Refugees in Europe. Review of Integration Practices & Policies (European Foundation for Democracy)
One of the greatest challenges facing twenty-first century Europe is the mass migration and integration of refugees who cross borders in search of safer lives. This report of the European Foundation for Democracy analyses the wide-ranging issues relating to the integration of refugees in seven European countries, including Belgium) and presents our key findings – both in terms of good practices and areas for concern – as well as recommendations for change.
Although the 2015 migration crisis has subsided, a number of issues related to the crisis persist, challenging the liberal democratic values, safety and socio-economic cohesion of Europe. It is increasingly evident that these problems will endure and, in some instances, worsen over time. Given this, the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) undertook this research project, conscious that the way Europe copes with the refugee crisis will have a lasting impact on European societies, as well as on how successfully the European Union will stay true to the values and principles which define it. The aim of this report is to present measures for improvement on a national and Europe-wide level, offering macro and micro recommendations based on research carried out across seven countries. The research reveals that a delay will not only allow current issues to persist, but will also prove costlier for Europe; should policymakers fail to invest in long-term integration policies now, the resources which will be required to fix future problems will be considerably higher. The key findings of this report are based on qualitative research carried out in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. In order to obtain a general snapshot of the integration procedures of Europe, EFD conducted interviews and workshops with refugees, government officials and civil society actors. This offers considerable value-added as the majority of previous studies conducted on this topic are based on secondary sources.