The Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee organised a conference on "From Crisis Management Towards Everyday Practice: Lessons from the refugees' integration for future labour market and social policies" on 6 November 2017 in Brussels.
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Addressing the integration of refugees is an integral part of our efforts to modernise and build inclusive social and labour market policies, in order to offer meaningful opportunities for all to participate in society and the economy.
This conference aimed to:
- take stock of the societal response and the major refugee-related policy developments at EU, national, regional and local level on labour market and social integration and determine what are the lessons learned;
- discuss whether and how these developments and know-how change the way and means to address other challenges across EU societies and labour markets; and whether we can transform these short-term solutions into long-term gains for our society and our economy.
The Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals presented by the European Commission in June 2016 acknowledged that "investing resources and energy in integration policies today will contribute to making Europe a more prosperous, cohesive, and inclusive society in the long run." It also recognised that investing in the integration of refugees and other third country nationals needs not, and should not, be at the expense of measures that benefit other vulnerable or disadvantaged groups or minorities.