E.g., 10/07/2022
E.g., 10/07/2022
Integration Futures Working Group

Integration Futures Working Group


(Jon Rawlinson)

The Integration Futures Working Group was established in 2016 to develop a fresh agenda for integration policy in Europe. It brings together senior integration policymakers and experts, civil-society officials, and private-sector leaders to create a platform for long-term strategic and creative thinking.

Through regular meetings and a forward-thinking program of original research, the working group aims to forge new connections between classic integration issues (such as employment and integration), broader social issues (such as the rise of populism and the role of the media), and emerging fields (such as social innovation and behavioral insights).

From 2016-2020, areas of discussion included values (how countries can define, adjudicate, and message values in a context of rising cultural and religious diversity); education (how schools can equip future citizens to live in diverse societies); labor market disruption (how integration policymakers can help newcomers thrive in fast-changing job markets); community resilience (how to build a “whole-of-society” approach to integration and empower communities to design and deliver integration services); and future welfare systems (how to ensure integration policy supports the long-term sustainability of social spending amid population aging).

In Spring 2020, MPI Europe launched a special program of work looking at how to minimize the corrosive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on integration dynamics, programs, and governance. Key questions include:

Community-building and solidarity at a time of physical distance. While the pandemic has ushered in waves of community solidarity, it has also triggered rising xenophobia and scapegoating of newcomers. And it has disrupted much of the in-person infrastructure that supports immigrants and refugees, and placed many community-building activities out of reach. What steps can governments take now to build community resilience and reduce the risks of a “social capital recession,” alongside the economic one? How can social isolation be reduced for disadvantaged groups?

Mitigating the economic fallout. Many predict that the economic fallout from the pandemic may disproportionately affect migrants, reversing fragile gains in labor market integration. How can governments minimize the scarring effect on new labor market entrants, and sustain training and integration programs amid pandemic-related restrictions? How are economies likely to be reconfigured in the medium term by the pandemic and the shift towards a more digital society, and how can integration policymakers help immigrants capitalize on these trends?

Connecting public health and integration: The pandemic dramatically exposed persistent health inequalities, with the most vulnerable populations often the least able to access services. This has ripple effects on newcomers’ ability to participate in crucial parts of society—such as finding employment and obtaining secure housing. The pandemic has forced policymakers to reckon with how health interacts with other dimensions of integration policy and could spark new efforts to mainstream health considerations across integration investments.

Recent Activity

Image of women and young children from Ukraine arriving at train station in Bucharest
Commentaries
October 2022
By  Maria Vincenza Desiderio and Kate Hooper
Cover image for Solidarity in Isolation? Social Cohesion at a Time of Physical Distance
Reports
July 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Aliyyah Ahad
Integration Futures Final Report
Reports
January 2019
By  Meghan Benton and Aliyyah Ahad
Coverthumb MPIE CommunicatingIntegration_Page_01
Reports
January 2019
By  Aliyyah Ahad and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan

Pages

Cover image for Solidarity in Isolation? Social Cohesion at a Time of Physical Distance
Reports
July 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Aliyyah Ahad
Integration Futures Final Report
Reports
January 2019
By  Meghan Benton and Aliyyah Ahad
Coverthumb MPIE CommunicatingIntegration_Page_01
Reports
January 2019
By  Aliyyah Ahad and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
Coverthumb MPIE IntegrationToolkit
Reports
January 2019
By  Meghan Benton and Alexandra Embiricos
Coverthumb BehaviouralInsightsIntegration
Reports
October 2018
By  Meghan Benton, Antonio Silva and Will Somerville

Pages

Image of women and young children from Ukraine arriving at train station in Bucharest
Commentaries
October 2022
By  Maria Vincenza Desiderio and Kate Hooper
Video, Audio
September 14, 2021

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations.

flickr Media Diversified Experts Directory Launch
Video, Audio
October 16, 2018

Can people be 'nudged' into support for immigrant integration? On this webinar, speakers explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy and how policymakers can start fitting this approach, which has been used in areas from tax compliance to organ donation, into their work. The webinar marked the release of the report, Applying Behavioral Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion

IntgFutures Refugees
Video, Audio
October 3, 2018

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. Speakers also explored the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work.

_ImmigrantStudents3CROP
Video, Audio
February 8, 2018

Amid the arrival of hundreds of thousands of children during the migration crisis in Europe, school systems are increasingly being called upon to find innovative ways to address growing diversity and support children with migrant backgrounds. This webinar offers lessons for integration and education policymakers to ensure the whole education workforce is equipped to support diverse learners and better realize the broader role schools play as integration actors.

flickr   UNHCR   Exodus from the Bay of Bengal
Audio
May 11, 2017

This MPI webinar explores the recent “tech turn” in refugee protection and integration, and considers whether the tech community's interventions in this area are likely to have a lasting impact. Speakers discuss the most promising innovations and their broader implications for policymakers. They discuss the challenges and opportunities for governments as they seek to work with new actors such as tech companies. And they also consider the broader digital infrastructure needs of refugee camps and services—including the crucial issue of Internet and mobile connectivity for refugees.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
October 2022

People displaced from Ukraine are finding work more rapidly in European countries than prior refugee cohorts. But uncertainty over how long they will stay, combined with hurdles such as language barriers, has meant many are prioritizing any job over the right job. This commentary examines how policymakers could address this waste of skills as they seek to fill pressing labor needs and facilitate deeper integration of the new arrivals.

Reports
September 2021

European countries’ responses to the pandemic have been extraordinary in scope and volume, and strengthened appreciation for the role of robust welfare programs in helping individuals and communities weather challenges. This report explores the case for using the crisis to more permanently rethink European welfare states and whether the social-investment approach could serve as a tool for post-pandemic recovery in diverse, immigrant-receiving societies.

Video, Audio, Webinars
September 14, 2021

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations.

Reports
September 2021

While the pandemic has had broad impacts across European societies, these have not been evenly felt. Many migrants and refugees have long faced health challenges, such as limited health-care eligibility and accessibility, and COVID-19 has threatened to deepen health disparities. This report explores how European countries have responded and what opportunities have emerged to tackle disparities in migrant health.

Reports
August 2021

Even as COVID-19 vaccination campaigns have picked up speed in Europe, economic uncertainty remains. Recently arrived refugees, migrant women, and other immigrants who faced labor market challenges before the pandemic have in many cases seen these challenges grow. This report explores the impact of the public-health crisis on migrants’ labor market integration and options for building inclusive pandemic recovery strategies.

Reports
July 2021

Being there for one another is a fundamental response to adversity, but what happens when in-person interactions are limited in the interest of public health? This report explores the pandemic’s effects on social cohesion in Europe and North America, including its impact on bonds between and within diverse groups, on immigrant integration programming, and on volunteering and other forms of solidarity. It underscores the importance of planning for an inclusive recovery.

Reports
January 2019

To address the intersecting challenges facing European societies—from population aging and labor-market change, to immigration and political upheaval—governments need to hone new strategies for helping both newcomers and long-term residents succeed amid diversity. This report explores some of the most promising approaches, drawing on input from policymakers, the private sector, civil society, and others.

Reports
January 2019

When it comes to communicating with constituents on the highly emotive issue of immigrant integration, European policymakers are facing unprecedented challenges. This report explores how the rapidly changing media landscape and heightened attention to migration affect how governments craft communications on these issues, and how these messages resonate (or backfire) with the public. Drawing on past PR successes and failures, it offers guidance on effective strategies.

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