Driving Forward Multilevel Integration for Migrants in Europe: Improving Access to Education and to the Labour Market

Date of event: 
19 May 2016 - 10:00am to 4:30pm
Geertrui Lanneau, Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development, IOM
Marley Morris, Research Fellow, Institute for Public Research
Alison Harvey, Legal Director, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
Mike Stannet ( Major), Officer for EU Affairs, The Salvation Army
Johan Leman, Prof, KU Leuven, anthropologist, president of Foyer (Brussels, Molenbeek)
Bleri Lleshi, Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Public Policy Exchange
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre
Type of event: 
Deadline for registration: 
18 May 2016

Event Details

According to the latest statistics provided by Eurostat, over 33.5 million people living in an EU Member State are born outside of the EU-28. Similarly, over 19.6 million people – representing 3.9 % of the EU population - residing in an EU Member State possess a citizenship of a non-member country. With the current migration crisis fostered by the ongoing conflicts in Syria and in other countries of the Middle East and North African area, the numbers of migrants and asylum seekers entering the EU borders expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

The European Union has struggled to find appropriate and harmonised measures to successfully address the migrant crisis, which has highlighted both political and structural flaws of the European Union’s response to what has been labelled ‘Europe’s biggest challenge’. With the continent currently facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, strong answers to challenges such as the fight against irregular migration, managing local pressures on EU external borders as well as the crisis of the Schengen zone must be adopted in order to put an end to the humanitarian crisis.

The following political steps will need to focus on the promotion of tools aimed at successfully integrating the new migrant population into our societies. In a time where Europe is confronted with an ageing population and a shrinking workforce – which leads to labour and skills shortages that will challenge the economic growth prospects, there is thus a need to fully recognise the potential of migrants for building a competitive and sustainable economy, while better coping with increasingly diverse and multicultural societies. Migrants actively contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of European societies. Successful and sustainable integration in the host countries is key to maximising the opportunities of migration and making the most of the contributions that immigration can bring to EU development. Member States should empower communities, NGOs and relevant agencies at national and regional level to promote and foster discussion and cultural exchange.

Due the growing concern around the migration issue, the European Commission has set priority actions under the European Agenda for Migration and highlighted key areas where immediate action is needed, such as the reinforcement of patrols at sea, a new system of emergency solidarity to relocate asylum seekers from the most affected countries, the mobilization of 10 billion EUR from the EU budget to provide assistance to the most affected countries as well as a new partnerships with Turkey in order to provide a solid response to the imminent crises. Those actions appear as a response to the most urgent issues, but much more is still need to be done. Also, the discussions and debates around the lack of integrative and sustainable actions regarding the inclusion of migrants in the labour market as well as the need to promote cohesive educational systems remain.

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

Delegates will:

Analyse the current EU framework and its priorities under the EU agenda on Migration
Explore ways to develop a cohesive and comprehensive educational system
Discuss the need to adapt our labour market policies to facilitate the integration of migrants
Promote possible solutions and best practices for a better integration of migrants in European societies


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

European Policy Framework on Migration: Current Challenges and Ways Forward 

Discussing the Priorities of the European Agenda on Migration: Imminent Challenges of the Refugee Crisis
Addressing the Migration Crisis: Breaking the Business Model of Migrant Smugglers
Enhancing the Effectiveness of European Funding 2014-2020
Recommendations for Future Actions

10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break

Adapting Labour Market Policies: Highlighting the Potential of Migrants for Economic Growth 

Assessing the Participation of Migrants in the EU Labour Market: Current Situation
The Integration of Refugees in the Labour Market: Promoting Recruitment and Employment Strategies for both Low and High Skilled Workers
Providing Opportunities for Migrants to Update their Skills and Knowledge through Additional Tailored Training and Education to Access the Labour Market
Focusing Labour Market Integration Effort in Family Migrants to Improve the Integration Successes of their Children

12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch

Understanding the Key Role of Education in Developing Inclusive Societies 

Reducing the Disparities between Children with Migrant backgrounds and Children of Natives through Education: Tackling High Dropout Rates Amongst Migrant Students
Bridging the Gap between Educational Systems and Families: Developing Home Visiting Programmes of Education Professionals
Facilitating the Recognition of Qualifications and Skills of Migrants and Refugees: Fostering Accessible and Transparent Procedures
The Importance of Inclusive extra- curricular activities to include Migrants Students: On-going Projects  

14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Rethinking Integration Policies in the Age of Immigration: Promoting a Multilevel Approach 

Enhancing Cooperation and Partnerships between Key Actors and Local Authorities in the Fields of Migration and Asylum 
Increasing the Participation of Migrants in Political, Social and Community Life
Recommendations and Best practices

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 **

Addressing the Migration Crisis: Breaking the Business Model of Migrant Smugglers

Register your place here.

Attached files: 
European Union
Series this is part of: 

This project is funded by: