Integration, myth or reality in Todays Europe?
Sorrowful incident in April surrounded the heart of every human being, considering the lives of others. The shipwreck in the Mediterranean which left up to nine hundred tolls, made another tragedy in never-ending stories of fleeing the ones own home countries and heading towards developed countries, the image of Utopia in many mentalities. Thus it is time to think deeper into this topic, not as individuals living in our comfort zones but as influential youths who care the effects and imperatives of migration in the destination society. The question is how to take advantages of this emerged multiple cultural society? How to fill the gap between immigrants and natives? Is integration a myth? Or could it be constructed in a supranational social project?
Based on Eurostat migration statistics the majority of immigrants within EU are approximately under 30 years old, namely the young population should be the target group of attention.Immigrants into EU-27 Member States in 2012 were, in average, much younger than the population already resident in their destination. On 1 January 2013, the median age of the EU-27 population was 42 years, while the median age of immigrants in 2012 ranged from 26 years (in the United Kingdom) to 40 years (in Bulgaria). With an overview through the figures, it is easily concluded that these active human resources who are eager to change their life environments are precious to take care. They could be one of the key factors of improvement.
However, it is not only the immigrant population which should be taken into account but also the proportion of them in total population of Europe is considerable. The surveys on foreign and foreign-born population in European Union which is held in 2013 and published in Europa reveals thatduring 2012, there were an estimated 1.7 million immigrants to the EU-27 from countries outside the EU-27. In addition, 1.7 million people previously residing in one of the EU Member States migrated to another Member State. Thus, about 3.4 million people immigrated to one of the EU-27 Member States. It should be considered that there are also the populations of foreigners, in other words the people who live in Europe while they have the citizenship of another country. As statistics illustrate the EU-27 foreign population (people residing in an EU-27 Member State with citizenship of a non-member country) on 1 January 2013 was 20.4 million, representing 4.1 % of the EU-27 population. In addition, there were 13.7 million persons living in an EU-27 Member State on 1 January 2013 with the citizenship of another EU-27 Member State.
According to Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the first priorities for better integration is to learn the language of destination country and also getting to know the places of works. But these are the main efforts from the new comers. On the other hand we have states and the power of policy making towards the path of integration. Based on a report which was published by Migration Policy Institute Europe in 2014, to reach an acceptable level of integration, several European governments have increasingly turned to the strategy of "mainstreaming" integration—an effort to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population—in order to address areas where traditional immigrant integration polices have fallen short. This MPI Europe report assesses the degree to which four European countries—relative veterans regarding the reception and integration of immigrants—have mainstreamed integration priorities across general policy areas such as education, employment, and social cohesion.
The salient part is that, the mainstreaming strategy concerns about young immigrants and looks for solutions of their exclusion in destination countries. Therefore many initiatives in policy areas ought to be connected to education and employment policies to effect youths. For instance countries like Germany and Denmark has reformed their school time from half-day to all-day schools, in which the potentiality of integration would increase. However, youth organizations in EU member states can play an important role as dynamic parts of civil society. They can give a hand to social problems being impacted by this gap. These organizations could familiarize this target group with local communities and raise tolerance in both groups to achieve a hybrid culture which leads to more solidarity among the citizens of all nations.