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Promoting Migrant Integration for a Powerful, Diverse and Multicultural Europe

Civil Society
Date: Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre, Brussels  |  City: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

International migration and globalisation have influenced the public policy agenda across Europe over recent decades. According to the 2016 Eurostat statistics, 20.7 million people with non-EU citizenship are residing in the European Union. Additionally, 16 million EU citizens live outside their country of origin in a different Member State. Migration movements are on the rise both within and from outside the European Union.

Migrants actively contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of European societies. The key to ensuring the best possible outcomes for both the migrants and the European Union is their successful integration into host countries. With a mandate to promote integration, the EU has put several measures in place. The most recent initiative is the Integration Action Plan, adopted in June 2016, designed to support the integration of third country nationals and providing a comprehensive framework to support the Member States in developing and strengthening their integration policies. The plan covers all areas relevant to integration, such as education and employment, access to social services, and active participation in the host societies. With the creation of a European Integration Network, the Integration Action Plan also aims to strengthen mutual learning among the Member States and the coordination between different actors at national, regional and local level.

Despite these efforts, integration is still widely perceived as a one-way process to be shouldered by the migrants, overlooking the responsibilities of the host societies. As long as migrants continue to be viewed as “threat” to Europe, the focus will remain economic rather than cultural and humane. If the cultural benefits and the enrichment that migrants bring to the host society remain undervalued, it will be challenging to ensure equal opportunities for migrants in Europe and to promote powerful, diverse, and multicultural societies. On a practical level, the recognition of foreign diplomas and certificates remains difficult, whilst discrimination and racism are widespread throughout the job market as well as across society.

This timely international symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss the current challenges of migration and integration in Europe and to reignite the debate over an EU-wide strategy to improve integration policies across the Member States. The symposium offers a platform for discussion on an improved European regulatory framework, supports the exchange of ideas and encourages delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate, whilst sharing best practices and lessons learnt.

PROGRAMME

09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:10

Understanding the EU Framework for Migrant Integration                       

  • Assessing the EU Integration Action Plan
  • Current Challenges and Recent Developments in the EU Immigration Policy
  • Measuring Integration – Introducing the MIPEX Project
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:30

Debunking Myths and Challenging the Perception of Migrants in Europe

  • Shifting Perspectives: Celebrating Diversity rather than Focussing on Economic Benefits
  • Challenging the Terminology: How Terms like “Expats”, “Refugees”, and “Economic Migrants” Influence our Perception
  • The Role of the Media in Framing the Migration Debate
  • Actions to Combat Racism, Discrimination, and Xenophobia in Europe 
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30

Facilitating Access to Education and Labour Market in Host Countries    

  • Understanding the Key Role of Education in Developing Inclusive Societies 
  • Facilitating the Recognition of Qualifications and Skills of Migrants: Fostering Accessible and Transparent Procedures
  • Vocational Training as Key for Integration
  • Enabling Equal Access to the Labour Market for Migrants 
14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:50

Best Practice of Migrant Integration at Local Level 

  • Improving Partnerships Between Local Authorities and Civil Society
  • Assessing the Role of the Host Community for Successful Integration
  • Brussels as an Example for an Intercultural and Diverse City
15:20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close

** Please note that the programme and speakers are subject to change without notice **

PARTICIPATION

For Registration, click here.

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All Dates


  • Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:00 - 16:30

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Brussels Special Venues - BSV
Planning an event in Brussels? Don't miss out on our exclusive event locations