PES Migration and Integration Network welcomes Commission Action Plan for inclusive asylum and migration

01/02/2021

PES Migration and Integration Network

PES Migration and Integration Network meeting by videoconference

The European Commission’s New Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion is a welcome step to put inclusion and social cohesion at the heart of Europe’s asylum and migration systems, the PES Migration and Integration Network stated today as it hailed the plan presented by Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

Co-chair of the PES Migration and Integration Network, Swedish MP Carina Ohlsson from SAP, said:

“We congratulate our progressive Commissioner Ylva Johansson for her efforts on the new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion. It takes a multi-stakeholder approach and highlights the valuable role local authorities and civil society play in integrating migrants and asylum seekers into society. The Action Plan recognises one of our progressive key priorities – inclusion - as a hallmark of a well-functioning asylum and migration system.

“The Action Plan is a crucial part of progressive efforts to fight discrimination. Socialists and democrats will never accept prejudice and intolerance in our societies. We will never allow bigotry to derail integration and inclusion.

“I am also happy to see the Action Plan has a strong gender dimension which recognises the many challenges faced by migrant women and girls. We must assist women in migration and engage them as vital agents for achieving positive change.”

Speaking at the meeting, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said:

“Migrants are part of us. Integration is a long-term investment, by helping refugees and other migrants to contribute to society we invest in all of us, as integration makes our society more resilient and inclusive. People integrate into a local community, so local regional level as well as social partners and civil society play a key role. Through the New Action Plan, the Commission is working to advance the inclusion of people from a migrant background, particularly for women and other groups who face specific challenges.”

MEPs, representatives from PES member parties and organisations, union representatives and NGOs convened by videoconference with Commissioner Ylva Johansson to discuss the new plan for 2021-2027. It is based on the principle that inclusive integration requires efforts from both migrants and the host community and includes new actions which build on the achievements of the 2016 action plan.

The Network reiterated its commitment to challenge the negative narrative around asylum and migration and emphasise the valuable contribution of migrants and refugees to society. It is important to recognise the courage, strength and contributions that refugees and other migrants show.

Socialists and democrats believe in a welcoming society where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and succeed. We are committed to fostering social cohesion, so a more inclusive and equal Europe can be built which truly reflects our increasingly vibrant, diverse and open societies. Equality and solidarity are our central political values.