Expert: Ana Ditta
Content and Results
The work of the WG started from the introduction to the topic, with some data and information.
The discussion produced four main outcomes:
1. Social implication and social conflicts
Refugees are people escaping wars and they are mainly reaching the EU, so it is essential to integrate them in our society. Indeed they will stay in long-term, therefore we need to find the best way to ensure a substantial integration in the EU.
Two main issues:
- Benefit for EU welfare system: European are ageing, so we have to ensure the sustainability of our welfare system;
- Fear of immigrants (because of their different culture/religious background) or do we have fear of the future changes in our communities?
2. Involvement of main stakeholders at all different levels
An effective solution implies the involvement of all stakeholders (civil society organizations, local authorities, member of states, the EU). Each stakeholder has its own peculiarity:
- Civil society: it is flexible, can react properly and very fastly, can propose alternative and creative solutions
- Local and regional authorities: can put in place policies and tools for the integration (social housing, toolkits…..)
- Member states and the EU: shared approach and response to a common issue.
3. Responsible communication (of media and local authorities)
People have the impression to be overwhelmed by refugees and migration flows, and often there is a misunderstanding between the words “refugee”, “asylum seeker”, and “economic migrants”. Therefore information should be correctly and responsibly communicated.
4. European citizenship
There is no clear idea of what EU citizenship is and the link with national one.
We could reform the concept of EU citizenship in order to give it a wider implication/sense.