E.g., 09/30/2022
E.g., 09/30/2022
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

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Coverthumb Jobsin2028
Reports
October 2018
By  Meghan Benton and Liam Patuzzi
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Reports
February 2018
By  Aliyyah Ahad and Meghan Benton
Designing Civic Education for Diverse Societies
Reports
February 2018
By  Per Mouritsen and Astrid Jaeger
In Search of Common Values amid Large-Scale Immigrant Integration Pressures
Reports
June 2017
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Meghan Benton
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Reports
November 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Meghan Benton
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Reports
October 2016
By  Meghan Benton and Alex Glennie

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EVENT PH 2016.4.12 flickr European Union   Plenary debate on Greece with PM Alexis Tsipras   Marine Le Pen (ENF, France)
Video, Audio
April 12, 2017

Public anxiety about immigration and the fast pace of social change has reached a boiling point in many parts of Europe, contributing (in part) to the ascent of populist far-right parties. This discussion focuses on how the French election is unfolding, what we can learn from Brexit and the Dutch elections, and what these results portend (if anything) for the next round of political contests in Europe. Experts consider how governments can manage broader public concerns about rapid social change, economic opportunity, and security in ways that can reduce public anxiety over immigration and restore the public's trust. 

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Recent Activity

Video, Audio, Webinars
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

Reports
October 2018

Governments are increasingly drawing on research into human behavior when developing policies that aim to encourage people to make better decisions, be it accessing preventative health care or paying taxes. This report explores how a similar approach of "nudges" could be applied to immigrant integration policy to encourage social mixing, narrow socioeconomic gaps, and more.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.

Reports
October 2018

Faced with an aging workforce and growing skill shortages in the IT sector, some German policymakers and industry experts have seized on the idea that recently arrived refugees could be a natural fit for careers in tech. This report examines the case for training refugees for IT jobs and explores the variety of coding schools that have cropped up in Germany to help newcomers succeed in the field.

Reports
October 2018

European labor markets are poised to change significantly in the coming years as technological advancements and other forces reshape the world of work. While these developments will affect all workers, they have particular implications for immigrant integration. This report breaks down the factors driving change and explores promising policy innovations to help societies better prepare for it.  

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.

Reports
February 2018

Rising numbers of young immigrants and refugees entering European schools following the 2015–16 migration crisis strained system capacity and injected new urgency into debates about how to support diverse learners and their families. This report examines the challenges facing European education systems and identifies key lessons to improve migrant inclusion in schools and integration more broadly.

Reports
February 2018

Across Europe, civic education programs are being asked to solve a range of social challenges—from dwindling political participation to the protection of immigrant and refugee youth from alienation and radicalization. While these challenges are shared across countries, the programs designed to address them vary considerably. This report explores differing models in Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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