On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, Eurodiaconia calls on the European Institutions and Member States to ensure the effective implementation of the European Action Plan for the integration of Third Country Nationals as a key to social cohesion in Europe.

As the European Council was once again torn apart last week over the issue of migration, Eurodiaconia reiterates its argument that any European migration policy must be based on a genuine commitment to integration. This must start from a renewal of European solidarity and be implemented further through an increased European political commitment to investment and through prioritising integration.

Eurodiaconia releases today, on the occasion of the International Migrants Day, a new report presenting a first assessment of the impact of the EU Action Plan for the integration of third country nationals at national level. The result of this assessment shows that one year after its adoption, the Action Plan has a very low visibility at national level. Nevertheless, Eurodiaconia members welcome this initiative and strongly appreciate its content. They hope to use it as tool to support their national advocacy on the integration of third country nationals.

Heather Roy, Eurodiaconia Secretary General commented that “To ensure effective integration Eurodiaconia calls on the European Union to increase the Action Plan’s visibility and encourages Member States to particularly work to fight anti-immigrant rhetoric, improve access to education, language classes and vocational training as well as housing. Our report proposes detailed recommendations to the European Commission and Member States to address existing shortcomings. We encourage our members to use this report in their advocacy activities for a better integration of third country nationals in Europe.”

Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations founded in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia. It represents more than 40 members working in over 30 countries, including churches, not-for-profit welfare organisations and NGOs. Together, our members provide services to hundreds of thousands of persons in need across Europe.