9th European Integration Forum - The Integration of migrant youth in the EU

4/5 June 2013,
Brussels, Belgium
- EIF forum

Organiser: European Commission, European Economic and Social Committee

9th EIF 1  9th EIF 2

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The EU’s 2010 Youth Strategy and the 2012 Council conclusion on the participation and social inclusion of young people kicked off policy reflection on the integration of ‘migrant youth’. The 9th meeting of national and European NGO representatives in the European Integration Forum had the purpose of further feeding this reflection in view of the approaching end of the EU’s Stockholm programme (2010-14 common guidelines for justice and home affairs policies, including on integration).

Testimony from NGOs and individuals with experience of the topic featured large in the programme. The integration of young people with a migration background was examined with regard to the school system, the labour market and public space. A ‘market place’ of youth integration projects facilitated an important exchange of knowledge and valuable networking. It, however, proved one more non-sense to distinguish between migrants who are ‘third country nationals’ and those who are citizens of an EU member state – as EU policy strictures require.

Tarafa Baghajati represented PIE in the EIF. He pointed out that migrant youth programmes lack visibility – they remain minority programmes and the mainstream of society stays unaware of them. He pleaded for support to systematic public relations work of migrant youth projects so that successful approaches become emulated and eventually institutionalised. He also pointed out that it was preferable to design youth programmes, which do not target migrants specifically, but are integrative even in their definition of the target group. As far as public space is concerned, Tarafa advised that cultural events, which are of national significance (such as the widely broadcast New Year concert, and especially the accompanying short films portraying life in Austria), be used to show the ‘variety of faces’ in society so as to engender a sense of inclusion in relative newcomers.

The significance of the cultural domain for migrant integration is the recurring and unique contribution of PIE to the EIF.

Read the official report on the 9th EIF.

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