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Integrating migrants key to strengthening EU's 'social system,' says expert


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Integrating migrants key to strengthening EU's 'social system,' says expert

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Integration policies for refugees vary from one European country to the next.

Euronews’ insiders programme spoke to Eugenio Ambrosi, who heads the European office of the International Organization for Migration, about the challenges of settling those who have fled their homes and arrived in the EU.

Sophie Claudet, Euronews: “In your experience, what should be the bare minimum to help people integrate besides helping them learn the language and find a job. Should there be other things as well?

Eugenio Ambrosi, International Organisation for Migration: “Reception, alongside language training, cultural orientation and assistance to be inserted in the labour market, I think are the most important measures that should be taken by all member states in order to facilitate the integration of refugees.

“And I think we should also take into account that helping refugees and asylum seekers to integrate is not just a humanitarian gesture towards the refugees themselves, it’s also something that’s in the interests of the primary receiving state because better integrated refugees and asylum seekers make them a better part of our society and therefore strengthen our own social system.”

Euronews: How about psychological assistance?

Eugenio Ambrosi: “I would say 100 percent of the people arriving in Europe have undergone very heavy, stressful and traumatic situations. Then we should add among the people arriving in Europe, you also have a specific category that have a high degree of vulnerability, you have about 25 percent of those who have arrived in Europe in the last two years are unaccompanied minors.

“So children of various age, some that are very young, that have been travelling alone and that are here now in Europe alone, separated from all and any member of their family. You have women travelling alone, you have elderly or sick people, so you have a different set of vulnerability that would add to the stress of the situation.

“So psycho-social support is a key element, if we want to try to restore the dignity of the people that are arriving in Europe.”

Euronews: Do you think Europe is doing enough?

Eugenio Ambrosi: “From a demographic point of view, Europe has the need to improve and increase their intake of labour migrants. Therefore, it’s not just a question of helping refugees and migrants.

“It’s also a question of doing our own European interest, in terms of better managing and better governing overall mobility.

“And lastly of course there are several regions of the world that are doing much more in terms of hosting refugees, not just neighbouring countries of crisis like Syria, but also Canada or the United States that have a large yearly resettlement programme.”

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