What integration mechanisms are implemented and used in practice in EU member counties? Do the implemented policies meet the needs of beneficiaries of international protection? How practical integration solutions can be used to improve the situation of forced migrants? These and other questions were raised during the international conference Differences that Matter. International Conference on Measuring Refugee Integration, on 28th October 2019 in Budapest.
The conference was organized as part of the international project "National Integration Evaluation Mechanism. Measuring and improving integration of beneficiaries of international protection" (The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism - NIEM), co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, which aims to analyze and evaluate key areas of integration of beneficiaries of international protection in fifteen European Union countries and to improve the quality and effectiveness of integration, as well as under the related project “V4NIEM: Visegrad Countries National Integration Evaluation Mechanism" co-financed by the International Visegrad Fund.
The conference was divided into three parts. During the first part the experts from Migration Policy Group presented the history, assumptions and aims of the project “National Integration Evaluation Mechanism”. Moreover, based on the examples of comparative results from the Visegrad Group countries, lead researches explained practical mechanism of how different dimensions of integration can be measured and how the data can be used as an input to the decision-making processes.
The second part of the conference was divided into three parallel sessions that covers various areas of integration of beneficiaries of international protection. Participants from NOGs, think tanks and academia presented the results of the second round of research evaluation and examples of good practices based on such important indicators for the integration of forced migrants as education and language learning, housing, access to health care, access to the labor market and employment, the right to family reunion.
The panel discussion summarized the conference. All participants shared the experience and ideas for recommendations for effective management and implementation of integration policies at both local, national and regional level, as well as at the European Union level.
Among experts from project countries on the discussion participated also, Jon Hoisaeter, UNHCR Central Europe, Enikő Csontos, representative of the European Commission, former Aydan Özoğuz, German Commissioner for Integration and Hungarian government experts, Tamim Nashed, intercultural expert, former policy officer on refugee inclusion at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and Hazem Aboyouness, Study consultant and project leader and the Ibn Rushd Study Association (Sweden).
photos: Bado Gabor