ETUCE Statement on integration of migrants: Support-based inclusive education and teacher training are crucial


Aiming to address the issue of migration in Europe, the EU Commission is currently working on the European Action Plan on integration and inclusion of migrants and people with a migrant background. The Action Plan which is subject to a public consultation by the European Commission (deadline 21 October 2020), is part of a comprehensive legislative package that also includes the recently published New Pact on Migration and Asylum focusing on procedures and legal pathways of admitting migrants and refugees in European countries.

The ETUCE Committee convening on 12-13 October 2020 adopted a Statement calling on the European Union and member states to implement a coherent, unified, and clear legislative framework  and to provide sustainable and sufficient public funding while building on shared responsibility for the integration and inclusion of migrants and citizens with a migrant background with a holistic vision of social inclusion.

ETUCE points out that migrants in Europe are nowadays left vulnerable to direct and indirect discrimination, working in precarious conditions and significantly below their qualifications, as well as being severely excluded from society, struggling to access education, health and social services. In its recent statement, ETUCE also denounced the severe impact that the COVID-19 crisis had on refugees’ and migrants’ living and working conditions, depriving them of the access to hygiene, health care and education. ETUCE demands a prominent and multi-dimensional space for education as a key aspect of migrants’ integration and inclusion in the host country’s society providing them with equal opportunities and fair chances for a good life. The statement highlights the following points: 

  • High quality, inclusive,culturally and socially diverse public education must be provided to everyone regardless of a student’s migratory and citizenship status, including adult learning. 
  • National inclusion strategies in educationmust bebuilt on the concept of support-based inclusion of migrants, including thorough assessment of their learning needs and relevant initial and continuous professional development of teachers, academics, and other education personnel.   
  • The European Action Plan should promote the provision of qualified teachers,academics and other education personnel from a migrant background with fast track programmes and enhanced systems for the recognition of qualifications
  • The Action Plan should address the issues of racism, xenophobia and ‘anti-migrant’ discourse in the media and society, including through communication with families and local communities. 
  • Effective integration and inclusion of migrants and people with a migrant background requires anintersectional dimensionwhich promotes cooperation across all policy areas of equality and non-discrimination and takes into account gender  

ETUCE also invites the European Commission to consult the ETUCE and EFEE Proposal for a Quality Framework for an Effective Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees in Education and the ETUCE-EFEE Joint Practical Guidelines on how to promote effective integration of migrant and refugee learners in the education and socio-economic environment of the host countries through joint social partner initiatives at national, regional and local level. 

To read the full statement, please, click here