EU Member States face the arrival of many refugees, who need to be integrated into the host societies once their protected status is granted. The EESC is convinced that integration is a necessity for the preservation of social cohesion. This exploratory opinion, drawn up at the request of the Dutch Presidency of the EU, clarifies the meaning of "integration" and looks at comparability with previous refugee movements, successful integration measures applied in the various EU member states, and the financing of integration measures for refugees, resulting in a set of best practices and recommendations.
Implementation of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration based on EU values (own-initiative opinion) - Related Opinions
On 13 May, the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Migration outlining the immediate measures that will be taken in order to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects. The EESC welcomes the Commission's "European Agenda on Migration", which it believes symbolises a new-found understanding of the need to address migration at a European level, and encourages the Member States to collectively support the implementation of this Agenda.
In a democratic society everybody is affected by collective decisions and must therefore be able to influence and participate in those decisions. Democracy in the European multicultural cities of the 21st Century must be improved through the participation of residents whose rights of political participation are restricted: residents from non-EU countries. The EESC proposes that, in order to encourage integration of immigrants and a better governance, Europe's municipal and regional authorities set up consultative councils, forums and platforms so that civil society organisations with a focus on migration can participate in and be consulted on integration policies.