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The EU is home to 21.6 million third-country nationals, accounting for 4.2% of the total EU population. New migrants settling in the EU every year represent less than 0.5% of the EU population.
Most migrants residing in the EU are likely to stay in the medium-term. Therefore finding a job and being included in the society is crucial to their successful integration. Social support such as access to housing, healthcare, and assistance for children is equally important.
- Worse labour market outcomes compared to EU nationals: the average employment rate of working age non-EU migrants residing in the EU was 55% in 2017 (against 68% of the host-country nationals).
- Wider labour-related gaps among women.
- Unfavourable outcomes in education, skills and social inclusion: 39% of third-country nationals (or 5.7 million) live in relative poverty, over twice the rate for EU nationals (17%).
The reasons for gaps in the integration of non-EU migrants mostly relate to
- lagging behind in education,
- language barriers,
- uneven access to employment and decent housing and social services, or
- mismatching jobs and overqualification in the case of highly educated migrants.
While migration policies are a national competence, EU institutions have a long-standing record in supporting the integration of migrants into European labour markets and societies.
Addressing integration challenges is a multidimensional process and requires integrated policy actions in a number of policy areas.
Following the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission has put forward:
- The Action Plan on the Integration of Third Country Nationals, presented in June 2016, to strengthen the common approach across policy areas and involve all relevant actors,
- The Communication on the progress report on the implementation of the European Agenda for Migration (March 2019), which highlighted the need for continuous determined action with a comprehensive approach,
- Joint activities and efforts with the Member States, in cooperation with partners outside of the EU.
- helps national governments, regional and local authorities, social partners and the civil society by supporting early labour market integration, public employment services, access to education and trainings
- launched in 2017 the EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals, an online multilingual tool to help identify and map skills and qualifications
- monitors policy developments in employment and social inclusion of these vulnerable groups through the European semester implementing the Europe 2020 strategy
- funds a range of measures for migrant integration through the European Social Fund, the Fund for European Aid for the most Deprived and the Employment and Social Innovation programme
- encourages and supports evidence-based policies, mutual learning, stakeholders’ dialogues and exchange of good practices among the Member States