Europe in an Exercise of Social Imagination
6 December 2018
“Following the 2015/16 peak of refugee arrivals in Europe, attention has now shifted toward effectively integrating migrants into their new communities. While migration policy remains a national responsibility, central and local authorities recognize that integration needs to happen where people are, in their workplaces, in their neighborhoods, and in the schools where they send their children. Behind every migration statistic, there are individuals or families starting a new life in a new place. Local authorities, while coordinating with all levels of government and other local partners, play a key role in integrating newcomers and empowering them to contribute to their new communities.” This is the opening of a report published April 18, 2018, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, titled Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees.
The formulation of this title is particularly significant. “Working together” expresses the need not only for a multidisciplinary approach, but also for different local stakeholders to come together to manage migration flows. The aim of this shared work is integration, which is back in the limelight after a time when – for too long – we failed to look beyond a perspective focused only on emergencies. Finally, the decision to group migrants and refugees together is also interesting.
The United Nations has launched intergovernmental negotiations that will lead to the definition of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and a Global Compact on Refugees (GCR): two separate documents that need to be deeply integrated in a unified vision.
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