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Report EU Conference on Integration Ghent


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25 en 26 november 2010

25 en 26 november 2010

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  • 1. ReportEU Conference on Integration Ghent 25th and 26th of November 2010 The added value of a regional and local approach
  • 2. AbstractOn the occasion of the Belgian EU-presidency, the Flemish Minister of Integration, GeertBourgeois and Inburgering Gent have organised a two-day Conference on Integration “Theadded value of a local and regional approach” on the 25th and 26th of November 2010 in Ghent.Building on the experiences in the integration field in the different EU-member states, theFlemish Minister wishes to take integration to the next level and discuss the added value ofa regional and local approach towards integration. The Conference gathered 150 participantsfrom different EU countries who are either involved in policy making, academic research orimplementation of integration policies and practices.Sharing their experiences and good practices to enable progress of integration policies andpractices on the regional and local levels is the objective.This conference could not have had a better timing. German chancellor Angela Merkel de-clared the failure of integration. In The Netherlands, the budget of civic integration is underpressure and France faces the integration of Roma people. In the meantime, Flanders is build-ing successfully at the integration of new and old comers.The first day consisted of a general part, over viewing the whole field of integration, views,ideas and experiences. The second conference day went into depth and focused on specificissues such as language learning, social orientation and participation, parent participation,career orientation and activities of migrant organisations.We were very glad to welcome many international speakers and integration experts such asMr. Roger Noël, Head of the administration and social integration department, Ministry ofImmigration and Cultural Community, Quebec, Canada; Mrs. Andrée Van Es, Alderman forintegration of Amsterdam; Dr. Han Entzinger, professor at the Erasmus University of Rot-terdam, The Netherlands; Dr. Can Aybek, professor at the University of Siegen, Germany; Mr.Ramon Sanuhuja, director of the migration and integration department of Barcelona, Spain;Mr. Xavier Alonso, representative Generalitat, Catalonia, Spain and Mrs. Eva Schultz, Expertin the field of integration and representative of the European Commission, Unit Immigrationand Integration, Directorate-General Home Affairs.In this publication you can read the premises, intentions, goals, outcomes and reports ofboth conference days. The conference aims to be the starting point of a further dialogue be-tween regions, local actors and experts. 1
  • 3. Preface Dear, Migration to EU member states is an ancient phenom- enon. Migration can only succeed in combination with successful integration, thus creating a social basis in the host society. Flanders has offered its newcomers an integration package for the past ten years. It consists of language, social orientation courses and career ori- entation. The integration policy requires both an effort from the newcomers and from the Flemish society. Flanders is very pleased to introduce its integration policy at the EU-Conference on Integration: “The added value of a local and regional approach”. At the same time, we would like to learn from experiences on integration in other EU member states. The integration of newcomers does however not end once the integration programme is com- pleted. I am convinced that local authorities and regional governments are an added value in the field of integration of newcomers. Therefore I am pleased to invite experts, policy makers and academics from different EU member states in order to present their experiences with integration in regional and local contexts. I hope we will meet in Ghent on the 25th and 26th of November and I am really looking forward to an introduction to the various integration efforts of different EU regions and cit- ies and to the inspiring good practices of successful integration! Yours sincerely, Geert Bourgeois Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government Flemish Minister of Administrative Affairs, Home Affairs, Integration, Tourism and the Flem- ish Border Community2
  • 4. ContentAbstract............................................................................................................. 1Preface............................................................................................................... 2Content.............................................................................................................. 3Objectives........................................................................................................... 4Programme......................................................................................................... 5Introduction....................................................................................................... 7Local and regional approach....................................................................................13Focal areas on integration......................................................................................22Language learning.................................................................................................23Social participation...............................................................................................29Parent participation..............................................................................................38Social orientation..................................................................................................42Career orientation.................................................................................................47Activities of migrant organisations...........................................................................56Conclusion...........................................................................................................61Closing note conference chair................................................................................. 64 3
  • 5. Objectives Migration to and in the European Union became more and more extensive after Word War Two. Today, we can see new sorts of intra-European migration, which are mainly for economi- cal reasons. This new kind of migration confronts us with specific problems, which ask for a different kind of approach. The conference gave us a good chance to discuss the added value of a local and regional approach on integration with experts from all over Europe. We must be aware of the importance of exchanging experiences and ideas on integration between European cities and regions. Even though the integration policy develops at the na- tional or regional level, cities also play a very important role, because migrants live in cities and municipalities and identify sometimes more with their city then with the country they are living in. By the year 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities. It is clear that cities will also have to be prepared to assist migrants. The overall purpose of the conference is to show the value of exchanging knowledge and experiences of regions and cities in connection with the integration of migrants. The con- ference must be the starting point of a long term exchange, cooperation and improvement of the integration policy and implementation in regions and cities. A network of partners from different EU-member states will be set up, so that it will be possible to keep on shar- ing good or bad integration practice s. The communication will happen through the website
  • 6. ProgrammeDay 1, 25th of November13u00 - 14u00: Opening session• Flemish Minister for Administrative Affairs, Home Affairs, Integration, Tourism and the Flemish border community Mr. Geert Bourgeois• Mayor of Gent Mr. Daniel Termont• Mayor of Amsterdam and former Dutch Minister of Integration Mr. Eberhardt Vanderlaan t.b.c. 14u00 – 15u30: Keynote speeches on the confe­ ence themer• Dr. Han Entzinger, Erasmus University Rotterdam Social Siences on the history of the existence of the concept of civic integration and evolutions and evaluation in the Netherlands• Dr. Can Aybek, University of Siegen on the German model of integration and the roles of different levels of go­vernments, Germany• Mr. Roger Noël, Head of the administration and social integration department, Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Community, Quebec, Canada16u00 – 18u00: Discussion platforma) Initiatives of major cities towards integration and living in diversity: a. Mr. Dirk Gebhardt, for Eurocities b. Mr. Ramon Sanuhuja, director of the migration and integration department of Barcelona, Spainb) Regional Initiatives towards integration and living in diversity for a succesful integration a. Mrs. Inge Hellemans, Administration integration Flemish governement, Belgium b. Mr. Xavier Alonso, on the Catalonian model of integration and the role of the Catalonian government and the municipalities, SpainDay 2, 26th of November9u30 – 10u15: Keynote speechesa) ‘Language requirements for adult migrants. Observations and challenges for the future’, Mr. Piet Van Aver- maet, Director of the Centre for Diversity and Learning at the University of Ghent, Belgiumb) Social participation, Mrs. Laura Marziale, Migrants Resources Centre, London, UK10u15 – 12u45: Working groupsa) Language learning: Good practices a. Mr. Gunther Van Neste, Huis van het Nederlands Brussel, Belgium b. Mr. David Little, professor Trinity College Dublin, Irelandb) Social participation: Good practices a. Mr Hassan Boujedain, Inburgering Antwerp, Belgium b. Mr. Wim Budding, Stichting BMP, The Netherlandsc) Parent participation: Good practices a. Mr. Kamal Amain, Counsellor parent participation and integration issues, AMPO Consultancy, The Neth- erlands b. Nord Rhein Westfalen, Germany13u45 – 14u45: Keynote speeches 5
  • 7. a) Social orientation, Mr. Andras Kovats, Menedek, Hungary b) Career orientation, Mr. Kayamba Nthisidi, Madrid, Spain c) Activities of migrant organisations, Italy 14u45 – 16u30: Working groups a) Social orientation: Good practices a. Mr. Eric De Jonge, onthaalbureau Brussel, Belgium b. Mr. Pierre Henry, France Terre d’Asile, Paris, France t.b.c. b) Career orientation: Good practices a. Mr. Kees Bleichrodt, University Asylum Fund (educational orientation), The Netherlands b. Mrs. Liesbeth Van den Wijngaert, Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training (VDAB) (profes- sional orientation), Belgium c) Activities of migrant organisations: Good practices a. Mrs. Naima Charkaoui, Minderhedenforum Brussels, Belgium b. Swedish migrant organisation, Sweden 17u00: Closing session • Conference chair, director Inburgering Gent, Mr. Koen De Mesmaeker • Expert in the field of Integration and representative of the European Commission, Unit Immigration and Integration, Directorate-General Home Affairs, Mrs Eva Schultz6
  • 8. IntroductionBefore we start looking at the approach on integration of some big cities and regions, itwould be good to clarify the term ‘inburgering’, which is ‘the first step, the fist phase of the inte-gration process, where people receive courses on social participation, get personal assistance towardscareer planning and follow Dutch courses’. Because there is no fixed translation into English, wewill use ‘integration’ or ‘civic integration’ to describe the process.FlandersLike in other federal states, the Belgian federal govern-ment is exclusively competent for the acquisition ofcitizenship and for the allowance and stay of migrantson the Belgian territory. The immigration and asylumpolicy is exclusive federal material. Flanders, a regionin Belgium, is responsible for the reception and theintegration of immigrants. It’s obviously true that thefederal foreign policy has consequences for the inte-gration policy of the regions.From the 6.2 million inhabitants of Flanders, 355.000or 6 per cent have a foreign nationality. AlthoughFlemish Minister of Integration, Geert Bourgeois, opine citizenship is not a good indicatorfor people with a migrant background, certainly not in Belgium. In May 2000, the federalgovernment made the acquisition of citizenship less strict. It is now sufficient to stay le-gally in Belgium for 3 years, to be able to become a Belgian citizen. Belgium does not linkthe acquisition of citizenship to integration. In Minister Bourgeois’ opinion, the acquisitionof citizenship should be the crowning of a successful integration process. A moment whena migrant can say: “I want to join this new society and build a future”. A moment when thegovernment acknowledges the efforts of the migrant, congratulate him or her and welcomeshim or her as a new citizen.The number of non-Belgian inhabitants does not say anything about the real number of in-habitants with a foreign origin. To get a more realistic image, Minister Bourgeois thinks wehave to take a look at the people who are born with any other then a Belgian nationalityand at the children who are born as a Belgian citizen, but have a mother who was born witha foreign nationality. In stead of the above mentioned 6, we can than speak of 10 per centinhabitants with a foreign nationality.Minister Bourgeois notices that the diversity of our society creates opportunities, but onthe other hand also entails problems and challenges. The most important challenge and ac-cording to Bourgeois, at the same time the most important social problem in Flanders and in 7
  • 9. many other European Countries, is the integration of migrants. “Migration can only succeed in combination with successful integration, thus creating a social basis in the host society.” For the last ten years, Flanders offers an integration course, with the main focus on a basic knowledge of Dutch for those migrants who want to settle in Flanders. The knowledge of the language is seen as the key to a successful integration. When the integration course is done, that doesn’t mean that the integration process is fin- ished. Civic integration is just a step towards integration. The way each integration process passes through will be very different, but it never functions without efforts of both migrants and the host society. Although there are plenty of examples of successful integration of migrants, Minister Bour- geois notices that integration unfortunately is not yet succeed. That is what Angela Merkel meant when she declared in October 2010: “Multikulti gescheitert, absolut gescheitert is”, multi- culturalism has failed. In Minister Bourgeois’ opinion, many people share this analysis, which is in fact a strong appeal for integration. Mr. Bourgeois thinks that multiculturalism has failed because it was not an integrative form of multiculturalism, but more a ‘segregative multicultur- alism’. It was not living with each other, but apart from each other. To conclude, Minister Bourgeois defines integration as a shared responsibility. Like other gov- ernments, the Flemish government also takes responsibility. The Flemish integration policy is not complete. That is why we’ve organised a conference on integration. To exchange views and information, to learn from each other. Ghent Mayor of the city Ghent, Daniël Termont, acknowledges that his city is facing serious challenges, challenges encountered in major cities all over Europe and all over the world. Ghent wants to be a ‘city of knowledge and culture, accessible to everyone’, but it seems that some people can’t find their own place in the city. For Mr. Termont it is clear that the fight against all forms of exclusion is prior. Ghent can take action in the field of employment, housing and education. Mid 2007, Ghent has incorporated its ultimate objective: “we must be a sustainable, open and solidarity society. Through the combination of all creative forces, it must become a creative city which plays a versatile pioneering role”. Ghent experiences problems, which they cannot manage, like the significant influx of poor people originated from former Central and Eastern European countries (mainly Bulgaria and Slovakia), who have had little or no education and who are often discriminated against in their countries of origin. Mayor Termont begs for help from higher authorities, especially from Europe, to eliminate the problem and is anxiously waiting to see what structural mea­8
  • 10. s­ res will be undertaken by the European Union to deal with the abuses in the countries of uorigin. “Everyone is becoming aware of the fact, that something needs to be done about the situationthat these people are in. But the administrative mills are turning particularly slowly meanwhile, citieshave to cope with the difficulties ‘in real time’.”Mr. Termont perceives a transfer of competences of nation states. From the bottom-up infavour of the supranational Europe and from the top-down, towards regions and cities. Bythe year 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities. He is convincedthat the future of Europe will be determined in the cities and regions. But, they will have toreceive the necessary support. The city of Ghent is willing to take up its responsibility, butnot unconditionally. They are willing to invest further in their integration policy in general,but will need, according to Mr. Termont, extra support to tackle the challenges. “It is time forhigh and efficient multi-level governance.” Amsterdam Throughout Europe, and in The Netherlands, the debate on in- tegration is becoming ever sharper. This development can partly be explained by the now broadly-accepted observation that the multicultural society has failed. The alderman of Inte­ration g of the city of Amsterdam, Andrée Van Es, does not question whether the multicultural society is dead or bursting with life, she feels the multicultural society is simply a given. In Amster- dam, almost half of the population has a migrant background. People of 178 nationalities live in Amsterdam. Mrs. Van Es notes that many European cities have opted to tackle their integra-tion problems with specific policies targeted at individual groups. For many years, this was alsothe practice in Amsterdam. Today, such an approach would not be enough. Therefore the cityopted for a generic policy on diversity, based on two key principles, namely citizenship and asolid anti-discrimination policy. In Mrs. Van Es’s opinion, the term citizenship encompasses theobjective of integration: namely that every individual takes his or her personal responsibility asa citizen to participate fully in the society. Respecting the individuality of others in the contextof a diverse Amsterdam is an essential element.As a local government, Amsterdam wants every resident, irrespective of his or her origins, tobe judged on his or her merits. Good education is one of the things that are certainly neededto improve the opportunities for migrants. Thanks to the compulsory civic integration policy,Amsterdam has, over the past few years, reached out to large groups of men and women,who have now acquired a basic knowledge of the Dutch language and society, what Mrs. VanEs sees as an essential precondition for successful integration.Now, in a period of sharpening attitudes and polarisation, Mrs. Van Es sees a clear task for thelocal government in facilitating discussions in our cities. “We are leaving no stone unturned intackling the disadvantage, but at the same time, we are calling upon all the men and women of Amster- 9
  • 11. dam to take responsibility for their city. Irrespective of their origins, the people of Amsterdam consider themselves ’Amsterdammers’. And that is a sentiment I wish to continue to support.” The Netherlands Prof. dr. Han Entzinger, professor at the Erasmus Uni- versity of Rotterdam has a clear view on the history of the existence of the concept of civic integration and the evolution and evaluation in The Netherlands. Dr. Entzinger established that in the past decade, the registered trends in immigration and integration have not been quite in line with the perceived developments. Social participation of first and second generation immigrants has substantially increased, and the nature of immigration has drastically changed. Yet, the mutual perception of immigrants and non-immigrants has become more nega- tive. Dr. Entzinger concludes by saying that civic integration courses can be effective as long as their strong politicisation can be avoided. In The Netherlands, civic integration started out as an instrument to promote integration, but it gradually became a means to control immi- gration and to keep unwanted immigrants out. The new government (2010) even intends to oblige migrants to leave the country if they fail for their test in the civic integration course. If this will be part of the government’s strategy is doubtful to Dr. Entzinger, it will probably violate EU regulations and international treaties. Germany We’ve had some insights from Belgium, the region Flanders and The Netherlands, the big city Amsterdam. Now we take a brief look at the roles of different levels of govern­ ent m in Germany, which has a very interesting model of inte- gration. Dr. Can M. Aybek clarifies the German model of integration and the role of the local government. Dr. Aybek is an integration expert, research associate and lecturer at the University of Siegen in Germany. In his discourse he introduced the concept of multi-layered citizen­hip and s discussed the role that local-level forces play in integration policy implementation and policy-making1 . He illustrates the role of the local government with two empirical examples: Frankfurt and Munich. Aybek wants to stress the fact that it is crucial to also recognise the role of the local level in the access of migrants to citizenship and other rights, besides the roles states play in providing maintenance. The manuscript he wrote for the conference is based on the article: Can Aybek and Margit Fauser, Mapping Access to Citizenship from Below: The Role of the Local Level in the Inclusion of Immigrants in Germany and Spain, forthcoming 2011.10
  • 12. Dr. Aybek argues that “it is important to account for the role of the local governments in providingaccess to citizenship. I propose a multi-layered concept of citizenship: one that accounts for multipledimensions of the social world and for rights and practices on one hand and for multiple levels of govern-ments and relevant political-administrative structures on the other”. Aybek’s first way to illustratethe importance of the local government is that they implement the national policies. Aybeknotes that his case studies of Frankfurt and Munich shows that “local authorities may gobeyond a narrow implementation of existing rules, actively facilitating immigrants’ access tomainstream services, and providing them with services specifically adapted to their needs”.Secondly, Aybek mentions the complementary functions cities fulfil. For example, they offeradvisory councils, round tables and local referenda in order to create participatory channelsfor immigrants. The fact that initiatives of local governments can sometimes oppose the ap-proach of the central government is, according to Aybek, a third example to illustrate thedifferent ways in which the local level provides access to citizenship. Finally, local approachescan also precede national conditions, which means that local policies may be disseminatedacross a country and adopted by other localities. In this case, countries function as a sourceof inspiration for local governments from another country, and vice versa. In his conclusionAybek clearly says that it is not his aim to place the local in opposition to the national, or tosuggest that one level of government is more important. In his opinion, the local is not inde-pendent from the national, but neither is the national from the local. Thus, a multi layeredperspective on citizenship, allows a more productive analysis of how, in cities, citizenship isnot only provided on, but also through the local level. Quebec Mr. Roger Noël, Senior analyst from the Québec Ministry of Im- migration and Cultural Community, presents Québec’s approach to immigration and integration within the Canadian context. 11,5 percent of the population in Québec were born abroad. The main preoccupation for the Québec government is to establish a social consensus and capacity to welcome immigrants. The four main objectives identified in the Policy Statement on Im- migration and Integration (1990) remain issues for Québec:- to redress Qéubec’s demographic situation- to help Québec’s economy to prosper- to secure the French language in Québec- to open up Québec to the world and embrace diversityIt is good to first take a look at the responsibilities of Canada versus Québec. Permanent im-migration and the reception and integration of immigrants are exclusive responsibilities ofQuébec temporary immigration is a shared responsibility between Québec and Canada. TheQuébec government faces a lot of integration challenges, like for example the successful in-tegration of immigrants, and this, in less time and with less resources. We want to facilitateFrench language training for immigrants and mobilise employers to open up to skilled and un- 11
  • 13. skilled labour of immigrant origin. Québec wants to favour a climate of openness of the popu- lation towards immigration and diversity. As integration is bidirectional, it must be a shared responsibility, the government supports the immigrant in his or her integration process and works towards maintaining harmonious relations between Quebeckers of all origins and the immigrant is also made responsible to insure the success of his or her own integration. An important part of the integration process are the French language training programs. Québec organises agreements with partner organisations abroad in organising language courses. Abroad as well as in Québec there is a possibility to follow online French courses, covering 6 language skills and 8 themes including employment, housing and democratic life in Québec. In Québec there are five different ways to attend language courses: regular full- time courses, regular full-time courses with clientèle with little schooling, regular part-time courses, part-time courses in the workplace and self-training centres for immigrant workers. Québec’s welcoming and integration support services are founded on the belief that the in- tegration process must start before or during the immigration procedures. The therefore per- sonalised accompaniment approach that is used aims to accelerate the integration process, is adapted to individual needs and offers the opportunity to follow-up on the progress made. Welcoming and integration support is given in Québec as well as abroad. The services abroad are offered by Immigration-Québec offices or on the website, for example, information on Québec’s common values, arrival preparation information sessions, etc… In Québec, the welcoming support upon arrival at Montréal-Trudeau Airport, information is given on housing, transportation, etc.,… At the immigration-Québec offices, individual or group settlement information sessions are organised and information on the job market, techniques in finding a job and academic programmes and recognition of acquired compe- tencies are given as well as first settlement steps information sessions. In Québec, there are also 61 NGOs and other institutional partners who provide settlement services (counselling, evaluation of integration steps and follow-up and information sessions on housing and trans- portation) and French language training. To conclude, Mr. Noël opines that although the powers of Québec are somewhat limited, it has exclusive responsibility in matters of selection of immigrants of the economic class and selected refugees. It can also determine its integration programmes. Thus, Québec can offer an array of settlement and integration services with the objective to meet its economic and cultural needs and to support and insure the success of newcomers’ integration process.12
  • 14. Local and regional approachThe aim of the conference was to take a look at the added value of a local and regional ap-proach on integration. The first question we have to deal with is if there is an added value.The initiatives of major cities and regional initiatives towards integration give us on over-view of different approaches on integration. In what follows we will take a closer look at thelocal and regional approach on integration.Initiatives of major cities towards integration and living in diversity Dirk Gebhardt EUROCITIES is a network of 140 major European cities, repre- senting cities of over 250 000 inhabitants, organising knowl- edge exchange between and political work in the name of big cities. The 35 working groups of EUROCITIES are covering all areas of interests for cities. There is a permanent Working Group Migration and Integration. Mr. Gebhardt, EUROCITIES’ Programme Officer Social Affairs, describes the framework of the working group as an Integrating Cities Partnership with the European Commission (learning, dialogue, conferences) – local implementation of Common Basic Principles, local di- mension of Integration Agenda.The challenges major cities are currently facing are the following:- Strongly increasing migration dynamics (Athens, Barcelona, Rome…)- Migration as universal feature of European cities- ‘Super-diversity’ and challenges of minority/majority relations- High volatility and turnover (e.g. intra-EU-migration)- High risk of exploitation for some groups (e.g. without permit)- Labour market inclusion- Political participation- Anti-migration position gaining weight, re-ethnisation of national debates?EUROCITIES made 11 commitments in its Integrating Cities Charter on further developingcities policies on equal opportunities and diversity for cities in policy making, service provi-sion, employment, procurement of goods and services (opening up host society). The charteris signed by mayors of 21 cities so far: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen,Genoa, Ghent, Helsinki, London, Malmö, Milan, Munich, Nantes, Oulu, Oslo, Rome, Rotter-dam, Stockholm, Tampere, The Hague and Utrecht.The aim of EUROCITIES is to move towards a common position of big cities in Europe. Thecreation of an environment of mutual trust and cooperation between cities at administrative 13
  • 15. and political level is very important. Mr. Gebhardt states cities can serve as emerging political actors in Europe, maybe also in the field of migrant integration. For big cities, migration is simply a given, to manage the influx, cities are certainly in need of a well-managed migra- tion policy. Therefore political leadership is needed in order to gain a strategic approach to integration governance. For EUROCITIES it is very important to develop an efficient and pro- active newcomer office and work all together to move towards a common European position. Ramon Sanuhuja The Barcelona of today is largely the result of the migrations of yesterday. The history of our city shows us various periods in which large population increases have occurred as a result of different migratory movements. If we look at the 20th century onwards, we see that the city began the century with over half a million inhabitants, of whom 21% were born outside Catalonia. In January 2000, the number of foreigners living in Barcelona represented 3.5% of the total population, but at the beginning of the year 2010 this proportion was around 17% (almost 300 000 people) When an intense process of social transformation takes place during a relatively brief period of time, it is essential for the different political and social agents to react quickly to under- stand the depth of the changes and to be capable of providing appropriate and effective responses to the new challenges and the new necessities. For this reason, when we speak of the complexities arising out of this increase in diversity, we must be well aware of the global context and the different variables that come into play in the way this diversity is lived and perceived in all spheres of urban life. If we do not do this, we will fall into the error of believing that the origin of these complexities lies exclusively in cultural differences when in fact they are strongly determined by social and economic vari- ables. But neither must we fall into the trap of minimising the cultural variables and focusing solely on socio-economic aspects, because history and, in particular, the recent experiences of other countries have shown us that both factors are relevant and are often interrelated. The way in which a city like Barcelona interprets and faces the challenges posed by this increase in diversity is entirely determined by its specific historical, social, cultural and eco- nomic characteristics. There is no sense in conceiving a strategy that does not start out from this premise. This means that it is impossible, and entirely useless to seek to transfer “models” of other cities or countries, most of which in any case are currently being revised. But this does not14
  • 16. mean that it is futile or unnecessary to analyse these experiences and identify their positiveaspects and, particularly, their mistakes.Taking into consideration the history and the specific characteristics of the city as the capitalof Catalonia, one of the principal economic motors of Spain and with prominent presence inthe increasingly consolidated Euro –Mediterranean space, Barcelona needs to face the chal-lenge of managing diversity on the basis of a proactive attitude, defining a long-term strat-egy with it’s sights set on the city of the next ten or fifteen years.The Intercultualist approachSpecifically, we can identify three principles on which the interculturalist approach rests:- Principle of equality- Principle of diversity- Principle of positive interactionInter cultural PoliciesSpecifically in relation to strictly inter cultural policies, for some years now the City Councilhas been promoting policies that emphasise the need to foster interaction and inter culturaldialogue. There are a number of examples of this.In 1997 when the percentage of foreign residents in the city was only 2%, the City Councildefined its first, pioneering Municipal Plan for Agriculturalist.Interculturality has also been promoted in various areas, such as education, through pro-grammes in schools, within the framework of the educational setting plans (plans Educatiusd’Entorn) and other initiatives under the umbrella of the City Educational Project.Another example is the creation in 1999 of the Barcelona Inter-Religious Centre, now the Re-ligious Affairs Office, with the goal of guaranteeing freedom and peaceful coexistence in thepublic sphere for all religious beliefs and visions of life.In 2002 the Inter cultural Mediation Service came into operation, with the purpose of being abridging instrument between immigrants, professionals of the administration and the nativepopulation, and also between collectives of different cultural origins.The city’s various district councils are also working from an inter cultural perspective. Therealities vary a great deal between different neighbourhoods, but many districts have pro-moted reception plans and community actions to foster peaceful coexistence, in which intercultural dialogue is a strategic goal. 15
  • 17. In the sphere of culture, we must highlight the impulse given by, and the subscription to, the Agenda 21 for Culture- the movement of cities of the world committed to cultural develop- ment- and the support for UNESCO Convention on Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions of November 2005. The Immigration Working Plan 2008-2011 In October 2008, after several months of work the Immigration Working Plan 2008-2011 was approved with the consensus of all the political parties. This plan, which brings up to date the measures of the Municipal Plan 2002, sets out five lines of action, the fourth of which refers to nurturing interculturality and participation in order to guarantee full integration. One of the concrete measures contained in this section is precisely “the drafting of the Municipal Plan for Interculturality” The drafting of the Barcelona Interculturality Plan was a mandate of the Immigration Work- ing Plan, approved by all the political groups represented on the city council. The principal goal of this plan is to define the city’s own strategy for peaceful coexistence in diversity: that is to say, to define a political strategy on how we interpret and face the challenges posed by the increase in socio-cultural diversity and how we exploit its potentiali- ties. The strategy is based on the interculturalist approach, and therefore it was necessary to define how this was to be applied to the reality of Barcelona. Education, culture, urban planning, economic promotion, the districts, etc. All the various spheres have to be aware of the challenges posed by diversity and how the principle of interculturality is promoted. The plan defines a strategy for answering questions. Barcelona City Council’s Commitment Barcelona city council is committed to devoting human, technical and financial resources to ensure that the Barcelona Inter cultural Plan is put into practice, and this plan is undertaken with transparency, for the whole of the city’s population. In order to guarantee this, the City Council will take the following measures: 1. Set in motion a training and awareness programme for the workers in the different mu- nicipal sectors and districts on the management of diversity and inter cultural policies. 2. Make the necessary technical coordination arrangements to guarantee that the Plan is implemented, rolled out and monitored. 3. Reinforce transversality, appointing a person to be responsible for the Plan in all munici- pal areas, and carry out periodical monitoring of the Plan within the framework of the government bodies and existing inter-group round tables. 4. Reinforce channels of communication and forums where work is done in collaboration16
  • 18. with districts, to give them support and to help ensure that the measures are put into practice in all of the city’s neighbourhoods.5. Adapt the Barcelona Inter cultural Plan website, so that it will become an accessible area for the follow-up and monitoring of the Plan’s development, and constitute an important centre of resources regarding inter cultural policies or www. Assess the impact of the Plan’s policies by way of the indicators of results that are at- tached in the annex. This will need to be validated, adapted and extended in an ongoing way with the incorporation of new indicators.7. Draft a comprehensive biannual report, with a complete evaluation of the process of put- ting the Barcelona Inter cultural Plan into practice, and with an analysis of the situation of the city in terms of inter cultural matters.Finally, the City Council is also committed to its workers being more and more representa-tive of the city’s pluralism and sociocultural diversity, eliminating the barriers that directlyor indirectly make this aim more difficult to achieve.Regional initiatives towards integration and living in diversity forsuccessful integration Inge Hellemans Mrs. Hellemans the Policy advisor, Flemish Authority, Agency for Internal Affairs Inburgering talks about the integration courses in Flanders and Brussels as part of the regional initiatives towards integration. Flanders describes ‘inburgering’ as “an interactive process through which the government provides immigrants with a specific pro- gramme on the one hand to allow them to increase their self-reliance and on the other hand to encourage society to recognise these people as fully- fledged citizens, with the aim of achieving full, active participation and shared citizenship for everyone as well as sufficient social coherence”.Integration programmes can be divided in two parts. A Primary Programme, allowing peopleto integrate, actively develop their life careers and to sufficiently master the Dutch language.The Secondary Programme, which aims to achieve full participation into the society of peopleintegrating and provides them with a view to develop their life careers. The Primary Pro-gramme is coordinated by a welcome office and consists of a training programme (elementaryDutch course, social orientation course and career orientation). Each newcomer is assigned aprogramme counsellor. The duration of the training programme will approximately be 1 yearat most. Mrs. Hellemans stresses the fact that integration is not something you just do insidethe classroom. We must encourage the people integrating to build up a social network, toget to know their local town or community, to practice their Dutch, to sign up to become a 17
  • 19. member of a local association or sports club, to take up voluntary work,… In Belgium, the integration programme is intended for foreigners aged eighteen and above who are coming to take up long-term residence in Flanders or Brussels. Belgians who were not born in Belgium and who have at least one parent who was not born in Belgium either, also rank among the target group of integration policy. An important issue that has to be men- tioned is that, in Belgium, integration cannot be linked with residence, because the latter is a competence of the federal government, as well as access to the Belgian territory. Mrs. Hellemans shows the different partnerships needed to establish integration programmes successfully. E.g. Public Social Welfare Centres (OCMW), Welcome Offices, ‘Houses of Dutch’, Dutch language providers and the Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training (VDAB). Federal authorities, Flemish authorities and local authorities (councils) are also in- volved. Xavier Alonso Only ten years ago Catalonia counted 1.500.000 inhabitants less than today. Its current population is 7.5 million, of which 16% (1.200.000) are foreigners. Mr. Xavier Alonso talks about the Cata- lonian model of integration and the role of the Catalonian govern- ment and the municipalities. Catalans are used to thinking in terms of integration. Catalonia doesn’t have a model for integration of immigrants. It’s a strong tradition in Catalonia to speak about “in- tegration”. First, the country faced and accepted the integration of other Spaniards, and now, it is the same with foreigners. Strong mainstream services. Another dimension explaining the integration of foreigners is the existence of a large network of basic common services devoted to the whole population since the 1920’s -especially public schools and the health system. The municipalities developed strong initiatives in al sorts of public policies. In terms of im- migration policies, from the beginning of the 80’s Catalonia’s municipalities set up hundreds of plans, programs, services, etc Here are some examples of today’s global and permanent programs that began as small local experiences in the public sector: - admission of irregular immigrants in the health system, - coordination of the fight against feminine sexual mutilation, - specialized training for public employees to help them to understand changes and adapt to the implementation of services, - Reception classrooms for new pupils.18
  • 20. Another feature of our way of thinking on integration is the so called Normalization Prin-ciple. The principle establishes that “immigrants should as far as possible be included in theordinary system of public services”.Spanish legislation on immigration is very progressive. The first contemporary provisions on immi-gration came into force in 1985, and since then the irregular immigrants had some fundamen-tal rights, which have steadily increased in number since then. The legislation is progressivebecause it was developed during those same years (1985-2009) in which the Spanish popula-tion longed for and fought to get rights they couldn’t get for themselves during the 39 yearsof the Dictatorship. The struggle for fundamental rights for the whole population was thestruggle for fundamental rights for everybody –including foreigners.We cannot manage the integration process well, without at the same time managing thefrontiers, residence permits, deportations well. The Catalans had suffered from a limited vi-sion. We think in terms of integration but not in terms of management of migration flows.In Alonso’s view, to manage integration properly requires experience, a vision beyond regionalfrontiers and a political will to share powers with central government.In Spain, the connection between systems of integration and management of migratoryflows is ruled by at least 4 coordination bodies, established in 2000. There are councils whererepresentatives of regions and the central State debate common issues but its performance isstill way below what is needed for efficient outcomes. The political demands of the Catalansare reflected in immigration policy. Catalonia has maintained a constant will to self-governand for the survival of its culture and language. We could say that the EU’s Basic CommonPrinciple of Integration number 1, “Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual ac-commodation” also fits into our system.Language teaching of Catalan. There is a strong demand for the language teaching of Catalan foradults and other programs like Language Pairs. The number of enrolments in Catalan courses andthe number of Language Pairs have almost doubled in the last five years (2004-2009). With re-gard to the compulsory education of children, there is a commitment to multilingualism basedon Catalan as the teaching language. The reception classroom is a reference framework and anopen working environment in a school which facilitates immediate and appropriate attentionfor newly arrived students and helps teaching staff to confront new educational challenges.In the 2008-2009 school year there were 1,234 reception classrooms serving a total of 22,453students. At the same time, language teaching of some of the most important languages of theimmigration has been organised: Amazigh, Romanian, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali or Chinese.Only regularizations case by case will be admitted in the future. Spain had to approve massive regu-larizations in the past, but in the future an increase of the regularizations case by case is en- 19
  • 21. visaged. Spain had to begin managing immigration flows when they were at its highest level, and because of the lack of experience we didn’t manage to get a good level of control. Many people entered illegally or rapidly became undocumented once they settled in the territory. The Spanish legal system is mainly based on residence permits to work. Only in 2005 was an alternative way of entrance regulated: “The Administration may grant a temporary residence permit in cases of special bonds, humanitarian reasons, and collaboration with the legal authorities or other exceptional circumstances to be determined in the enacting regulations”. In this special procedure, the immigrant has to prove his or her integration throughout all kinds of documents reflecting personal facts of his/her social life, like having children at school, the enrolment in vocational training or language courses, etcetera. These documents prove individual facts all of which are related either to regional or to local powers. Since 2009 at least 4 types of procedure require a report issued by the Autonomous Commu- nity –or in some cases, by the municipalities- in order to evidence integration into Spanish society: 1) Residence permits in cases of special bonds, 2) Renewal of temporary residence permits, 3) Residence permits for unaccompanied minors, and 4) Acquisition of nationality by virtue of residence. In 2010, Catalonia approved the Law of the Reception Services the Law is based on EU’s principles and orientations. Both the 1st Handbook on Integration and the Basic Common Principle number 4 pointed out that ME ought to create introductory programs, because basic knowl- edge of the host society, of the host society’s language, history, and institutions is indispen- sable to integration”. The new Catalan law provides that migrants should perform 200 hours of non compulsory and free training, in the following subjects, - Catalan and Castilian. 160 hours. - History, institutions and fundamental rights. 20 hours. - Labour rights and duties, and the function of the labour market. 20 hours. Those who complete the courses shall obtain a certificate that could be used as “report of in- tegration” in State procedures. In some situations, regions lead, and in others perform like municipalities. The Generalitat and the 946 Catalan municipalities develop many programs and services. The leadership of our regional government must, above everything else, demonstrate that it can:20
  • 22. - coordinate with municipalities- coordinate with the State- plan and legislate for the country as a whole- set some strategic programs- manage a universal reception service- manage a statistically based monitoring system. 21
  • 23. Focal areas on integration The second day of the conference different working groups were organised, going into depth and focussing on specific issues such as language learning, social orientation and participa- tion, parent participation, career orientation and activities of migrant organisations. We chose to focus on those six aspects because of their importance within the integration pro- cess for migrants. In what follows, you will find a description of the conference working groups, each one introduced by two experts in the field, talking about their approach, project or practice on integration.22
  • 24. Language learning Keynote In his résumé, Mr. Piet Van Avermaet, professor at the Ghent University, talks about the language requirements for adult migrants and the corresponding observations and challenges for the future. He is convinced that language and societal knowledge tend to be regarded as key elements for policies that ensure the social cohesion of a country or a region. For some years, there has been a move towards stricter conditions for newcomers in European countries. The requirements in-clude a basic knowledge of the language and familiarity with a country’s culture. A surveyshows that in 2009 75% of European countries (23/31) have linguistic requirements as partof their integration regulations. Mr. Van Avermaet notices that in most countries there is ashift from providing opportunities for immigrants to follow language tuition programmes tointroducing obligatory programmes with tests and sanctions. In some countries the stricterconditions are even used as a gate-keeping mechanism. As some additional general observa-tions Mr. Van Avermaet established that:- The number of Knowledge of Society tests (KOS) is limited for entrance, but higher for people applying for citizenship.- Still some countries have language requirements but do not offer language courses, so that candidates have to go to the private market with high costs.Mr. Van Avermaet faces some challenges for example: Can we take the diversity of educationaland cultural backgrounds into account? How can we meet migrant’s and society’s specific andfunctional language needs? As an answer Van Avermaet proposses more analyses, new peda-gogy’s and tailor made courses. Questions like ‘how can we encourage people to stay in thecourses?’ and ‘to what extent can an integration policy be of a more facilitating instead of aconditional nature?’ are raised. Piet Van Avermaet is convinced that a more facilitating policy,language courses and language tests can be more flexible, more tailor made in format andcontent. The level of language proficiency can vary depending on the needs of the immigrantsand on the linguistic requirement in specific domains of the host society in which an immi-grant wants to function. A more facilitating policy is more encouraging than discouraging. Itis aimed at integration and non-discrimination. It also offers more opportunities for acknowl-edgement of immigrant’s plurilingual repertoires. More facilitating policies of this nature aimfor the inclusion of all people in a multicultural society. Diversity is seen as an added valueand an asset, a source for creativity and innovation.Working groupThe central theme in this working group was Language Learning, and how this is organisedin Brussels (and Flanders) and in Ireland. The Belgian case was mainly about how the demand 23
  • 25. and supply of language courses are organised and about how the use of Dutch is stimulated, while the Irish case focused more on how the language is taught, and how to improve learn- ers autonomy in second language education. Mr. Gunther Van Neste, Director Huis van het Nederlands Brus- sel, Belgium, gave us an overview of the different goals of the Huis van het Nederlands (HvN) (translation: House of Dutch), and how they try to reach these goals. Prof. Dr. Emeritus David Little of Trinity College in Dublin and founder of Integrate Ireland Language and Training (I.I.L.T.) of- fered a short summary on the beginning of I.I.L.T. and he ex- plained the methods that I.I.L.T. developed for teaching English as a foreign language. In Flanders and Brussels there are 8 different Houses of Dutch that each correspond with a Welcoming Office that serves the same region. They were established between 2002 and 2004 with a double statuary mission: “To help people who want to learn Dutch, to find the appropriate Dutch Course and at the same time balancing the demand and supply of Dutch courses”. The House of Dutch in Brussels has a third mission: promoting the use of Dutch in Brussels. This is what sets them apart from the other Houses of Dutch, because they work in a region where most Dutch speakers automatically switch to another language when interacting with a non native Dutch speaker. By testing and interviewing, they determine the possibilities for the applicant. Based on this, the applicant is directed to the most appropriate, closest school. This diminishes the com- petitions between the different providers (schools) of Dutch, and helps balancing the supply and demand. To promote Dutch the House of Dutch didn’t start a big campaign (not to offend French- speaking people in Brussels) but they promote practice programs with native Dutch speak- ers, they set up a website via which students can meet up with native Dutch speakers and together with partners they help organisations and companies to use accessible “Language on the Shop Floor”. Professor David Little talks about the three main goals of the Integrate Ireland Language Learning program he developed. They were to develop learner’s proficiency, to develop the ability with students to manage their own language learning in the future and to bring learners in contact with culture and society. The majority of the students at I.I.L.T. already had some proficiency in English, a few were fluent but needed to develop their skills in academic English, and a few had no English and no literacy skills in their home language. The courses I.I.L.T. offered were very in-24
  • 26. tensive with 20 hours of tuition and 10hours homework every week. Teachers were offered agood salary and were supposed to prepare and develop materials as well as teach the students.The guiding principle of I.I.L.T. was learner autonomy, which they develop by operationisinglearner involvement, learner reflection and targeting language use.Learner involvement was stimulated by working with small groups, and without a pre-exist-ing curriculum so that a continuous process of negotiating the individual and group needs ona weekly or even daily basis is what determined each term’s programme.To target language use, English was the main medium of classroom communication, and aconscious effort was made to integrate reading and writing and to help students developliteracy skills. A few examples of how this was done were creative writing activities (shortstories, poems), a reading club, etc.Learner reflection is already implicated in the ongoing process of needs analysis and goalsetting and is further developed by using the European Language Portfolio, with the use ofcheck-lists to get self-assessments.Although learners were not required to pass a test, their learning was externally assessedand certified by FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council). This assessment wasbased on the student’s portfolios that were monitored to ensure that the stated standardswere achieved. Because these FETAC certificates are nationally recognized, they were an im-portant tool in the integration process of the refugees.If asked for the strongest elements necessary to achieve what I.I.L.T. did, the ethos and theunderlying framework are the answer and these can also be transmitted from one context toanother. Especially the teacher’s ethos was very important they got paid enough and wereclosely involved in the development of the programme.I.I.L.T. still exists, but due to allocation and financial and logistical problems it is not func-tioning any more.The system of “Taalcoaches” (language coaches) like it exists in the Netherlands, where wom-en visit each other at home, refugees and spiritual leaders are appointed a buddy to coachthem through the programs, does not exist in this form in Flanders or Ireland. In Irelandthere are regular evening meetings with retired people and newcomers were they practicedEnglish, and in this way improve the social interaction. In Flanders language learning startedby conversation groups with volunteers, now the classes are taught by professionals andcomplemented by activities with volunteers.As a conclusion we can say that in learning a host language (spoken in the country a personmigrated to) there is a close interaction between the ideological view, you live in Flandersyou have to speak Dutch, and the practical view, you want to work in Flanders you need tospeak Dutch. 25
  • 27. Good integration practices Andersson Elffers Felix – The Netherlands Employer Incentive ‘Language in the workplace’ 1 year intensive national campaign financed by the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Affairs and Environment. Employers are stimulated to provide language courses to em- ployees who don’t master the Dutch language sufficiently. These language courses are funded by the local municipalities. On top of this, employers receive a compensation fee of 1000 Euros for every employee who participates in the program. During a 1 year period, the Ministry financed 30 regionally functioning account managers to create awareness amongst employers of the advantages of these courses and to support the actual organisation of these programmes on the work floor. AEF provided account man- agement for the larger region of Rotterdam. The language courses are offered under the system of civic integration. For the the same target groups and follows – largely - the same curriculum. When courses are provided on the work floor, the content can be tailor- made to the requirements of the employer and on the job coaching is possible. The courses also need to be completed with a Dutch integration exam, or a government/state exam. By passing one of the exams the criteria to get a Dutch passport are met. There are three main types of language courses, follow- ing the Dutch system. Courses are flexible and tailor made, and can take place once or twice a week for 3-4 hours at once. The courses takes between 3 – 18 months, depend- ing on the base level of participants, ability to learn as well as demands of employers. The content and level of the three courses differ: 1. a language course completed with a integration exam; this course aims to obtain a basic level to obtain knowledge of Dutch society (examination at A2 level) 2. a language course completed with a State exam; people who follow this course have already a basic knowledge of Dutch language and continue their course on a higher level, focusing more on grammar. Passing this exam gives admittance to on ward professional or academic education 3. a language course in addition to a basic professional education (MBO 1 / 2); This lan- guage course is aimed at supporting students to make them able to finish their studies. Two distinctive target groups can attend. The first are those people who are obliged to participate in a civic integration programme. The second are the people who can partici- pate on a voluntary basis. Many people from this latter group are so called ‘old-comers’; people who hold a Dutch passport but are still not able to speak the Dutch language and26
  • 28. therefore do not fully participate in society. However, more and more knowledge mi-grants, for example those working on their doctorate at the Erasmus University Rot-terdam, are able to participate.This initiative builds on the civic integration programme, which formed a cornerstoneof the Deltaplan Civic Integration, a comprehensive plan to address integration execut-ed by the Directorate of Integration within the Ministry of Housing Spatial Planningand the Environment (currently under the Ministry of Internal Affairs).Results500 employees in a period of 9 monthsQualitative outcomes:1. Collaboration between municipalities to better service employers related to civicintegration2. Further collaboration between the employers service points and civic integrationexecuting departments within the municipalities3. Awareness amongst employers of the option to provide on the job language trainingin collaboration with municipalitiesMore information: M.Keulemans@aef.nlCommunity of Sant’Egidio – BelgiumLanguage School Yaguine en Fodé1. Language School Yaguine en Fodé. Dutch conversation classes. Twice a week new-comers have the opportunity to exercise the knowledge they have gained.2. The movement Volkeren van Vrede (People of Peace) gathers newcomers from manydifferent countries. They are committed to work for a better society.The aim is to assist newcomers in acquiring language skills to enhance their integrationin society and to introduce newcomers in Belgian society, its history and its inhabitantsand becoming a part of it.ResultsYearly, the school hands out certificates to those who attended the classes regularly.The movement increased the newcomers’ knowledge about Belgian society (e.g. WorldWar II and the Jewish population of Antwerp…). It established contacts between groups 27
  • 29. that would normally not meet: newcomers and elderly people. This contact creates friendships and thus fights not only racism but also the loneliness of the Belgian elderly people. The newcomers also meet other newcomers from very different backgrounds than their own, avoiding the creation of ‘islands’ of people with the same background. The school helped people with their language skills, thus increasing the possibility of finding a job and function well in society. The activity has impact different levels. Firstly the newcomers experience contributing to and belonging to their new society. It also has a very important impact on the Bel- gian elderly people they visit: they are less lonely and often the newcomers help them to remain at home instead of having to go to an institution. Last but not least, the movement actively fights racism. For example because of their commitment to society as a whole and to the vulnerable group of elderly people. More information: or info@santegidio.be28
  • 30. Social participationKeynote Community Education and Employment Coordina- tor from the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC), Mrs. Laura Marziale shares her experiences on social par- ticipation of migrants in the UK. The MRC works with migrants and refugees, in partnership with other agencies to effect social justice and change enabling migrants to fully participate in the society. To accom- plish this goal, there certainly are lots of barriers and challenges which have to be defeated. Mrs. Marziale names a few like isolation, lack of confidence and self- esteem, lack of UK work experience, poor English lan- guage skills, not knowing how things work in the UK,and so on. To win over these barriers, the MRC has a clear view on social participation. Firstof all, they help migrants in understanding how things work in the host society, especially onthe labour markets. The MRC also tries to give accurate one-to-one advice and information.The fact that migrants should feel supported, encouraged and empowered cannot be under-estimated. As well as there should be a platform available, so that they can share experiencesand feel part of a community. Mrs. Marziale continues by saying that, in the UK, it is veryimportant to gain work experience in your professional field. That’s why the MRC also sup-ports volunteering as a mean to stimulate social participation. The Migrants Resource Centregives high priority to the self-realisation of migrants. They have to feel good about their placein the society and feel respected and valued. Mrs. Marziale points out that the MRC is a realpoint of reference in London, their users describe the organisation as “a place where we can feelsafe, not judged and build confidence, where my own social life is improved, knowing that the MRC ishere is reassuring”.Working group Mrs. Liesbeth Dierickx, Staff member Communication and Partici- pation of the Reception Office Antwerp, Belgium and Mr. Wim Bud- ding, advisor of the Foundation for the Promotion of Social Partici- pation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands presented there views on social participation and talked about the added value of their organisation. Liesbeth Dierickx established that, in general, new immigrants show a low level of social participation. This is not so much the outcome of a lack of interest than it is a logical result of the fact of being a new­­comer in society. 29
  • 31. Since 2004, the reception office in Antwerp (Belgium) encourages immigrants to participate fully in society by taking action as a volunteer within local organisations. Although volunteers receive no remuneration as such, the benefits for immigrants are mul- tiple: - they can practice their Dutch language skills; - they can build up a social network with locals; - they can build up work experience and competences; - they can become acquainted with unspoken behaviour, norms and values; - they can make themselves feel useful in their new society. In offering voluntary work, the reception office does not stand alone. It seeks active collabo- ration with other organisations to engage immigrants as volunteers. This is part of a strategy to raise awareness within civil society for the specific situation of immigrants. The reception office wants to motivate organisations to work with migrant volunteers. By doing so, they build up a network which acts as a “task force on volunteering”. The kind of organisations volunteers are referred to is quite diverse: nursery homes, child care, sports clubs, etc. Clearly, not only the immigrants benefit from voluntary work, but also the organisations they work for. Not only get volunteers the work done; for both parties, there’s definitely a strong positive effect on mutual image building and on social cohesion. In order to make the project known among the large group of clients of the reception office, a video was made which is now part of the social orientation course. Also other tools were developed, such as: a participation help desk guaranteeing an individual approach, informa- tion sessions, motivating tools and so on. An essential part of the project is the matching between offer and demand. The screening instruments assure the best match between talents of immigrants and expectations or needs of organisations. In general, the whole motivational, screening and matching process is rather time-consum- ing. As a result, individual evaluation remains difficult since follow-up from the reception office has been weak so far. Partially, this is also the result of the success of the initiative. Although designed as a small project, about 100 persons a year receive personal assistance on voluntary work. And the public consists of more women than men. However, 50 % of all volunteers still continue their activities 3 months after starting. Results could even be more impressive, but sometimes people are refused because Belgian legislation does not allow certain categories of immigrants to do voluntary work. Acknowledging the success of the project, the city of Antwerp recently decided to start up a service point for volunteers, thus assuring the continuation of the project on a larger scale and within a larger network.30
  • 32. DiscussionIn general, participants at the conference stress that it can be difficult to reach immigrantsand to motivate them to do voluntary work while they live in a precarious situation.Newcomers to society often have other priorities, such as: getting their documents in order,finding good accommodation, helping relatives in their country of origin financially, etc.Engaging someone to support others when they themselves are in need of support is not aneasy task.In that case, a lot depends on the message you bring. Doing voluntary work clearly can havea positive outcome. For social workers, it enables them to start up a discussion on how im-migrants see their future in their host country and to reflect on career orientation.While, for immigrants it’s an opportunity to learn or to practice the local language and toknow more about society. It also has a positive influence on their self-esteem and helps themnot to get isolated.The whole isolation issue is a very important one. People can only do something back forsociety when they feel they have their proper place in society.Here, also community-based or migrant organisations have a role to play. Being among co-na-tionals sometimes is the easiest or fastest link to resolve one’s problems. It is important thatpeople feel at home away from home. This gives them a sense of belonging, which can helpthem to better participate in society. Communities are often seen as a threat to traditionalsociety, or they are neglected, but they can be a leverage for social participation. As a conse-quence, language learning is not necessarily the right focus right from the start. Although itremains essential that people do speak the language after time.We must also realize that voluntary work is not for everybody, personal agendas play a part.We have to take into account that volunteers have different capacities, which makes it dif-ficult to classify people or to trace one simple path to follow. Working with volunteers iscustomary. From a societal context, it is indispensable to be able to speak the local language.But this can be reached by different activities, both formal and informal learning, as long asthe approach is a participatory one.The whole idea of empowering implicates that you set up a process with people to start anactivity that they will leave in the end.Traditionally, the third sector is more open to this (regardless if it is a community-based or-ganisation or not), while for private companies this will be much more difficult.Stichting BMP stands for “Foundation for the Promotion of Social Participation”, a smallDutch professional non-profit organisation which was set up in 1986.Its mission is to promote people’s participation into the development of society. It is com-mitted to empower people by facilitating the active involvement of individuals, groups andorganisations in social trends that affect them. 31
  • 33. Various bodies fund BMP on an individual project basis. These bodies include ministries, local authorities, community organisations, funds, the European Commission, etc. Stichting BMP is specialized in projects with a focus on stim- ulating the debate on globalization, as a central theme. In recent years, BMP has focused on three core themes: - ageing of society and the position of seniors; - human rights; - immigration and the position of immigrants and refu- gees. BMP’s projects place great emphasis on opportunities for self- development and self-realisation. Its public consists mainly of newcomers into society, e.g. immigrants, refugees. Among BMP’s projects was the development of an empowerment method for older refugees, on the basis of practical experiments with life stories and expression. “The Power of Older Refugees” organized workshops in several European cities (Berlin, Ghent, London, Vienna), promoting different approaches of empowerment. One of these consisted of writing and reciting poetry. Based on the same method, the participants at the working group were invited to write a poem themselves. Starting from each one’s own individual experience, small groups were created to write 1 poem each with a common structure. The individual reflection seeked an answer on the fol- lowing questions: - I had to move because... - I join society so I can... - When I think of home, I always feel... Subject of the poem was how participants feel about social participation in relation to arriv- ing into a new society. The poem itself was an exercise on how to make something impressive with little means, us- ing the power within people to express themselves. The poems As an example of the exercise, we reproduce here 2 out of the 6 poems. (1) We had to move Because we could not stay And stagnation was not an option When we think of home We always feel happily confused32
  • 34. We join societyTo learn, understand and feel the difference(2)Every move I makeIs composedOf self-cost, discovery and experienceSo I had to moveBecause I felt of taken the wrong wayAnd I wanted something betterTo be freeThe world outsideIs more inviting than my villageWhich is smallAnd I had to moveI am not able to stayWaiting for lifeTo overtake meSociety I joinIn order to express my knowledge, experience and contributionIn proof of developmentAnd see myself expressedI join societyIn order to fully realizeAnd bring outThe fullness of integrationFeeling lonelinessHomesickFamilyWorldIs what I think ofWhen I think of homeFrames of referenceLack of development of my parent homelandBring me feelings of homeWhen I think about it 33
  • 35. Discussion The discussion focused on the necessity of educating universal values to immigrants, as a key stone to social participation. Although the comprehension of (and the respect for) universal values was recognized as an important asset, this was not seen as a typical “migrant issue”. Universal values – as the name suggest – should unite people and not separate them. In conclusion, we can say that social participation manifests itself through every day life. How people fit into society depends on their background, expectations and chances in life. Empowering people is an essential step towards social participation, using their experiences and the power within. For some, voluntary work can be a powerful tool towards social participation and well-being. However, there’s no such thing as one recipe for all. Another important asset is that voluntary work also helps to open up civil society towards immigrants. This way, both integration and social participation become a two-way process.34
  • 36. Good integration practicesAustrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) – AustriaThe Integration Award for SportsIn giving an ‘Integration Award for Sports’, successful integration is combined with posi-tive images in sports, contributing to an increased sense of “togetherness”. A jury com-prising individuals from the fields of sports, business and social affairs selects the bestprojects. They look closely at qualities like sustainability, originality, working method,visibility, and the level of volunteerism. The only condition is that the projects musthave already begun or have been successfully completed. In 2010 the award is beinggranted in cooperation with the Bundes-Sportorganisation (BSO) and the SPORTUNIONÖsterreich.ResultsWhen people of different nationalities, religions, or with different worldviews meetthrough sports, there is generally no room for reservations; skills like tolerance, fair-ness, team spirit, and solidarity can be explored and shared. The Integration Award forSports is given to outstanding projects that encourage and advance the integration ofpersons with a migrant background into the Austrian society.Around 80 projects were submitted in 2008. This initiative highlights the diverse pos-sibilities of integrative sports projects. Participants and organizers received increasedmedia attention through the “Integration Award for Sports”. There was broad mediacoverage of the award ceremony and the winners throughout Austria.Sports do not always lead to integration. The awarded project encourages cooperationbetween migrants and Austrians by employing special working methods. It involvesworking together and not parallel to each other. The awarded project emphasizes activeparticipation of the target group.More information: or Sociale COIN - ItalyC.A.S.A. Care Assistants Search AgencyCASA faces the increasing demand for care commitments and quality care for depend 35
  • 37. ent family members and children by facilitating and supporting the integration of third country nationals, mainly women, in the EU. The main objective of Care Assistant Search Agency is to develop and disseminate a tool for public and private bodies that work in the care assistance with the aim to respond on to their needs of managing the offer and the demand in this sector. In this respect, Care Assistant Search Agency aims to develop an Agency model which on one side responds to an increasing number of vacant job’s in the long term care sector and on the other hand to an increasing number of immigrants from outside the EU by supporting the matchmaking between offer and demand of informal care assistance. Results The main objective of the CASA project is to design an Agency model and provide pri- vate and public bodies involved in the care assistance services with a pre-feasibility study. The Agency, if implemented, will be able to provide services to: - people in need of long term assistance - for a better quality of life; - third-country nationals, mainly women searching for stable jobs and integration. It is particularly significant that the Project has being developed in a time when a lot of attention is given to immigrants and their smooth integration in the “host” countries. The Agency will be considered as a reliable, trustworthy, competent reference point to solve problems, conflicts and to make life easier for the two target groups it aims to help: families in need of care services and potential members of the supply. The Agency structure was very well received by potential users, with the suggestion to organize it with more staff than those units considered in the Feasibility Report as the “minimum required work force”. The concept developed by the project and the results disseminated at national and international level were considered of utmost interest from different points of view: a) the positive integration of migrant workers in a job situation highly needed and for which quality and tailored training was considered essential b) the availability of a service which could be also implemented by migrant themselves through the formula of a small enterprise ( e.g. a small cooperative ) thus giving them a more sound opportunity to work and maintain their residence permit c) the possibility to create synergies with existing projects, financed at EU level More information: or or annagrazia.laura@sociale.it36
  • 38. Vienna Business Agency - AustriaMingo Migrant EnterprisesEntrepreneurs with a migrant background make up about 20 % of Viennese economy.Information about business support offered by public institutions in German languagecouldn’t reach and evoke an interest from the target group. Based on studies performedin 2007, the city of Vienna has elaborated better practices focused on active networkingand effective measures for gaining confidence within the target group. The main goalof Mingo Migrant Enterprises was/is to evoke and strengthen the economic potentialof this specific group of enterprises by supporting at least 300 entrepreneurs within 3years. The initiative is focused on equality in treatment of Viennese entrepreneurs.ResultsBy the end of September 2010 about 420 entrepreneurs had contacted Mingo MigrantEnterprises to ask for information and/or support on business matters; 108 prospectiveEntrepreneur’s participated in a special cost-free start-up coaching and 5 entrepreneursparticipated in a cost- free finance coaching program. Many entrepreneurs and start-ups participated in cost free Workshops on entrepreneurial Matter’s by Mingo Academy.Networking-activities also proved to be successful: Next to the Turkish community inVienna, Mingo Migrant Enterprises gained access to the Polish, Bulgarian, Egyptian,Chinese, and various other ethnic communities mostly coming from the Balkan andEastern European countries. The target group’s feedback to the activities of Mingo Mi-grant enterprises is positive beyond expectations. Mingo Migrant Enterprises is widelyaccepted as the first stop shop.More information: or 37
  • 39. Parent participation Working group In this working group two speakers in- troduced their own regional approach in enhancing parental participation to improve integration of young immi- grants. Mr. Kamal Amain, counsellor parental participation and integration is- sues, represented the AMPO consultancy and talked about a parental participation project in Amsterdam. Mr. Pat Kussé of the City of Antwerp explained the “KAAP-project” in Antwerp. Both approaches start from the model of parental participation described by Mr. Amain as the reciprocal influences between children and their parents, children and their teachers and parents and teachers. Research shows that interactions between immigrant parents and their children’s schools are rare and of a low quality. This ought to be related to poor integration outcomes of both migrating children and their parents. Mr. Kussé stated that school results increase (up to 30%) when parents are more involved in their children’s learning process. The common goal of the project in Antwerp and in Amsterdam is to improve the relationship be- tween the parents, the school and the children. In Amsterdam the motto “learning through experience” is central. Parents of secondary school children are given certain privileges to help organise practical things and they are motivated to talk about activities, school results and so on. There’s only one condition, they have to try to speak Dutch as much as possible. Research in Amsterdam has shown that a lot of parents are interested in these types of projects, that costs are low and the effects on integration of the children are substantial: school results, knowledge of the Dutch language and chance on the labour market increase. It has also shown that mostly mothers become more involved in their children’s education. The KAAP-project in Antwerp mainly focuses on giving parents the possibility to learn Dutch on the school of their children during the school hours. There’s a dialogue between the teach- ers of the children and the teachers of the parents. This way parents get more involved in the learning process of their children. KAAP use their funds to pay admittance for parents who want to participate in the project. They also give schools an amount of money to hire someone to motivate parents to partici- pate. For the language lessons teachers of the centre of adult education are hired. This raised some questions about the capability of these teachers to cope with cultural differences. Mr.38
  • 40. Kussé says his organisation addresses this problem by organising sessions. During these ses-sions basic school subjects are being explained in the presence of cultural experts to assurethe message is well received.The KAAP-project has shown that a lot of parents are interested in their children and in learn-ing Dutch. The demand even exceeds the supply.Both in Amsterdam and in Antwerp parents are asked to try to speak Dutch as much as pos-sible. A representative of Solentra said they start from the dominant culture to guide theintegration process, which means that speaking Dutch is not necessary. Mr. Amain replicatedthat the school system in Belgium and the Netherlands demands parents to participate inthe learning process of their children. This is suggested to be a major reason for the big gapbetween good and bad students in these countries. Therefore speaking Dutch is an importantstep in integration.There were questions about the continuation of parental participation on schools when aproject is finished. It seems that a school‘s attempts to get parents involved decrease when aproject is finished. There seem to be no obvious reasons for this tendency. 39
  • 41. Good integration practices NPO Solentra (Solidarity and Trauma) – Belgium Zorg in kleur – Care in colour As a pilot project we evaluate a community-based and etnopsychiatric approach to working with migrant children and their families in a school context. These children suffer clinically significant behavioural, emotional, school and/or social problems. Par- ents and teachers are mobilized to help the migrant child with his socialization process. By creating a shared sense of connectedness around the welfare of the child they are invited to work together as equal partners (empowerment) to resolve the problem. By also taking into account informal resources (E.g. neighbours, other parents..) to address problems, this approach also tries to counter the (unnecessary) high level of profession- alization in our Western society. This is what we call a community-based approach. A sense of community can only originate in a context of mutual respect and curiosity for the other and his or her (cultural) way of understanding the world. An etnopsychiatric perspective makes a valuable contribution to create such a dialogue. Results Clinical achievements: - Creating cultural sensitivity on both sides (school and family) - Creating an alliance between parents and teachers - Becoming aware of the bi cultural participation of children - Informing parents about the school system - Creating involvement on both sides (school and family) - Putting a stop to social isolation - Breaking out of a negative spiral (behavioural problems) - Paving the way to mental health and other services - Creating a network (informal as well as formal) More information: or Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung (Hertie Foundation) – Germany Frühstart-project Stimulation of language, inter cultural education and parental involvement – In inter- linking these 3 elements the project frühstart already lays the foundation stone at the nursery school career and integration, in particular for children who come from an40
  • 42. immigration background. To reach the aim, nursery-school teachers are trained for twoyears and volunteers are trained for one year. Since 2004, 36 nursery-schools in ten Ger-man cities (Hesse) have participated in the project.ResultsTraining:Raising awareness for inter cultural education among nursery school teachers, parentsand volunteers, developing competences in languages training of the nursery schoolteachers.Language stimulation:Significant improvement in vocabulary and grammar. Good development in vocabulary,articulation, language production, phonology and language comprehension.Parental involvement:Improvement of cooperation and contact with parents; Increase of participation of theparents by individual consultations, parent-teachers conferences and common projectswith mentors and volunteers.Inter cultural education:Raising awareness for inter cultural education among nursery school teachers, parentsand volunteers; Improved cooperation and contact with parents.More information: (german); (english) ; (german) or 41
  • 43. Social orientation Keynote Mr. Andras Kovats, from Menedék, the Hungarian Asso- ciation for Migrants, describes integration as a complex, long-term, multi-level social process. The processes of ad- aptation, adjustment and acculturation are parts of inte- gration. In Mr. Kovats’ opinion, social orientation services can support and facilitate the above processes by defining the institutional, social and normative framework of inte- gration. The social orientation course can be provided as an orga­ nised and standardised course as well as individual coun- selling. Usually those courses are related to the language course. The content of the course depends. In Hungary it provides legal and administrative information, information on the society and history of the nation-state, culture, values and norms. The course can be obligatory, optional but attached to entitlements or fully optional. Research shows that Hungary has a low number of immigrants (2.1% foreign citizens, 3.7% foreign born). Most of the immigrants come from neighbouring countries and many of them are even ethnic Hungarians. The outcome proves that many of the immigrants’ socio-econom- ic statuses are above the national average. The practice of granting social services for immigrants and refugees is an ongoing service of Menedék since 1998. - 2.528 people with 7.825 cases between January 2009 and October 2010 - People and cases related to integration: 940 people with 4.282 cases - Immigrants: 282 (757 cases); Humanitarian: 658 (3.525 cases) - 547 pending cases; 2.785 successful; 277 unsuccessful; 673 others (no info, transferred) Working group The main subject in this working group was the organisation of social orientation in Flanders/Brussels and France. Mr. Eric De Jonge, director of BON vzw, the welcome office in Brus- sels, told about how social orientation is integrated in the integration program in Brussels, Mrs. Asisé Mateo, Policy Of- ficer for European Affairs in France Terre d’Asile, explained how social orientation is organised in France.42
  • 44. Social orientation in Brussels is part of a bigger integration program, with also elementaryDutch, individual guidance and career orientation. Social orientation is taught in a contactlanguage and consists of about 60 to 80 hours of teaching. The themes that will be taughtare assessed by determining the individual and group needs through a method called “Climo”.This is a method developed by bringing the good practices of the cities of Ghent, Antwerpand Brussels together, the focus is on the cooperating and multicultural aspect of the course.The most important goal is empowerment, not problem solving. The courses social orienta-tion and the individual guidance that is offered to the newcomers are the most importantkeys to reach this empowerment. Mr. De Jonge gave some examples of good practices and toldus how the good collaboration with partners and the internal organisation contribute to abalanced, tailor-made integration program.Mr. De Jonge was asked for a profile of the ideal teachers and stressed the fact that they needto have an overview of both the home country of the newcomers and of Belgium, so that hecan teach about Belgium, but also gets the respect of his students. Language is the main cri-teria, but pedagogical and didactical skills are also an aspect on which a teacher is evaluated.Mrs. Asisé Mateo talked about the Integration program in France. This is centrally organisedand the main group of beneficiaries are refugees. When a newcomer arrives in France, he/shegoes to his or her local governmental office where they are received by a social worker who,by interviewing the newcomer, evaluates the needs for social orientation and language cours-es. There is no specific career orientation, this is offered by the regular employment officeand is not a part of the integration program. The goals of the civic courses are to teach thecommon values the history and symbols of France, and to describe the role of France in theEU. Although in theory there can be repercussions on the renewal of the residence permit forpeople who do not comply, Mrs. Mateo has never experienced this yet. The insistence on themandatory aspect seems to be sufficient motivation. The high council of integration evalu-ated these civic courses and concluded the following: there is almost no uniformity becausethe implementations are made by private organizations, there is almost no interaction theteaching happens very ex cathedral, so there are almost no assessments of needs and there isalmost no methodology in order of interaction.Mrs. Mateo also told us about some good practices by NGO’s in Nantes, these are complemen-tary with the national scheme, adapt better to the needs of the newcomer (e.g. special infofor women), and the social workers are offered training in multicultural communication skills.When asked for the difference between the national level and the regional level, Mrs. AsiséMateo answered that although the policy is a notional scheme, the implementation happenson a local level which allows the regions to base the program on the needs of the main im-migrant group in that region. 43
  • 45. From this working group we can conclude that social orientation is an important element in an integration program, and although the system can be nationally based, the implementa- tion of the program is better done on a regional level.44
  • 46. Good integration practicesLeicester North West Community Forum - UKRefugee Empowerment and Integration ProgrammeThe project aims to increase community integration within the locality for refugees andalso empower and strengthen refugees market position in terms of their employability,through developing their skill base through integration and citizenship training andalso mentoring training to build sustainability of the learning achieved through thisproject.ResultsThis project made headway within the integration indicators specified within the UKHome Office “Integration Matters” strategic framework:- To improve the employment rates of refugees through improved awareness of sys-tems to find employment (job search skills) and increased confidence as a result of thetraining to enable them to increase their economic independence through achievingmeaningful employment.- Encourage voluntary work, through either delivery of awareness raising training,mentoring other refugees or involvement as directors of local organizations.- Encourage participation in decision making processes at all level.The project has helped the first group of refugees to be dispersed in Leicester NorthWest to actively integrate and gain skills that they can pass on to other refugees whowill be coming to live in the area. Refugees beneficiaries of the project felt valued.This project has been designed specifically as achievable within a 12 month time frame.However sustainability is built into the project as we have trained beneficiaries inmentoring so they can support new refugees in the area after this project has ended.Additionally we held a conference in the final month of the project where we publishedand launch our end of project and evaluation report. This have also enabled the dissemi-nation of the learning materials developed throughout the project to facilitate the po-tential for other agencies to operate similar schemes based on the experience developedwithin Leicester North West Community Forum.More information: 45
  • 47. Qec-eran - Belgium Healthy and Wealthy together. Developing common European modules on migrants health and poverty The overall aim of this project is to establish a thematic exchange network of public and private local actors working with or for migrants around the issue of health and poverty. A transnational exchange programme will be established. It will facilitate transfer of data, experience, good practice and policies and also will provide tools and knowledge for the empowerment of local actors in the fields of developing better approaches to poverty and health inequalities among migrants. Results The overall goal of this project is to identify and develop tools and good practice mod- ules in addressing the issue of poverty and health inequalities among migrants. Enhanc- ing the capacity of Member States to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate all integration strategies, policies and measures Exchanging information, best practice and co-operation in and between Member States. The project would have the following outcomes: - the production of three peer review exchange reports. - the production of an “overview” report - the production of at least 20 good practice case studies documented and at least 30 - relevant documents and links to relevant organisations - eight local mapping reports and linked action plans - an online good practice exchange and development forum. - two local events for consultation and dissemination More information: or g.cantaluppi@qec-eran.org46
  • 48. Career orientationWorking group The working group was introduced by Mr. Kees Bleichrodt, University Asylum Fund (educational orientation), The Neth- erlands and Mrs. Liesbeth Van den Wijngaert and Annick Per- neel, Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training (VDAB) (professional orientation), Belgium. Career orientation does not focus on ‘career’ orientation alone it is also about recognition and development of skills. The fol- lowing stories will illustrate good practices on career orienta- tion and hopefully inspire you.The general focus of this conference is the integration of migrants as such, in Mr. Kees Bleich­rodt’s contribution he zooms in on the group of refugees and asylum seekers.The University Assistance Fund was established in 1948. This organisation was born out ofanger due to the Russian Communist invasion in Prague, when a lot of scholars and studentrefugees came to the Netherlands.Dutch Universities decided to establish a solidarity fund to give these refugees the oppor-tunity to enter the academic world in The Netherlands and to continue their studies. In sixdecades, The University Assistance Fund assisted thousands of refugees, following politicaldevelopments in the world. In the 50’s and 60’s, mainly Eastern-Europeans, in the 70’s and80’s refugees from Latin-America and South-East Asia and in the last decade people from theMiddle east and Central Europe (Balkan)At present 3200 students are supported by the UAF.30 % are following courses at research universities55% at universities of applied science15% are following courses secondary vocational trainingBefore entering, most students need one year of preparatory programme. 500 graduates aresupported in the UAF- job support scheme.There are three selection criteria for students to be assisted by the UAF:1. educational background of minimum 12 years2. language skills (Dutch)3. genuine and bonafide asylum claim (the assistance is provided before the final decision in the procedure for asylum is made, to avoid wasting precious time and talent) 47
  • 49. The assistance provided by the UAF consists of: 1. counselling 2. financial assistance (tuition fees, books,…) 3. job support (10 counsellors to guide the refugees after graduation to find a job) 4. advocacy 5. lobbying Remarkable is the difference in the subjects these refugees take interest, in comparison to the Dutch students. Science and Technology and Science and health are over-represented choices of the refugees, which might provide interesting perspectives because of the predicted labour market short- ages in these fields. The students the UAF assists usually have substantial work experience, they hold high de- grees and have professional qualifications. The degrees and qualifications are often not rec- ognised, especially those of medical doctors, teachers, dentists and engineers. Most of them need a re-qualification process. Supply and demand In a broader European context, we see a highly developed knowledge infrastructure in EU Member States, and we are facing serious problems in terms of labour market shortages. This is partly caused by demographic evolution (ageing society). There is a future need for increasing numbers of higher educated people. On the other hand, there is a substantial influx of asylum seekers (200 000/year) and an in- creased shortage of higher educated employees. Therefore we want to promote the notion of “Refugee Resource Management” Look at the talents these people bring. This however requires a major change in policy and attitude towards refugees and migrants, not only in the govern- ment but also in the corporate sector. Characteristics From our more than 60 years of experience, we can easily analyse the group of refugees and asylum seekers and give a summary of their characteristics. Most of the people are highly motivated, they have enormous perseverance and drive, since they often consider these studies as their ‘last chance’ to realise their professional dreams. They have a sharp focus and endurance. They often show entrepreneurship and have international orientation since they bring experience from at least one other continent. A lot of people show leadership qualities.48
  • 50. These characteristics are all very valuable and needed in our society.Case study: refugee medical doctorsRecently we did a survey on the 400 UAF supported doctors who graduated over the pastten years. 96% of them did find a job as a medical doctor or specialist, and 75% of them evenfound this job within three months after graduation. This is probably the most successfulintegration of refugees in The Netherlands.The organisation Booz & Co were willing to organise a project for UAF by developing a businesscase which proves refugee doctors to be the cheapest medical doctors in The Netherlands:Educational costs of Dutch medical doctors (6 years): € 63 000Educational costs of re-qualification refugee doctors: € 33 000Supporting these doctors is not only avoiding destroying human talents but it’s also an eco-nomical business case.The results of the refugee doctors are very successful. However we don’t have exact numberson the results regarding other professions and educational fields, we do know that from allgraduates, 80 % finds a job within one year, suitable to their education and according to theirskills. This proves that the UAF is definitely a very good practice.Mrs. Liesbeth Van den Wijngaert and Annick Perneel talk about the situation of the VDAB4 public employment offices in Belgium per region:• VDAB (Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding) in Flanders in Dutch• FOREM in the Walloon provinces in French• Actiris in the Brussels-capital region in French and Dutch• ADG in the German speaking community in GermanVDAB services• Job seekers: the candidate’s database. Employers can consult this database and contact suitable candidates directly.• Job vacancies in the vacancy database. Job seekers can contact employers directly.• For job seekers who need more help, the VDAB provides job guidance and counselling to help them get a job as quickly as possible. Especially for non-native speakers, tailor-made career orientation is available.• Training courses: from pc training and welding, to languages and fork-lift truck operator training. 49
  • 51. • Career guidance for people who already have a job. Career Orientation: situation Primary Civic Integration Programme directed by the welcome office • Social Orientation (welcome office) • Basic Dutch as second language course (adult education) • Career orientation (VDAB) Secondary Civic Integration Programme directed by the VDAB • Sector and occupation - oriented language courses • Vocational training • Intensive guidance to work Career orientation in general • Number of pathways: 3638 • Number of people in career orientation: 2216 • Number of people in collective orientation: 1260 • Number of people in individual orientation: 956 • Number of courses/year: 100 • 60% target group follows career orientation • Employment rate: 47% Individual career orientation: characteristics • key figure: VDAB integration counsellor • target group: realistic job target but need for extra information on that specific occupa- tion or related occupations on the labour market; If doubt about the job target after a number of consultations, referral to extensive/collec- tive orientation • 2 to 5 consultations • duration: minimum 3 and maximum 6 months Collective career orientation: characteristics • key figure: VDAB integration counsellor • target group: unrealistic or no job target • in group (maximum 12 participants) • 3 weeks (12h/week) • visual • practical • interactive50
  • 52. • tailor-made• realistic pathway to a sustainable jobCollective career orientation: programme• Step 1: Portfolio activities• Step 2: Education and work experience• Step 3: Competencies, character and soft skills• Step 4: Job sectors• Step 5: The labour market• Step 6: Motivation• Step 7: BalanceGood practices• Time line: efficient and very visual instrument, stimulates reflexion…• Interactivity: role play, individual approach• Show labour market using: company visits, job films, role models, vacancy analysis…• Tuned to follow-up process (training, on-the-job training, employment)• Training is at the same time soft skill training (arrive on time, personal appearance, no- tify if absent, ...)• Directly after: guidance by key figureCulture related issues• Tension short and long-term employment• Self-knowledge• Translate acquired competencies to the Flemish labour market• Values at work• Job search behaviourSome figures October 2010• Number of pathways: 3638• Number of people in career orientation: 2216• Number of people in collective orientation: 1260• Number of people in individual orientation: 956• Number of courses/year: 100• 60% target group follows career orientation• Employment rate: 47% (lower than average)Annick is the fieldworker of VDAB and provides career orientation for the target group.Career orientation is offered very quickly after arriving in the country. VDAB thinks it’s veryimportant to make career plans at a very early stage. The sooner this plan is made, the better 51
  • 53. you can take accurate action to obtain your goals. The importance of career orientation and a good career plan can be illustrated by the follow- ing saying: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” It’s important that people get a real good understanding of their interests, their own abilities and their strengths, to get a good idea of what they want to become in life. It will lead to a higher level of job satisfaction, less personal stress and a better work/life balance The orientation courses are given in basic Dutch (A1 level), this way people can learn a lot of new job-related vocabulary. We provide collective and individual orientation. The job target can be long term or short term, or a combination, depending on the wishes or possibilities of the job seeker (for instance, combining the course with dish washing to meet his financial needs , and later on follow a course of designing) Step by step, the counsellors make up this tailor made programme together with the job seeker to obtain his personal job target. As well as in the collective or individual programmes, this tailor made approach is used. Individual orientation There is one key figure who follows the job seeker during his entire programme. The indi- vidual approach works for job seekers who have a realistic job target but need some assis- tance throughout the steps that need to be taken. For instance a Russian doctor who wants to work in the social sector, but who needs some information about her degree and how to get started. Individual consultations usually take about 3-6 months. Collective orientation There’s also one key figure, who follows the job seeker throughout the whole programme. The target group for this approach consists of people who want to do anything, or people who completely rely on the advice of the counsellor (‘you tell me what I should do’) or people with a very unrealistic job target (E.g. someone who has just completed primary school and wishes to be a dentist in Belgium). The group consists of maximum 12 people and the course takes three weeks. Lots of visual material is used. The vision of VDAB is that people have to take their own future into their own hands, they are the designers of their own future. Therefore the course is very practical and interactive, using teamwork, homework... The goal is to find a realistic and sustainable job according to ones needs, interests and capacities.52
  • 54. The content’s of the programme is described on the previous page.ExerciseTo illustrate the collective orientation in practice, we will do an exercise that’s also used in thetraining.The participants receive green and red cards. After hearing a theme or a statement, par-ticipants of the workshop can show their green (agree) or red (disagree) card, and start a discus-sion. During the orientation this is a good exercise for the target group to cross a certain barrier.1. Short and long term employment can give equal job satisfactionAgree/disagree discussion: Short and long term employment have different consequences. Forinstance, you can’t buy a house without job security, it is difficult to have a certain influence ina company if you’re only there for a limited period. The satisfaction can depend on the situationof the person, on the age of the person, to build up experience… Migrants often go from onetemporary job to another, this also makes it difficult to find a long term job, since employersoften find it strange that people change so often. Also with every new employment, they haveto adjust to the job, the co-workers, the culture of the organisation… The counsellor from theVDAB tries to turn this aspect into a positive issue on someone’s CV, you could say that peoplewho have had a series of short term jobs are very flexible and can adapt to every new situation.2. The level of self-awareness is a cultural related elementAgree/disagree discussion: Many participants disagree. The level of self-awareness is moredetermined by the way that someone is brought up, his education, his environment… butnot so culturally related. Other participants agree, in combination with education, there is acultural aspect. For instance, a participant from Indonesia tells us that it is not done in herculture to be self aware of your own capacities and your ambitions. Another participant fromThailand agrees, saying modesty is a common and high-valued attitude, maybe throughoutAsia, and this makes it very difficult to highlight your skills and talents. In western coun-tries, you have to show yourself during an interview, opposed to eastern countries, this at-titude might be interpreted as being selfish.VDAB trains the job seekers during the orientation in showing their skills and capacities,since in our culture strengths and weaknesses are a very popular subject in job interviews.The discussion continues and the participants exchange more ideas and visions on careerorientation.In this workshop two good practices of career orientation with a very different approachwere treated. We could say that that career orientation, in any approach, starts from theperson itself, from his own skills and talents, his educational background, and his own ambi-tions and wishes. The target here is that the job seeker, through education and training,eventually finds a job according to his skills, education and experience. 53
  • 55. Good integration practices Beramí Berufliche Integration e.V. – Germany The rise of equal opportunities on the job market for people not of German origin and at their integration in employment adequate to their qualification The project aims to focus on the rise of equal opportunities in the job market for people not of German origin and at their integration in employment adequate to their qualifi- cation. Moreover, it raises the chances to mediate the target group in the job market by partial qualification within the business area, it aims to enlarge the German language skills mainly focusing on the professional jargon German and to the mediation of com- petences relevant for to the job market and knowledge relevant for occupation. Results Accounting their resources brought from the origin country and experiences, 25% of the participants get vacancies already during the company training period within the scope of the qualification. At the end of the qualification another 35% receive a job adequate to their qualifications, so the first mediation on the job market lies at about 60%; the remaining participants successfully take part in the preparation for the test before the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and attain thus an approved occupational end, with 70% then finding a certified job. Only 3% quit the programme. More information: or Refugee Action Flanders – Belgium ZebrArt, platform for refugee artists ZebrArt is a platform where refugee artists (all disciplines in both professional and ama- teur arts) meet with the cultural sector and each other. By means of extended profiles in the online database the artists and their work is presented to the public. Besides that there is also information for and about the cultural sector. The artist gets support in his or her search within cultural Flanders. We give relevant advice and promote the artist towards cultural actors and organizations, who can and do, at their turn, use the services of ZebrArt to find artists for their projects. Results Since the start ZebrArt reached 90 refugee artists. They come to us mostly through54
  • 56. the mediation of a third person (friend, social assistant, job coach, civic integrationprogram). From the second year on we have a permanent waiting list, proving the hugedemand for the services of ZebrArt.- Each artist is presented on the website with a biography, artistic CV and a portfoliowith pictures of their work. For musicians and moviemakers there is the possibility toput tracks and movies on the website.- The website is actively visited (about 1500 unique visitors monthly) and the news-letter is sent to 500 addresses. The ZebrArt Facebook page is regularly updated and hasmore than 1000 ‘friends’.- Successful meetings between artists and representatives of cultural organizations.These meetings always result in a number of collaborations between artists and organi-zations.- Two successful public events where the artistic work of the artists was displayed. In2010 the focus was on literature and performing arts. More than 140 visitors enjoyedZebrArt poetry, short stories, music and video art.- Every year some 20 to 30 artists are asked to participate in cultural projects (exhibi-tions, festivals, etc.).- 10% of the artists did succeed to start a (semi)professional career.- The helpdesk receives some 60 concrete questions of artists a year.- ZebrArt created a partner network with cultural organisations representing differentartistic disciplines.More information: 55
  • 57. Activities of migrant organisations Keynote Mr. Gilbert Abasami, director of the Council of Gha- naian Nationals Associations in Italy (COGNAI), talks about the role of COGNAI in the integration process of foreigners in Italy. The first Ghanian immigrants Associations emerged in Italy around 1990. In early 2000 they expressed their need to have a broader organisation to affront vari- ous migrant issues at the national level, giving birth to COGNAI in 2003. Today 22 associations are members of COGNAI. The Council is non political and non religious. The mission of COGNAI is to guide Ghanian immigrants towards a better integration in Ital- ian society. It helps people in creating and adopting a new identity in society, but rooted in his African culture, custom and tradition. A base from which orientation he can be better recognized and appreciated in this multicultural world. This mission covers different objectives and activities, among which: humanitarian and social assistance to Ghanian citizens and needy persons in Italy, networking with Ghanian and Ital- ian policy makers, socio-cultural activities, promotion of Ghanian culture. In order to achieve its objectives, COGNAI operates on its own initiative, through the activi- ties of its member associations, or in collaboration with third parties. Finances come from different sources, such as: Italian governmental programmes, EU projects or Ghanian pro- grammes. Ghanian migrant organisations are very diverse and are organised around different activities, such as: policy making, sports, culture, education, welfare, commerce. But what they all have in common is that those organisations have their roots in the communities they serve. They are giving a collective voice to individuals and playing a key role in linking their members to access resources and information. This way, they are empowering Ghanian and non-Ghanian immigrants and helping them in their integration process within both the Italian and European society.56
  • 58. Working groupThe landscape of migrant organisations – a.k.a. grass roots organisations or community-based organisations – is very diverse and represents a lot of different activities. But all havein common that they have their roots in the community they serve. For this working group, two good examples will present part of their organisation. The first one will be presented by Mrs. Naima Charkaoui presents the Minority Forum Brussels. Secondly, we will take a look at the project With Migrants for Migrants (MIMI) founded by Mr. Ramazan Salman, director of the Ethno-Medical Centre in Germany. The Minority Forum acts as an umbrella organization. The “Minority” in its name refers to ethnic and cultural minorities of the 1st, 2ndand 3rd generation.It is composed of 17 Federations of migrant organisations in Flanders and Brussels. They, intheir turn, have affiliate organisations operating on a local level, which have individual mem-bers. Together, the Federations represent 90% of all migrant organizations in Flanders.The Minority Forum’s core business consists of 2 pillars:- Policy work; by bringing integration issues to the attention of policy makers and through facilitating the dialogue between migrant organizations and policy makers. As a policy organisation, the Minority Forum lobbies towards trade unions, employers’ net- works and policy makers.- Support of migrant organisations.In order to gain impact, serious efforts are made on visibility in the media and on network-ing with other civil and social organisations.Some examples of their work:a) The “work-up” project.This initiative is about helping people finding a qualitative job throughout the network of the Minority Forum. Regular services are not always reaching young migrants of the 2nd and 3rd generation. So the Minority Forum acts as a facilitator, offering them adminis- trative support, developing tools and evaluating the whole job seeking process.b) The Advisory Boards of the Flemish Community Commission, for the Brussels region. In its composition, the advisory boards did not reflect the diversity of the population in the Brussels region. The Minority Forum set up a 3-year project to reach a higher repre- sentation of migrant organisations within those policy boards. Reaching out to Dutch speaking migrants with a different background, a so called “talent pool” of 150 people was created. All those people receive a training package and the Minority Forum was able to link them towards the advisory boards and/or to integrate them into the policy making 57
  • 59. groups of the Forum itself. This way they feed directly into the policy statements the Forum is making, making it a win-win situation for all. As a result of the project accessi- bility and involvement of migrants into policy activities have been raised considerably. As a major challenge, Mrs. Charkaoui points out: finding resources on a long term basis and on different levels. The local/regional level is very important here, but also the national and the European level, which proves to be much more difficult. With Migrants For Migrants (MIMI) is a project of the Ethno-Medical Centre, from Hanover. Mr. Salman states that the demographic profile of the cities in Germany is rapidly changing, with a growing group of young people having migrant roots. This creates new challenges on how to reach those new populations and on how to cope with this changing reality. In the general discourse, it is important to point out that the overall picture is not so nega- tive. E.g. immigrants do not just “take away jobs”, they are also responsible for creating jobs, to the benefit of all. Integration becomes more and more an issue for all populations, includ- ing the nationals themselves. Empowering migrants is essential for their integration. The 3 key components for a successful integration are: education, employment, and health issues. MIMI wants to anticipate this. In its core, MIMI is about migrants educating other migrants on health issues. This is organ- ized through massive recruitment and campaigning. The numbers are quite impressive and indicate the success of the programme. In Germany, 1.800 mediators with different backgrounds are recruited so far. Among the cri- teria for recruitment are the high level of integration people have and the capacity of speak- ing fluent German. The different mediators originally come from 65 different countries. This diversity reflects the fact that migrants are not just one homogeneous group. All mediators also receive a high level of training. Together they have already reached 295.000 migrants throughout campaigning on different health subjects, such as HIV, diabetes, birth control, etc. Most among them were women from different ethnic groups (about 80%). The programme is also highly transferable. So far, it has been reproduced in different Euro- pean countries (Denmark, U.K., Belgium, Estonia), Turkey and Canada. Its opportunities for integration cannot be easily overestimated. - for the migrant mediators, the programme requires a high level of commitment; - it stimulates the self-help capacity of migrants; - there’s a high level of satisfaction for the mediators, the target group and the medical institutions/staff; - there is a high and ever growing demand.58
  • 60. DiscussionAlthough the situation differs from country to country, a lot of migrant organisations stressthat it is really difficult to find funding. Not only is the framework of funding often notadapted to the reality of migrant organisations (lack of overhead, semi- or non-professionalorganisations), there’s also a lack of funding for their activities.Migrant organizations for their finances often depend on the contribution of their members.However, there are other examples or alternatives for an organization to be self-sufficientand financially independent. One such an idea is to start up a social enterprise. But rules andregulations here can be quite different from one country to another.In many cases, migrant organisations don’t have professional staff or a permanent office. Thisalso hinders them in finding the proper funding to start up a business. Others succeed, butcreate jobs in sectors where migrants do not get jobs or no good jobs (such as the cleaningsector).Frequently, migrant organisations have to compete with “regular” organisations for funding.Those are also better represented on the boards that distribute the funding. Setting up col-laboration with them seems to be a good idea, but poses the problem of ownership. Suchpartnerships repeatedly show an imbalance of power.Migrant organisations often face a problem of promoting themselves. How do you communi-cate on the fact that working with migrant organisations can be an added value, taking intoaccount that being a migrant is not an expertise as such?To a large extend we perceive migrant organisations too much as migrant organisations. Thefocus of the message should be that it consists of strong organisations with a big public be-hind them and a special attention for fighting social inequality.Mainstream organizations are good at explaining what they do, migrant organizations usu-ally don’t. 59
  • 61. Good integration practices BME Community Services, West Sussex – UK Joined-up working to Improve Integration and Support for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities BMECS is one of 3 Immigrant support services in West Sussex, CEMP offers infrastruc- ture support to groups and Expanding Communities Project offers tailored support to EU Immigrants. We are the only NGO that offers both front line support for individuals, families and also for self-help groups. We work closely with a mainstream organisations such as the Local Authority, Schools, Health Services and other NGOS to provide s holis- tic service for all immigrants that need the service at the same time encouraging integration and participation. Results As the result of the service we provide, there is a much more integrated approach in dealing with the issue of immigration in the area. Both immigrant communities and host communities are much happier and more comfortable in getting together and sharing cultures leading to people celebrating the diversity that is in the area. There is now a big improvement in the recognition of the importance of integration and community cohesion by politicians and other policy makers who now actually agree that any change in policies will work better if there is a joint approach and also if there is meaningful involvement from immigrant communities themselves. This approach is empowering for the immigrant communities as we are taking a proac- tive approach to dealing with issues that affect us and feel more confident to contrib- ute to policies not only within West Sussex but nationally also. More information: or
  • 62. Conclusion Eva Schultz Mrs. Schultz, expert in the field of Integration and representative of the European Commission, Unit Immigration and Integration, Directorate-General Home Affairs, stresses the importance of having the regional dimension, view and approach of integra- tion presented at the conference. She hopes the con- ference will be the starting point of a further ex- change of insights on integration from the European Commission and vice versa.In Mrs. Schultz’ opinion, the topics addressed in the conference are particularly accuratein regard to what the Commission is developing at European level, focussing on languagecourses, introductory courses, the participation of immigrants, but also on the commitmentat the sight of the host society. Putting together research results and practical issues can beextremely useful for the Commission in developing an integration framework.“Integration happens, practically speaking, on the local level”, Mrs. Schultz continues, “but obviouslywe need to work with these issues at all levels. Our main task is to think what the added value of theEuropean approach or the European level can be, because integration policies are developed by nationalgovernments and to a large extent implemented at the local or regional level. The European level canadd support in this development and implementation of integration policies and practices. If I can add ageneral question it would be: is there an added value and if so, what can be the added value of Europeanactions in this area?”In the integration debate, which is very intense in almost every European country, we facekind of a gap: on the one hand there are the nice and beautiful visions that we put in wordsand on the other hand we see the consequences of some of the decisions made at the politi-cal level. Mrs. Schultz admits that this gap isn’t always bridged, and that this is a challengewe face regardless the level we speak about. This is something the Commission sees as abottom-line of their work these days. The fact that integration is a two way process is partof the core work of the Commission. “Integration is clearly a two way and long term process. It is ashared responsibility of all actors at all levels. But we do not always see these principles represented inpractice. I think we need to go beyond the political discourse, governmental administrations and variousorganisations we work for”, says Mrs. Schultz.Mrs. Schultz is convinced that we should keep asking ourselves if we are really seeing orexperiencing integration as a two way process and if we are keen to really meet each otheron an equal basis. Mrs. Schultz is not completely sure that we always are. To begin with, we 61
  • 63. need to place integration in the migration policy context because integration is clearly part of the migration policy. Piet Van Avermaet showed us that integration measures or language measures are sometimes used rather as conditional then as facilitating measures. We see a clear development of a shift in various EU countries using integration measures not only to support the process of learning the language, getting access to employment and to the rest of society etc. but actually as a means to also manage admission policies or restrict migra- tion. The Commission has a challenge in terms of placing itself at a balance between different Member States development of integration policies. “Integration policies are developed under the competences of Member States but of course we have a goal at European level to support these policies as much as we can. This is a challenge for us.” We are in a context of demographic challenges, of countries still recovering from the effects of a financial and economical crisis where we, on the one hand, hear political leaders confirm that migration will be needed in the future to maintain the social welfare system and to ensure growth and where ministers need to confirm there commitment towards integration as a driving boost for economic growth and social cohesion. But, at the same time, we also see migration being restricted by some other policies. In this context we are still building on a set of Common Basic Principles, which underline for example the two way process as a core of integration, they address all aspects as, for example, the need to know the language of the host society. In order to support Member States actions, the Commission put them in practice and works within a common agenda to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experiences between countries. For example through the Network of National Contact Points on integration to ensure the dialogue with Member States, the European Website on Integra- tion and the Handbook on Integration. All these things are tools that can support Member States, local authorities and regions. At the stage where we are now, the challenge is much more complex. With the second European agenda on integration, the new legal framework in the Lisbon Treaty, there is a stronger ground to take comprehensive action on European level. “Although the Commission cannot give a tangible solution to the integration development, we can try to offer as much support as possible to Member States in their development of policies and practices”, clarifies Eva Schultz. The new legal framework and the multi-annual programme, called the Stockholm programme on migration and integration issues, has called on the Commission to develop better coor- dination of integration priorities in various areas like employment issues, social inclusion, housing and language issues. We’ve been asked to reinforce these tools that we’ve developed in the past few years. Mrs. Schultz realises the need to develop new and more flexible tools for particular issues that we are facing now. These tools will be developed in the coming months. The new instruments that they are in the process of developing are European models which could work as an established, standardised, flexible point of reference at European level, which includes language and introductory courses, strong commitment by the host society on the one side and the active participation of immigrants on the other side.62
  • 64. The Commission also realised that they need to work with different local and regional actorsand that they need to take into account their experiences. Mrs. Eva Schultz opines that theCommission also needs to compare their experiences across different European Countries.“We need to make sure that there are comparable data, working together with Eurostat in analysingdata. We certainly need to look at specific failures and successes in the various policy areas in terms oflearning the language and getting access to the employment or labour market. The commission clearlysees and admits that they cannot do that on their own, they cannot offer a complete solution to MemberStates, or to other actors, without a very strong cooperation. We are in the process of developing a nextEuropean agenda, but we are very much doing that in dialogue with Member States and trying to receiveas much input we can from other bodies and organisations. A conference as this one was an extraordi-nary occasion.” Mrs. Schultz hopes to get some more input and practical examples in the future. 63
  • 65. Closing note conference chair Koen De Mesmaeker The conference dealt with the added value of a local and regional approach. The first question that has been raised was if there is an added value? Several speakers mentioned that although in- tegration policies are drafted and voted on in the higher level, the municipalities, the neighbourhood and the street is where it all happens. It was the Flemish Minister of Integration, Geert Bourgeois, who mentioned this in his opening speech. Listening to the major of Ghent and the alderman of Amsterdam and to Mr. Ramon Sanuhuja, director of the migration and integration department of Barcelona, we’ve heard that cities are really in- volved in the struggle to make integration work. Also listening the the experiences of Québec, Catalonia and Flanders, we’ve seen that regions are willing to implement and are active in legislation concerning integration programmes. So, the answer to the question if there is an added value of a local and regional approach on integration is undoubtedly, yes. It did strike me however that a strong will to make integration work alone, is not enough. The juridical fight over the Catalonian integration programme, in which is clear that integration can be a battlefield as well. Where should integration programme’s lead to, is it a Catalonian or a Spanish citizen we are trying to make, a Québec citizen or a Canadian? The tension between the regional and federal level seems more fierce than between cities and the higher levels. A second observation I have made during these days is a wealth of good practices all over Europe, whatever the legal integration framework is. There are always organisations, commu- nity groups responding to local needs, sometimes very simply, but effective, sometimes very innovative. What we heard however, is that due to the economical and financial crises, fund- ing is going down. The budget for civic integration will be diminished from 5 million Euro to zero in 2013. The participants in the working group ‘language learning’ were stunned by a very good project introduced by Mr. David Little in Ireland. But they were very disappointed to hear that the project had to end due to lack of funding. On the other hand, projects can be simple, like for example the social participation exercise to empower migrants. There are a lot more conclusions to make, but we do not have time to mention them all. Some partici- pants told me that they hope the energy of the conference could continue afterwards. And we intend to continue the work we started here. I hope you will join a network to enable all of us to exchange information, good practices and developments. This could also become an instrument to inform the EU on what’s happening on the street, in the neighbourhoods and the city.64
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