EU-level promotion of policies to integrate third-country nationals

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EESC opinion: EU-level promotion of policies to integrate third-country nationals

Key points

The Committee feels that in order to improve the coherence of integration policy and its instruments, a platform for civil society participation should be put in place.

In a number of opinions, the EESC has stated the need for a holistic approach to integration, requiring the involvement of all players concerned, especially the social partners and organised civil society.

The Forum's main tasks will be consultation, exchange of expertise and drawing up recommendations.

The Committee considers that these tasks could be fulfilled by drawing up reports (which could include guidelines) on integration policies.

The Commission, Parliament and the Council could consult the Forum on European integration policies.

The Forum could draw up own-initiative reports for the EU institutions in order to improve the integration of third-country nationals.

The EESC proposes that the Forum's members include representatives of organisations working at both the EU and national levels.

One-third of the Forum's members will represent EU organisations which work in the field of immigrant integration, and this could include the social partners.

The remaining participants will come from consultative bodies from the Member States.

The EESC considers that immigrants' organisations, most of which are organised on national lines and do not have European networks, must be encouraged to become involved in the European Integration Forum; the Member State forums, platforms, councils or ESCs should, therefore, nominate delegates from the most representative immigrants' organisations.

The Committee will be highly committed to the Forum's activities and to this end will set up a permanent 15-member study group on integration within the SOC Section.