The Refugee Crisis and Civic Integration – Looking Beyond Labour Market Aspects

Expert Roundtable and Panel Discussion

Organized in cooperation with The Embassy of Canada and the Expertcouncil on Migration and Integration.

The number of refugees and asylum applicants coming to the European Union (EU) Member States has increased dramatically. Germany continues to be the recipient of the largest number, but the number of incoming refugees has also been skyrocketing in other EU member and non-member states. Immigrant integration presents particular challenges in federal countries, where different levels of government and areas of jurisdiction are involved (multi-level governance).

The public and political debate so far has focused mainly on the question of how to ensure a fast integration into the labor market (which without any doubt is one of the core questions of integration in general). What is less discussed, however, are aspects of what we might call ‘civic integration.’ How can we assure that those refugees with high chances of becoming permanent residents (and citizens) can familiarize themselves effectively with the polity and ‘code of conduct’ in the liberal-democratic societies of Europe? And what are the responsibilities of different levels of government in this area?

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