The conference hosted by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community was attended by EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson; the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Annette Widmann-Mauz; representatives of EU member states; and the Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty, among other guests. The conference was held as an online event.
Markus Kerber, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, said:
Integration and social cohesion are fundamental to an open society – not only in Germany or other individual member states but in all of Europe. That’s why today’s dialogue is so important: we are generating new momentum for integration and social cohesion across all policy fields and areas of responsibility at European level.
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said:
Integration and inclusion of newcomers is a cornerstone of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Everyone with the right to stay in the EU can and should be supported to fully participate in our societies. To address current barriers to integration we need the support and commitment of all actors concerned: governments, local authorities and host communities, social and economic partners, civil society, and migrants themselves. The new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion will support these efforts and contribute to the long-term prosperity and cohesion of European society.
Participants discussed how to create lasting conditions to enable every migrant to participate more quickly in the social, economic and cultural life of the host member state on an equal footing.
The European Commission presented the main features of the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, which is part of its New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The Action Plan, to be presented by the end of the year, is intended to support the efforts of the member states and encourage exchange among them. The discussion paid particular attention to the role of women in the integration process, and participants shared various ideas for supporting women in that role.