European Web Site on Integration's newsletter – April 2018
This is the April issue of the European Web Site on Integration's newsletter.
Please find below a selection of the most relevant policy developments, data updates, events, funding schemes and good practices at the EU, national and local level, recently published on the Web Site.
Results from the new Special Eurobarometer survey on integration are out! Contrary to popular belief, the report shows that Europeans are largely open to third country immigrants and their integration. 60% of respondents are indeed comfortable in having social relations with immigrants and the same percentage of people already interact with them on a regular basis. Many have migrant friends or spouses. The Polish Statistical Office for example revealed record numbers or mixed marriages in 2016. Moreover, an even bigger part of the EU population (7 in 10) sees integration as a two-way process where both immigrants and host societies are responsible for its success. They believe many different actors, including immigrants and citizens themselves, have an important role to play in migrant integration.
Furthermore, the majority of Europeans think that non-EU immigrants are well integrated in their local communities (54%) and see integration as a necessary investment in the long-run for their country (69%). Most citizens across Europe think that immigrants have an overall positive impact on their host countries, as they fill jobs for which it’s hard to find workers and enrich the country’s cultural life. Others consider them as a burden on the national welfare system or as criminals. In fact, the majority of Belgians surveyed one year ago by newspaper Le Soir thought that immigrants never truly integrate.
Immigration was identified as the public's top priority across the EU in the 2015 Eurobarometer. Several national and European surveys have polled Europeans' perception of third country nationals since then. Last summer, 72% of Germans stated that immigrants belong to the collective "We" while few months earlier, 65% of Austrians and 71% of Polish nationals wanted to put an end to immigration from Muslim countries. To monitor public opinion trends, the first European observatory for attitudes towards migration was launched in September 2017. And to foster positive narratives, the European Programme for Integration and Migration published a report outlining how to communicate effectively on migrant and refugee issues.