism that the Forum ‘will contribute to promoting tolerance and coexistence in Spain’.

Additionally, Rumí further reinforced integration as one of the priorities of the government, citing the elaboration of the Strategic Plan of Integration Citizenship, announced by President Sánchez in Marrakech during the summit for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The objective of this Strategic Plan, according to Rumí, is to serve as a useful instrument in promoting the integration of immigrants and asylum seekers in Spain.

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Labour participation of migrants increases in the Netherlands, social benefits claims drop

Labour participation among the Dutch population has increased over the past decade and a half. This is the case among migrants of both Western and non-Western backgrounds, as well as among individuals with a native Dutch background. In 2017, 65% of migrants with a Western background were employed, while 57% of migrants with a non-Western background were employed. By comparison, the employment rate among native Dutch individuals was 60%.

One consequence of the increasing labour participation rate is that the number of people claiming social or welfare benefits (bijstand) fell by 5% in 2018 (around 24,000 individuals). This was the first time in 10 years that the number of people with a non-Western background claiming welfare benefits decreased.

The decrease can be attributed to the fact that many Syrian nationals have entered the labour market and far fewer refugees from Syria are arriving. Read more

Statistics on employment rates


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Imame sollen künftig Deutschkenntnisse nachweisen

Die Bundesregierung plant eine Änderung der Einreisevoraussetzungen für Geistliche aus dem Ausland. Sprachkenntnisse sollen bald auch für Geistliche zur Bedingung für eine Anstellung in Deutschland gemacht werden. Die Ausgestaltung sei im Einzelnen noch nicht abgeschlossen, sagte ein Sprecher des Bundesinnenministeriums. Begründet werden die Pläne integrationspolitisch und zielen so besonders auf Imame ab, die etwa aus der Türkei in die Bundesrepublik entsendet werden. In Deutschland gibt es aber auch christliches Personal aus dem Ausland, so dass nun die Pläne der Bundesregierung nun auch in katholischen und internationalen Gemeinden mit Sorge beobachtet werden.

Der Bedarf an religiöser Betreuung von Migranten werde wachsen, teilte das Ministerium mit. Die dafür eingesetzten Geistlichen hätten in den jeweiligen Gemeinden "auch eine Vorbild- und Beraterfunktion, die für ein friedliches Zusammenleben verschiedener Kulturen und Religionen sowie für eine erfolgreiche Integration insbesondere auch neu Zugewanderter in Deutschland entscheidend" sei. Imame könnten diese "integrative Wirkung" besser entfalten, "wenn sie die deutsche Sprache sprechen und mit Deutschland und seiner Kultur vertraut sind".

Zu den geplanten Gesetzesänderungen gibt es viele kritische Stimmen. So gab der Vorsitzende des Zentralrats der Muslime in Deutschland, Aiman Mazyek, zu bedenken, dass man kompetente und authentische Imame brauche, und ergänzte: „Eine durch restriktive Handhabung solcher Regelungen geschaffene Lücke in den Gemeinden würde den falschen Akteuren in die Hände spielen.“

Auch der Sprecher der katholischen Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Matthias Kopp, warnt: „Die Anforderungen an die Sprachkenntnisse von religiös Beschäftigten dürfen nicht dazu führen, dass die Einreise der Betroffenen faktisch unmöglich gemacht wird.“ Kopp plädiert dafür, die sprachlichen Voraussetzungen so zu definieren, dass sie im Herkunftsland auch „realistischerweise in einem überschaubaren Zeitraum“ erworben werden können.

Forderungen nach Deutschkenntnissen, vor allem bei islamischen Geistlichen aus dem Ausland, hatte es in der Vergangenheit immer wieder gegeben. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) hatte sich Ende 2018 dafür ausgesprochen, dass Deutschland selbst mehr islamische Predigerinnen und Prediger ausbilden sollte. Innenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) hatte auf der vierten Deutschen Islam Konferenz im letzten Jahr von den islamischen Gemeinden in Deutschland gefordert, sich schrittweise von ausländischen Geldgebern frei zu machen und auch die Ausbildung von Predigern selbst in die Hand zu nehmen.

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43 foreign citizens ran for office in Lithuanian local elections

On 3 March 2019, Municipal Council elections took place in Lithuania. Foreign citizens are eligible both to vote in these elections and to compete for seats as Municipal Council members. For the 2019 elections, 43 foreign citizens ran for office, including 17 Russians, 7 Belarusians, 6 Ukrainians and 1 candidate from each of Armenia, Ethiopia, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela.

However, according to the Central Electoral Commission, none of the foreign citizens was elected this time, including none of the foreign citizens from EU countries. In 2015, a UK citizen was elected to the Municipal Council—the first time a foreign citizen was elected to that position.

While foreign citizens are eligible to vote and run for Municipal Councils, they do not have the right to participate in the parliamentary and presidential elections. It follows of course that they also do not have the right to stand as candidates in those elections.

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Integration Practices Recently Uploaded

Growing Together – Immigrant Empowerment as Local Citizens and Educators

This international project involving municipalities in Portugal (Odemira), Spain (Ajuntament de Lleida) and Italy (Comune di Follonica) aims to contribute to the integration of adult immigrants and their children into a dynamic, intercultural society where they are actively involved in the…
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Family counselling at the Centre for Multicultural Expertise

The Family Federation’s Centre for Multicultural Expertise (CME) works on psychosocial issues concerning immigrants’ family life, childrearing and parenthood. It also works more generally on immigrant integration and building an inclusive society. CME provides information and…
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We.are.your.friends 2.0

Jugendliche unterschiedlicher Herkunft sollen zusammen Medien-Projektarbeit für einen eigenen YouTube, Facebook oder Instagramkanal machen zu den Themenbereichen Integration, Zusammenleben, Vorurteile, Menschenrechte, Rassismus, Flucht etc.  
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Latest Documents


Phantom Menace – The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe

The main aim of the book Phantom Menace – The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe is to contribute to a fact-based debate on the politics and policies of migration in Central Europe. The book reflects on three major aspects of migration and integration—the…
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Refugees Welcome? Regional Heterogeneity of Anti-Foreigner Hate Crimes in Germany

Die vom Leibniz-Zentrums für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung in Mannheim (ZEW) und der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main veröffentlichte Studie mit dem Titel "Refugees Welcome? Understanding the Regional Heterogeneity of Anti-Foreigner Hate Crimes in Germany" zeigt, dass…
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Monitoring Report on Unaccompanied Foreign Minors in Italy – December 2018

The Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy has published a new report on unaccompanied minors in Italy. Along with a description of recent changes in legislation at the national and European levels, the report analyses the state of unaccompanied minors’ migration and integration in…
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