Reports 2016

Integration of refugees - How do cities and institutions respond?

2 February 2016

It is no news that Europe is currently facing a refugee crisis of unprecedented dimensions. According to the European Asylum Support Office, 1.350.000 people applied for asylum in Europe in 2015 alone. Many of them will receive a refugee status, which gives rise to an even more pressing question; how can European countries successfully integrate these refugees into their societies? At this Policy Dialogue, a panel of experts looked at how cities and institutions are responding to the new reality, discussed different integration policies and practices in Europe, and gave some suggestions on how the EU and its member states could do better. All of the speakers agreed that the importance of successful integration procedures cannot be stressed enough, and that to act decisively now could prevent even bigger troubles in the future. However, there are still many obstacles refugees will have to overcome in the road towards becoming full EU citizens, and their integration in European society will remain a challenge – perhaps one of the most profound Europe has ever had to face.