Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Inclusion of non-EU migrants

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,
  • discrimination,
  • uneven access to employment and decent housing and social services, or
  • mismatching jobs and overqualification in the case of highly educated migrants. 

Policy response

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:

Other measures

The Commission:

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