The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report on integrating migrants, refugees and their descendants into the EU in March 2017. The report identified and compared policies across the EU in areas important for successful integration.
There are some 20 million non-EU citizens living in the EU. Many have settled and started families. However, despite efforts from 2004 to follow common principles to guide and improve integration across the EU, Member States have widely different approaches to integration and inclusion across the EU.
The report focused on four key areas:
- Education: migrant pupils face some form of school segregation in around half of EU Member States, often despite efforts by the authorities to prevent it. This depicts a worrying reality of migrants and natives living in divided societies;
- Youth: fewer than half of Member States have action plans or strategies explicitly addressing youth with a migrant background, even though they can be important to avoid marginalisation, alienation and even radicalisation;
- Discrimination: 16 Member States do not protect migrants against discrimination on the basis of their nationality or status as migrant, refugee or foreigner, which can mask ethnic and racial discrimination; and,
- Language: few Member States provide courses to all residents with limited language proficiency, including citizens of migrant background. At the same time, language learning programmes are rarely linked to employment, and job-specific or on-the-job language training courses are uncommon.