Squaring the Circle: Migrants, Integration and Values

Belgium, Brussels, 1050, Renaissance Hotel, Rue du Parnasse 19
Thursday, April 21 2016 / 17:30

Last month’s Brussels attacks have confirmed that the failure to integrate growing number of immigrants into our open societies can have tragic and murderous consequences.The integration of a large number of refugees who have grown up in very different societies is thus one of the most pressing challenges  for EU countries.

Throughout many countries of the Middle East and South Asia, patriarchal structures tend to demote women to second-class citizens, religious, ethnic and other minorities suffer from discrimination if not outright persecution while antisemitism, homophobia and anti-Western sentiments are widespread. How much of this cultural baggage are today’s refugees carrying with them?

Against the backdrop of very mixed success with the integration of previous migrant groups in different EU countries, this panel will discuss strategies on how to help asylum seekers to integrate not only economically but also in terms of our shared values and norms. This will be a task not just for state authorities but will require the cooperation of all strata of societies, such as schools, NGOs, the media and individual citizens.