Caritas Europa publication “Welcome: migrants make Europe stronger – Caritas’s practices for an inclusive Europe” will be published this December. In it, we describe the multitude of obstacles witnessed on the ground that hinder the participation of migrants and settled populations in their receiving societies and provide best practices from Caritas organisations throughout Europe that foster full inclusion and help create more cohesive societies.
Thus, the publication looks at the reality on the ground, asking “what are the needs of refugees and migrants?” and “what is Caritas seeing on the ground relative to migrants’ integration in Europe?”. We observe three main barriers to participation: cultural, structural and socio-economic. However, they should not be considered as a rigid classification, but rather as a tool to understanding integration as a comprehensive process, which should not be limited to job inclusion only. The three barriers are strongly interconnected, as are the actions that should be planned and implemented in order to overcome them and the challenges migrants’ are facing.
Caritas’ vision of an inclusive Europe is a welcoming environment where everybody can enjoy equal access to goods and services and where everyone (migrants and the receiving communities alike) are empowered to participate. Consequently, in this publication, we call on the European states to implement national integration plans that go beyond the limited concept of socio-economic access and to ensure migrants and settled communities can contribute actively to society, including by supporting their full participation, empowerment and social inclusion. Migrants must have access to good quality, available and affordable basic services (healthcare, housing, education, etc.) with specific support available for vulnerable categories of migrants (i.e. women and children).
Written by Antonio Fantasia, Caritas Europa Policy and Advocacy Officer responsible for social innovation and inclusion policies