Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2010)172       16 December 20101

1103 Meeting, 19 January 2011
6 Social cohesion

6.1 European Committee on Migration (CDMG)
a. Abridged report of the 59th meeting (Strasbourg, 15-17 November 2010)
b. Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on interaction between migrants and receiving societies
c. Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states on validating migrants’ skills

Item to be prepared by the GR-SOC on 13 January 2011

Action

To take note of the present abridged report and adopt the two appended recommendations.

Introduction

1. The European Committee on Migration (CDMG) held its 59th meeting in Strasbourg on 15-17 November 2010.

2. The meeting was chaired by Mr Michel Villan (Belgium).

3. The agenda appears in Appendix 1.

4. The detailed report of the meeting, including the list of participants, is available from the Secretariat (document CDMG (2010) 13).

Reform of the Council of Europe and its activities on migration

5. The committee took note of the decision of the Committee of Ministers concerning the future activities of the Council of Europe in the field of migration and of its decision to suspend CDMG pending a review of the most appropriate structures and working methods for future activities. It also took note of the decision of the Secretary General to entrust a number of migration-related tasks to Mr Christos Giakoumopoulos, the Director of Monitoring in the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs.

6. The committee held an exchange of views with Mr Christos Giakoumopoulos who informed it of his responsibilities; namely to act as a contact point for transversal co-ordination, for member states, for the European Union, for UNHCR, for other international organisations and civil society and to enhance external visibility and co-operation of the Council of Europe in the field of migration. In response to his request, the members of the committee indicated their readiness to assist him in the carrying out of his tasks and drew his attention to various key issues reflected in several of the activities of the committee’s programme for 2009-2012 which had had to be abandoned or curtailed as a result of the Secretary General’s decision to suspend its work.

7. Mr Michel Villan (committee chair), summing up the opinions expressed by members during the discussion, stressed that the European Committee on Migration was most disappointed at the way in which the decision to suspend its activities had been reached by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; there were several reasons for this:

(i) The decision to suspend the CDMG’s activities in 2011 had been taken without any prior consultation of the Steering Committee notwithstanding that its terms of reference were due to expire in 2011, as with most other steering committees.

(ii) An evaluation of its activities had been decided upon by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe after the decision on their suspension in 2011. In the CDMG’s view the evaluation was biased and contained inaccuracies and errors, and at all events did not reflect the activities and the context in which the European Committee on Migration had had to work over the last few years (reduction of the CDMG secretariat’s staff, reduction of the plenary committee meetings to one per year for budgetary reasons, refusal by the Committee of Ministers of certain proposals put forward by the Steering Committee).

(iii) An evaluation worthy of the name presupposed:

    - setting, at the commencement of an action, short, medium and long term objectives for the action to be evaluated,
    - specifying the human, technical and financial resources deployed, and
    - applying indicators to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the programmed activities.

(iv) Following the decision to suspend the CDMG’s activities in 2011, the committee had been unable to carry on several of the actions which had been programmed; this had caused and was still causing significant disadvantage for the committee and for many delegations and experts who had made commitments in the relevant fields.

(v) The committee nevertheless held out hope that these errors of assessment concerning the CDMG’s activities and the appropriateness of continuing intergovernmental work on migration and integration would be quickly set aside. It put its faith in the reconstructive work of the person recently appointed to develop a concerted, co-ordinated and cross-cutting policy in the Council of Europe concerning the integration of migrants in the member states.

(vi) The committee wished there to be a functioning secretariat for the CDMG, during the year of suspension of its activities, to ensure the continuation of some projects at the finalisation stage and to support emerging projects concerning follow-up to the draft recommendations on interaction, unaccompanied migrant children and the validation of skills, which might receive voluntary contributions or funding off the Council of Europe budget.

Results of completed activities

A. Project 2009/DG3/1966 on empowering migrants and strengthening social cohesion

- New approaches to integration, community relations and re-integration

8. The committee adopted and approved for publication the policy guide “Building Migrants’ Belonging through Positive Interactions – a Guide for policy-makers and practitioners”. Prior to publication, the Secretariat was instructed to integrate the minor changes agreed by the committee during the meeting. The policy guide appears in Appendix 4.

9. The committee approved the draft recommendation on interaction between migrants and receiving societies as it appears in Appendix 2 and agreed to submit it to the Committee of Ministers for adoption.

10. The committee approved for publication, under the responsibility of its author, the report prepared by Mr Andrew Orton (UK) “Exploring Interactions in Migrant Integration: Connecting policy, research and practice perspectives on recognition, empowerment, participation and belonging”.

11. The committee instructed a working group of its members to prepare before the end of the year a project (to be financed externally and/or internally) for “rolling out” the policy guidance set out in the above mentioned documents and for this purpose to meet on 20 December.

12. The following members indicated their interest (subject to confirmation from their authorities) in participating in the working group: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

- Validating migrants’ skills

13. The committee took note of the reports of the 3rd and 4th meetings of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Validating Migrants’ Skills (MG-S-VC) held respectively on 29-30 March and 14-15 June.

14. The committee approved the draft recommendation on validating migrants’ skills as it appears in Appendix 3 and agreed to submit it to the Committee of Ministers for adoption.

- Other activities

15. The committee took note of the following activities organised since its last meeting (10-12 February 2010) within the framework of this project:

- Completion in English of a handbook for advisors and practitioners entitled “Crossroads – integrating migrant children” with guidance on implementing Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)4 on strengthening the integration of migrant children and children of immigrant background;
- 15th meeting of the Consultative Committee on the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (Paris, 7-8 October);
- A conference organised jointly with the Steering Committee for Education (CDED) on the “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants: Ways of Evaluating Policy and Practice” (Strasbourg, 24-25 June);
- A seminar organised jointly with the Belgian authorities (Minister of Health, Social Action and Equal Opportunities of the Wallonia Government; General Local Administration, Social Action and Health operational office; Wallonia-Brussels-International) on “Transversal policies and local plans for the integration of foreign citizens: which strategies to implement?” (Namur, 8-9 November).

16. The committee took note of the curtailment or cancellation of the following activities of this project 2009/DG3/1966 as a result of the decision to suspend its activities in 2011, confirmed their importance and expressed the hope that they might be undertaken and/or completed as soon as possible:

- Training manual for service providers on implementation of the draft recommendation on validating migrants’ skills (see paragraph 14 above);
- Report on migrants as actors of development;
- Report on practical approaches to short-term migration;
- Recommendation on participation and migrants’ associations;
- Training for national officials on developing mechanisms for the regular exchange of information on institutional reform and inter-ministerial co-operation in the field of migration and integration, on links with diaspora, and on the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers.

B. 2009/DG3/1970 on protecting human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants

- Elderly migrants

17. The committee took note of the reports of the 3 meetings of the Ad hoc advisory group on reducing the risk of vulnerability of elderly migrants (MG-S-MA) held on 15-16 April, 17-18 June and 27-28 September.

18. The committee held a preliminary exchange of views on the proposals for a draft recommendation prepared by the Ad hoc advisory group on reducing the risk of vulnerability of elderly migrants and improving their welfare. It took note of the written comments of several members and agreed to revise the draft text along the lines of the proposals from Denmark set out in document CDMG (2010) 16.

19. The committee did not have time to complete its examination of the draft text and accordingly instructed a working group of its members to meet before the end of the year (21 December) with a view to completing its review of the text and thereafter submitting the final text for adoption by written procedure.

20. The following members indicated their interest (subject to confirmation from their authorities) in participating in the working group: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.

- Other activities

21. The committee took note of the following activities organised since its last meeting (10-12 February 2010) within the framework of this project:

- Conference on Human rights and migrants: realising a human rights-based approach to the protection of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers (Lisbon, 31 May-1 June). The event was organised jointly by CDMG with the Portuguese Parliament and the Service of Foreigners and Borders (SEF) of the Portuguese Ministry of the Interior, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Parliamentary Assembly with the participation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the support of the UNHCR representative in Strasbourg;
- Participation in the organisation of an OSCE regional training seminar on gender and labour migration (Helsinki on 15-16 April);
- Organisation of a seminar on migrant women (Kiev on 20-21 May) in co-operation with the Parliament of Ukraine and the International Women’s Rights Centre “La Strada-Ukraine”;
- Technical assistance to the Ukrainian authorities in the preparation of a National Strategy and Action Plan for the Integration of Foreigners and Reintegration of Returning Ukrainian Migrants.

22. The committee took note of the curtailment or cancellation of the following activities of this project 2009/DG3/1970 as a result of the decision to suspend its activities in 2011, confirmed their importance and expressed the hope that they might be undertaken and/or completed as soon as possible:

- Regional training seminars on the role of employment services, on the integration of IDPs, and on the reintegration of migrant returnees (including assistance to the Ukrainian authorities in implementing the national strategy and action plan – see paragraph 21);
- Preparation of guidelines on re-integration and human rights in the context of readmission agreements;
- Seminar on regularisation procedures and guidelines on good practice;
- Recommendation on promoting the welfare of migrant women and protecting them from abuse;
- Handbook for service providers on the implementation of the draft recommendation on reducing the risk of vulnerability of elderly migrants and improving their welfare (see paragraph 18 above).

Voluntary funded projects

23. The committee took note of the results of Project VC 2229 on life projects for unaccompanied migrant children funded by voluntary contributions (Andorra, Belgium, France), including the publication of a “Handbook on Life Projects for front-line professionals” on implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)9 and a colloquy organised jointly with a French NGO, France Terre d’Asile (Strasboug, 20 October). The committee also took note of the results of Project VC 2295 on support to IDPs – training in inter-community relations (Georgia) funded by the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Roma and Travellers

24. The committee took note of the list of decisions of the 29th meeting of the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers (MG-S-ROM) (Strasbourg, 15-16 October 2009) and of the English version of the report of its 30th meeting (Wroclaw, Poland, 20-21 October) MG-S-ROM (2010) 18, including the draft terms of reference for a proposed Steering committee to deal with Roma and Travellers issues (Appendix II of
MG-S-ROM (2010) 18) and the Opinion of the MG-S-ROM on PACE Recommendation 1924 (2010) on the situation of Roma in Europe and relevant activities of the Council of Europe (Appendix III of
MG-S-ROM (2010) 18) It also took note of the Declaration of the High-Level meeting on Roma (Strasbourg, 20 October), document CM(2010)133 final.

Appendix 1

Agenda

    I. Opening of the meeting

    II. Adoption of the agenda

    III. Statement by the Chair and Secretariat

    IV. Activity reports

    V. New approaches to integration, community relations and re-integration: draft policy paper and draft recommendation

    VI. Draft recommendation on validating migrants’ skills

    VII. Draft (preliminary) recommendation on reducing the risk of vulnerability of elderly migrants and improving their welfare

    VIII. Adoption of the abridged meeting report

    IX. Any other business

    X. Close of meeting

Appendix 2

Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on interaction between migrants and receiving societies

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … 2011
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members and that this aim may be pursued, in particular, through common action in the fields of migration, integration and community relations;

Recognising the important contribution of migrants to the social and economic development of the member states of the Council of Europe and the need to enable them to develop and make full use of their potential, knowledge and skills for the benefit of themselves and the societies in which they live;

Recalling that integration is an interactive process based upon mutual willingness to adapt of both migrants and the receiving society;

Considering that the development of policies to improve the interaction between migrants and receiving societies and the participation of migrants and persons of immigrant background in civil society is critical to successful integration;

Emphasising the need to encourage migrants and receiving societies to undertake common activities in favour of the local community and the development of civil society;

Recalling the undertaking in the Final Declaration of the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration (Kyiv, 4-5 September 2008) to enhance social cohesion by improving the integration of migrants and persons of immigrant background and the re-integration of migrants who return to their countries of origin, in particular, by promoting interaction and dialogue between migrants and receiving societies;

Acknowledging the particular difficulties in the successful implementation of policies to promote and support interaction and dialogue between migrants and receiving societies and wishing to give member states further guidance in this area;

Reminding member states of the need to take further steps to reinforce social cohesion and the integration of migrants and through this facilitate their full civil, social, cultural and political participation in the communities in which they live,

Recommends that, with a view to going beyond the simple tolerance of difference, achieving full recognition of migrants’ human dignity and building a sense of their belonging to the receiving society, member states should take all necessary actions to facilitate diverse and positive interactions between migrants and receiving societies and, in particular, those set out below:

1. create diverse and improved opportunities for public interaction;

2. improve skills for interaction among participants;

3 develop improved processes to support and promote positive interactions, including generating wider involvement and providing training for those involved in promoting and enabling this work;

4 promote recognition of migrants’ positive contributions;

5. empower migrants’ participation (and define clearly what they are participating in);

6. consider how existing policies can promote or inhibit interaction while providing flexible, tailored services;

7. ensure that policy makers and practitioners recognise and respect the complexity of diversity when seeking to enable migrants’ involvement in wider society, especially when involving them in developing policies, services and interventions;

8. develop policies which make the most of the potential arising from the multiple aspects and/or dimensions of everyone’s identity, and which allow for these to change and adapt over time;

9. build stronger networks across diverse groups based on multiple connections and affiliations, both for the public and for practitioners;

Recommends, furthermore, that for the purposes of developing policies to implement the aforementioned actions member states should draw upon the guidance and methodology set out in the Council of Europe policy document “Building migrants’ belonging through positive interactions: a guide for policy-makers and practitioners”.2

Concerning the communication of this recommendation and its follow-up,

Member states are encouraged to translate the present recommendation into their official language(s) so as to ensure that relevant actors fully understand its implications. Member states should, in any event, draw its principles to the attention of the public and private bodies concerned in their respective countries, via the appropriate national channels;

Member states are also encouraged to define indicators making it possible to measure compliance with the principles of the present recommendation and application of its provisions.

Appendix 3

Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on validating migrants’ skills

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … 2011
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members and that this aim may be pursued, in particular, through common action in the fields of migration, integration and community relations;

Recalling the 1977 European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (ETS No. 93), the 1996 revised European Social Charter (ETS No. 163) and the 1997 Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (ETS No. 165);

Recognising the important contribution of migrants to the social and economic development of the member states of the Council of Europe and the need to enable them to develop and make full use of their potential, knowledge and skills for the benefit of themselves and the societies in which they live;

Aware, however, that many migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications, howsoever acquired, are still not properly validated or recognised, and that as a result they cannot gain employment corresponding to their skills, competences and qualifications, and concerned about the consequent waste of their human capital to society and to themselves;

Recognising that effective systems for validating migrants’ skills and competences are an important factor in facilitating the integration of migrants;

Referring to Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on improving access of migrants and persons of immigrant background to employment, and the provisions therein for improving the systems of validating and recognising migrants’ skills;

Recalling the undertaking to establish or improve administrative procedures for recognising the equivalence of diplomas and assessing vocational skills and qualifications in the Final Declaration of the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration (Kyiv, 4-5 September 2008);

Wishing, therefore, that member states take further steps to improve their national systems, procedures and practices for identifying and validating migrants’ skills and experience acquired in formal, non-formal and informal settings, whether or not they are in employment, and in so far as they are newly-arrived or first-generation migrants legally residing in the member state,

Recommends that the governments of the member states:

- review the effectiveness of all relevant policy and practice in this field in their country;
- introduce, where necessary, measures based on the general principles and guidelines set out in the appendix to this recommendation.

Concerning the communication of this recommendation and its follow-up,

Member states are encouraged to translate the present recommendation into their official language(s) so as to ensure that relevant actors fully understand its implications. Member states should, in any event, draw its principles to the attention of the public and private bodies concerned in their respective countries, via the appropriate national channels;

Member states are also encouraged to define indicators making it possible to measure compliance with the principles of the present recommendation and application of its provisions.

Appendix to Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)…

General principles

1. Systems for validating and recognising migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications should be an integral part of national integration policies.

2. Migrants should be offered opportunities for personal and career development in accordance with their competences, skills, knowledge and aspirations. With a view to achieving this objective, migrants should be provided with access to procedures to validate or recognise their skills, competences and qualifications obtained in formal, informal and non-formal settings in accordance with the relevant legislation.

3. Validation and recognition systems should guarantee that processes and procedures are fair, accessible, consistent and transparent, and offer adequate provision for decisions to be reviewed by an administrative or judicial authority.

4. Appropriate quality assurance mechanisms should be developed and put in place to ensure the effectiveness of procedures for validating and recognising migrants’ skills.

5. Participation in the process of validating and recognising skills and qualifications must be voluntary and the confidentiality of individual data must be respected throughout the process.

6. All stakeholders, particularly local authorities, employers’ organisations, trade unions and migrants’ associations, should be actively involved in establishing and monitoring procedures of validation and recognition.

7. Employers and/or employers’ organisations, in particular, play an important role in the process of validating and recognising skills, competences and qualifications, especially in providing appropriate employment opportunities to migrants. Measures should be taken, therefore, to ensure that the outcomes of the validation and recognition process are recognised and accepted by them.

8. Information about validation and recognition procedures should be clear, widely disseminated and available in languages that the migrants concerned understand. These languages need not necessarily be their mother tongue.

9. Migrants should benefit from appropriate guidance and counselling on validation and recognition procedures and advice on how they can best use their skills in specific labour markets.

10. Measures should be taken to ensure that migrants who fulfil the relevant entry requirements enjoy equal access to opportunities in education and vocational training.

11. The validation and recognition of migrants’ qualifications, skills and competences should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified personnel.

12. Participation in the costs of validation or recognition procedures should not be a barrier for migrants.

13. Public authorities should promote an open, welcoming and professional attitude towards migrants among the personnel of public services who are in direct contact with migrants.

14. Co-operation, including the exchange of information, between member states of the Council of Europe and between them and migrants’ countries of origin outside Europe, is important to ensure the effectiveness of validation and recognition procedures, and should be strengthened.

Guidelines

A. Information, guidance and assistance for migrants

15. Information on how to validate their skills should be made freely available to migrants and be provided to all newly-arrived migrants by the appropriate government service, notably by the employment and/or migration service. Where introductory programmes for migrants exist, information on validating skills and competences should be an integral part of these programmes.

16. Identification of a migrant’s skills and qualifications should be undertaken as early as possible upon his or her arrival; thereafter each migrant should receive:

- detailed guidance on validation and/or retraining and assistance in completing necessary administrative procedures; and
- a personal portfolio or competence passport designed to show his or her relevant learning experience and professional competence.

17. Specific and additional assistance to migrants should include:

- individual counselling and guidance with a view to supporting them in passing through a formative assessment process and identifying their training or retraining needs;
- advice on presenting their skills to employers and preparing job applications (including assistance in presenting their portfolios or competence passports);
- the possibility to take part in language and occupation-specific communication courses.

18. The bodies responsible for validating skills and competences should inform migrants in advance and in detail about the content of the validation process, relevant requirements and expectations, as well as about the professional standards they are expected to meet.

19. Migrant associations should be informed about the processes and procedures for validating or recognising skills and competences and encouraged to disseminate this information among migrants.

B. Validating migrants’ skills and competences

20. The bodies responsible for validating skills and competences should be recognised, competent and independent, and work in close partnership with relevant governmental services and employers. Their operation, working methods and output should be subject to regular government review, as well as to wider regular monitoring by all stakeholders, whether individually or collectively, and especially by employers and migrants’ associations. They should benefit from information provided by the relevant competent authorities on national systems of vocational training in migrants’ countries of origin.

21. Assessment of a migrant’s skills and competences should be undertaken against the relevant professional standards and requirements prevailing in the member state.

22. Assessment of a migrant’s skills and competences may be carried out through practical tests, examinations, simulation exercises, interviews and other appropriate means. However, because in many cases skills and competences are acquired in non-formal and informal settings, migrants should be offered the chance to demonstrate their skills in a realistic, simulated work environment. Likewise, efforts should also be made to offer migrants access to workplace traineeships where they can demonstrate their skills and receive an official document certifying their professional competences.

23. At the end of the validation process, each migrant should receive either:

- a certificate of full recognition, confirming that his or her skills fully correspond to the member state’s requirements for the particular occupation specified in the certificate and fulfil the requirements of employment therein;

or, in cases where the migrant’s skills do not fully comply:

- a certificate of partial recognition, stating the level of his or her skills and competences and giving an assessment for each specific occupational skill and competence indicated.

24. Certificates of full and partial recognition should be accompanied by a written report:

- giving a detailed explanation of how and to what extent the migrant’s assessed skills satisfy the established criteria, and

- in the case of partial recognition, identifying areas of complementary training needed by the migrant.

25. Migrants who, in relation to a specific occupation, have received a certificate of partial recognition of their skills and competences should be offered the chance to participate in “bridging” courses, or other similar training opportunities, designed to help them bring their skills and competences into line with the relevant professional standards and requirements prevailing in the member state.

C. Awareness-raising of employers (public and private)

26. Employers in the public and private sectors should benefit from information being made available to them on the procedures for validating migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications, including information on the certificates issued by the competent bodies. Responsibility for providing this information should lie with the relevant national, regional or local authorities of each member state, and steps should be taken by them to ensure that the attention of employers is drawn to it, including the organisation of regular information sessions.

27. Local authorities should give particular attention to raising awareness among employers in small and medium-sized enterprises in their area.

28. Employers who employ migrant labour should be encouraged to improve the way they identify skills and competences within their workforce and offer appropriate opportunities for personnel and professional development.

D. Staff training and awareness

29. Staff in services working directly with migrants should be made sufficiently aware of the opportunities and procedures for validating and recognising migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications.

30. As with all persons working directly with migrants, the intercultural competence of the staff of bodies responsible for validation and recognition should be assured and, where necessary, they should benefit from specific training in intercultural skills and diversity management.

31. Staff in employment services with relevant responsibilities should be appropriately informed about education systems, qualifications and labour markets in migrants’ countries of origins and actively use this information in facilitating the labour-market integration of migrants through, in particular, an improved matching of supply and demand and an improved understanding by employers of individual migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications.

E. Co-operation between stakeholders

32. Networks of all stakeholders in the validation and recognition of migrants’ skills, competences and qualifications should be established with a view to overseeing the effective functioning of the national system and stimulating its continued improvement, as well as giving a voice to all relevant actors.

33. Members of the stakeholder networks referred to in the preceding paragraph will include, inter alia, and depending on the specific circumstances of each member state, the bodies responsible for validating migrants’ skills and competences, national, regional or local employment and education authorities, relevant migration and integration services, local authorities, professional associations, organisations of employers, trade unions, and migrant organisations. However, the success of the network in achieving its objectives will depend on the active participation of employers.

34. The networks may take the form of advisory councils or monitoring bodies.

35. With a view to contributing to their sustainability, stakeholder networks should be encouraged to pursue tasks such as:

- the exchange and dissemination of information on assessment methods, and on stakeholders’ experience and practice;
- the regular review of validation and recognition procedures, taking account of an analysis of individual, anonymous cases.

36. Stakeholder networks should also contribute to combating discrimination against migrants through, for example, the promotion of impartial and fair validation procedures.

37. Furthermore, stakeholder networks should take part actively in disseminating, at local level, information about procedures for validating skills and competences among migrants, employers and other interested actors.

F. International co-operation

38. Efforts should be made to establish effective international co-operation between the relevant actors of receiving and origin countries for the purpose of furthering the objectives of this recommendation, and specifically with regard to paragraphs 20 and 33 of this appendix. Particular attention should be given to encouraging co-operation between employment departments and services, education authorities, trade unions and employers’ organisations of these countries.

39. Information about the required knowledge, skills and competences of relevant professions and occupations in the member state should be communicated to the relevant employment authorities of migrants’ countries of origin, as well as to private employment agencies in these countries and, subsequently, made available to persons considering emigration.

* * *

Glossary of key terms3

Assessment of learning outcomes

The process of appraising knowledge, skills and/or competences of an individual against predefined criteria, specifying learning methods and expectations. Assessment is typically followed by validation and certification.

Formal learning

Learning that occurs in an organised and structured environment (for example, in an educational or training institution or on the job) and is explicitly designated as learning (in terms of objectives, time or resources). Formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view. It typically leads to validation and certification.

Informal learning

Learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. Informal learning is mostly unintentional from the learner’s perspective.

Non-formal learning

Learning which is embedded in planned activities not always explicitly designated as learning (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support), but which contain an important learning element. Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view.

Recognition of learning outcomes

formal recognition: the process of granting official status to skills and competences:
• through the award of qualifications (certificates, diploma or titles);
• through the grant of equivalence, credit units or waivers, validation of gained skills and/or competences;
and/or
social recognition: the acknowledgement of the value of skills and/or competences by economic and social stakeholders.

Validation of learning outcomes

The confirmation by a competent body that learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competences) acquired by an individual in a formal, non-formal or informal setting have been assessed against predefined criteria and are compliant with the requirements of a validation standard. Validation typically leads to certification.

Appendix 4

Building Migrants’ Belonging through Positive Interactions

A Guide for Policy-Makers and Practitioners

Connecting Recognition, Participation and Empowerment
To Improve Social Cohesion

Council of Europe Policy Document prepared by Dr Andrew Orton (Consultant, UK)

Preface

European societies have become qualitatively and quantitatively very different as concerns their ethnic and cultural composition and in their complexity over the last fifty years or so. Previously homogeneous nation-states have become multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies and it is no longer the case that all inhabitants of a country share a common cultural heritage and values. Today, few topics attract more public attention than the struggle to accommodate this diversity and draw enrichment from it. Whether or not governments decide to replace their shrinking populations of working age by large-scale immigration, this diversity is likely to increase in the years to come as immigrant populations become established.

Not surprisingly, integration policies have developed in content and sophistication and are now a core element of government action. The Council of Europe has itself been an important actor in accompanying and generalising this process. In the wake of its report on “Diversity and cohesion – new challenges for the integration of immigrants and minorities”, the ministers of the Council of Europe member states responsible for migration affairs undertook at their 2002 conference in Helsinki to develop and implement integration policies founded on the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Unfortunately, whilst much has been achieved, two alarming trends appear to have taken root. On the one hand, many people consider that the core objectives of integration policies have failed leaving in their place unfulfilled promises of equal treatment and polarised or fragmented societies. And, on the other hand, the failures of these policies have strengthened the voice of those who only see in migrants and their different traditions and customs a threat to public order, national identity and their own security.

Indeed, the simple recognition of diversity cannot be sufficient in itself. Whilst diversity acknowledges difference within our societies and our own multiple and complex identities it does not provide a guarantee for social justice or harmony. This can only be achieved through the processes of social cohesion.

Giving migrants a voice, recognising their true value and building their sense of belonging to receiving societies, in short empowering migrants, I believe is the only real policy choice in a democratic society. It is this choice that will enable us to ensure fair and just societies for all and allow migrants to both be integrated and feel integrated. And to do this, we must work on the mechanics of interaction between migrants and receiving societies.

By interaction, I refer to everyday processes by which migrants can engage with people in the receiving society as well as with each other, whether it be in the workplace, in their neighbourhood, at school, in the hospital or doctor’s surgery or in the offices of the local administration.

Issues of migration and social cohesion are a priority for the Council of Europe, which defines social cohesion as “the capacity of a society to ensure the welfare of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding polarisation”.4 This approach entails everyone putting differences aside and contributing to the development of a shared future.

The policy guidance set out in this pamphlet has been prepared under the direction of the Council of Europe’s specialised intergovernmental committee on migration questions, the European Committee on Migration (CDMG). It complements an extensive range of policy advice developed by the committee on how to improve the integration of migrants (including a set of indicators to measure their integration in the areas of employment, income, housing, health, food, education, information and culture) and addresses the call of the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs in Kiev 2008 to improve the interaction between migrants and receiving societies and enhance the contribution of migrants through policies that recognise more fully their skills and empower them as individuals.

More generally, this policy guidance on interaction between migrants and receiving societies is also part of a more integrated approach to the integration of migrants, development and social cohesion agreed upon by the ministers in Kiev ; an approach that privileges co-ordinating policy action through the establishment of multi-sectorial partnerships within and between states and with the involvement of civil society.

Built upon consultations with practitioners and the principle of advice rather than prescription, it is intended that the policy guidance in this pamphlet should be developed through subsequent trial and dialogue, especially at local level. Moreover, particular issues such as gender, re-integration and the situation of refugees would benefit from more specific treatment in separate pamphlets.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, on … January 2011 adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… on interaction between migrants and receiving societies in which the Committee of Ministers endorsed the guidance and methodology in this pamphlet, recommending member states of the Council of Europe to draw upon it in the context of their integration policies.5

Migrants have an essential role to play in our societies and economies and we cannot afford to allow the advocates of racism and intolerance undermine our democratic values and negate the human dignity we owe to everyone whatever their nationality, origin or race. Promoting interaction between migrants and host societies will, through greater mutual understanding, help break down barriers and dispel xenophobic sentiments.

May I entrust this pamphlet to you and wish you well in your endeavours to make its guidance a success.

It is proposed that the text be signed by

Thorbjørn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Contents

Summary – Key recommendations 17

Introduction 18

Section 1: Interaction 19

Section 2: Developing contexts that support positive interactions 23

Section 3: Recognising and respecting diversity whilst building a sense of belonging through a web
of interactions 25

Selected links to further resources 29

Appendix A
Summary of European Union common basic principles on integration 31

Appendix B
Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)….on interaction between migrants and receiving societies 32

Summary – Key recommendations

Both policy-makers and practitioners should:

1.1 Create diverse, improved opportunities for public interaction 20

1.2 Develop improved skills for interaction amongst participants 22

1.3 Develop improved processes to support and promote positive interactions, including generating
wider involvement and providing training for those involved in promoting and enabling this work 22

2.1 Promote recognition of migrants’ positive contributions 23

2.2 Empower migrants’ participation (and be clear what they are participating in) 24

2.3 Consider how existing policies can promote or inhibit interaction whilst providing
flexible, tailored services 24

3.1 Recognise and respect the complexity of diversity when seeking to enable migrants to
be involved in wider society, especially when involving them in developing policies,
services and interventions 25

3.2 Develop policies which make the most of the potential arising from the multiple
aspects/dimensions of everyone’s identity, and which allow for these to change and
adapt over time 26

3.3 Build stronger networks across diverse groups based on multiple connections and affiliations,
both for the public and for practitioners 26

Introduction

Strengthening Integration Policy: From Tolerance to Belonging through Positive Interactions

This policy document provides a practical resource to help policy-makers and practitioners develop significantly improved integration between migrants and other residents in local communities. It draws together evidence from research, theory and practice using creative connections that highlight practical ways for achieving this aim.

The basis of the proposed approach is a simple premise, yet one which has far-reaching implications; namely that:

“Enabling diverse positive interactions builds belonging and cohesion”

‘Interaction’ in this context refers to the everyday processes by which migrants engage with each other and with receiving communities. ‘Positive interactions’ refers to those processes which help these people to effectively build networks of mutually supportive relationships with each other in ways that contribute to a more cohesive society. This type of interaction provides a foundation for improved relationships involving more than just a toleration of each others’ co-existence. Instead, deeper relationships can emerge from an interactive process of relationship-building that incorporates a developing empathy, mutual respect and dialogue between diverse individuals and groups. This policy document proposes ways in which these interactions can be encouraged as a means for building a greater sense of belonging for the individuals concerned, whilst also building improved social cohesion and wider solidarity so that people work together towards a shared future.

Focusing on interactions is a helpful strategy for policy-makers and practitioners, as both policy-makers and practitioners can have a significant impact on:

    (i) increasing the likelihood that interactions will take place; and
    (ii) helping to ensure that when they do, they will be positive in nature.

Three Essential Building Blocks That Can Make This Happen

This policy document explores three essential building blocks for enabling increased positive interactions which build belonging. It begins in Section 1 by exploring the idea of interaction further, including the various components that enable interaction to take place at a local level. It continues in Section 2 by exploring the policy framework that is necessary to set a context in which these interactions can happen and in which they can be successful for promoting integration. It also explores how rights and opportunities in a wide range of spheres of life (including economic, cultural, political, educational, housing, etc.) depend on positive social interactions to be realised. Section 3 explores how these processes of interaction can be used to build a common sense of belonging and shared identity. Particular attention is paid to ways of understanding and enabling the interaction process to take place in ways that decrease barriers to relationship building, such as prejudice and stereotypes. For this process to make a positive contribution to integration and cohesion policy, it is crucial to ask “What sort of belonging do we want to generate in order to support a cohesive society?”. Addressing this question involves thinking more about identity and the networks of relationships that people have (and don’t have), and how these relate to their sense of belonging. It also involves a clear value base that values a democratic diversity in which everyone can learn from each other, whilst balancing the rights and responsibilities of all involved.

How This Policy Document Can Help You

This policy document deals with these issues in a practical way, providing an introduction to key concepts in each of these areas, together with some introductory questions designed to help you to apply these ideas in your context. It is designed for policymakers at local, national and international levels, as well as practitioners who can enable these interactions to take place in local communities. The questions can be used by individual policymakers and practitioners to reflect on their own practice. They have been designed on the basis that policy-makers and practitioners working in this field frequently work on similar issues, albeit often from different directions. The questions can also be used when bringing groups of policymakers and practitioners together to consider these issues; this could provide a particularly effective way of considering different perspectives within your local context in order to develop a shared strategy to take the recommendations forward. The resulting plans can then be implemented in a planned and co-ordinated way with actions over both the short and longer term, supported by an appropriate evaluation strategy to explore their impact and effectiveness.

The approach of asking questions (rather than attempting to provide comprehensive answers) has been taken deliberately. In the process of developing this policy document, it was clear that policymakers and practitioners had many issues, dilemmas and questions arising from current integration practice. Listening to these perspectives was crucially important, as this helped to highlight limitations in current policy which prevent integration from being fully realised, whilst also providing the seeds for a new approach. This approach was used to develop this document, with the aim of finding a way to ask questions in a particularly generative way, building on existing theory whilst pushing its boundaries.

A range of free sources of resources and examples are available that may help you find inspiration when thinking through the questions in your own context – links to these sources have been provided at the end of this document. A more detailed companion volume (Orton, 2010) provides further discussion of the evidence base that led to this approach being developed. The companion document critically connects together a wide range of related theory, research and practice expertise from diverse sources, with a more detailed discussion of the methodology and full references. The companion volume also includes additional examples of how some of these ideas are already being successfully applied in particular local contexts. The aim of this policy document is to provide a shorter summary of the ideas developed through this work, and the key findings and recommendations arising from it.

Together, these documents introduce an interaction-focused approach as a potential foundation framework for action that combines a range of insights. However, the full potential of this approach can only be explored by policymakers and practitioners asking themselves “What if we took this approach?” and then testing it in their own contexts. There is certainly scope to further explore how this approach might (or might not) apply to particular groups and situations, for example refugees or those re-integrating after returning to their countries of origin. There is also scope to explore further how particular issues (e.g. the relationship between integration and countries of origin) and aspects of identity (e.g. gender) may impact on this process. The process of reflection on the ideas in this paper will certainly raise additional questions to those outlined, and considering all these questions may prove useful to the process of planning focused actions in response.

Evidence from work so far with a diverse range of policymakers has shown that this approach can provide a helpful way of thinking about the issues and building on existing good practice. It is offered to you in the hope that it will prove similarly useful in your local context, and may provide a significant way forward in addressing these vital issues.

Section 1: Interaction

What is interaction?

As highlighted in the introduction, interaction (in this context) refers to the process by which migrants engage with each other and with receiving communities. This interaction may take various forms, such as initial encounters, shared experiences, sustained dialogues, working together on issues of common concern, etc. Interaction may take place between different individuals and between different groups. Personal interactions also provide an important medium for the engagement between migrants and formal organisations, such as companies, civil society organisations or the state.

Why is interaction crucial?

Without interaction, migrants can end up living ‘parallel lives’ where they have only very limited relationships with others in the wider community. In the absence of actual engagement with each other, prejudice and inaccurate stereotypes are more likely to shape attitudes about others. As well as undermining social cohesion, this can undermine migrants’ opportunities to turn any rights of social and economic equality into realities. Because different dimensions of equality (e.g. getting a job, gaining citizenship, developing social relationships and networks) are often inter-related, this can seriously undermine migrants’ empowerment and potential for greater integration. Receiving societies also lose out as a result through failing to recognise the potential benefits which can arise from welcoming migrants and the contributions that they bring.

Why “positive interaction”?

If interaction is to contribute to addressing these concerns, the character of the interaction matters. Many of the existing interactions that migrants have with others may be negative, in the sense that they may encounter hostile attitudes, discrimination, and various forms of oppression and exploitation, etc. Clearly, not all such interactions will necessarily build belonging – in fact, many may contribute towards social conflict as well as migrants’ isolation and alienation. Positive interactions in this context are those which:

    · Empower migrants; e.g. by building migrants’ confidence, skills, access to opportunities, etc. and developing their relationships/networks with others.
    · Enable others in the wider community to recognise the contributions which migrants bring.
    · Help provide a relational basis for resolving any difficulties and conflicts that may arise in the process of integration.
    · Help to build a cohesive society that benefits everybody.

As this definition recognises, these ‘positive interactions’ may sometimes involve dialogue which includes some disagreement and conflict. This can be an important part of the interaction process. What makes an interaction ‘positive’ is not the absence of disagreement or conflict, but whether this process is working towards resolving any issues in a way that recognises everyone’s value and that works to build understanding based on mutual respect. Interactions with these characteristics can also provide an effective means of building relationships that support the development of a sense of belonging, as this policy document will explore further in Section 3.

The components that enable interaction

Building more opportunities for positive interactions requires attention to components such as:

    (i) the context for the interaction, including the policy environment in which it takes place, and the extent to which this promotes different dimensions of integration (e.g. in terms of citizenship, rights, labour market participation, etc.). (This is discussed further in Section 2).
    (ii) the spaces and times for interaction (that is, the physical environment where and occasions when interpersonal and inter-group interaction can actually take place).
    (iii) the skills that help people to interact positively.
    (iv) the processes for supporting positive interaction within these spaces, including what (if anything) is done and in which order to encourage interaction.
    (v) the people and organisations that are going to encourage positive interaction to happen, and help to overcome any difficulties.

Initiatives by policy-makers need to address the context, as discussed in Section 2, as an important foundation for interaction to take place. However, policy-makers and practitioners could frequently do much more to consider their potential influence on the remaining components as well. In each of these components, policy-makers’ actions (or lack of action) at a local, regional, national or international level may contribute to supporting or undermining this fragile activity. This is especially important where interaction is not necessarily happening of its own accord, where there are barriers or a lack of motivation to the interaction taking place. The recommendations below highlight three particularly-promising opportunities that are available to policy-makers and practitioners for strategically promoting positive interactions, together with questions which may help them to start applying these ideas in their own context.

Key Recommendation 1.1: Create diverse, improved opportunities for public interaction

A wide range of spaces, places, services and occasions can provide opportunities for interaction to take place, both in terms of initial encounters and ongoing opportunities to build relationships. Opportunities for developing improved interaction can arise, for example, through everyday activities (such as going to work, the park, or a public building), special events (such as community festivals), or longer-term projects (such as developing an inter-faith network). They can also arise as a result of shared interests and concerns, which can be as diverse as, for example, the common experience of being a parent, a shared interest in a particular sport, a mutual concern for improving their neighbourhood or preventing a factory closure, or even just a shared love of eating good food.

However, many spaces, places, services and occasions are currently designed in ways that limit the potential for encounters to take place; for example, neighbourhoods may tend to be segregated between different groups, support services and public buildings may provide different services on different days/times to different groups, etc. In many places, existing spaces/activities/services can be redesigned and new spaces/opportunities created in order to improve their ability to facilitate positive encounters. For example, local festivals can choose themes which encourage wider participation and celebrate diversity in the local area; community centres may organise shared activities at times which suit different groups (and avoid religious holidays); libraries may encourage diverse groups to use them by stocking a wider range of books relevant to different cultures; charities offering support with clothing or food can provide inclusive services that include both migrants and existing residents experiencing poverty. (One important related dilemma for practitioners concerns providing specialised services for particular migrant groups based on their specific needs; see Recommendation 2.3 for further discussion about this).

A lack of motivation for participation in interaction is one of a number of barriers facing those who try to develop these improved opportunities for interaction. In these situations, particular attention may need to be paid to how to promote the personal benefits of interaction as well as helping people to recognise common objectives which are also beneficial to the wider community.

Whilst some particular opportunities (such as involvement in the labour market) may be particularly important for forming broad-based connections, it is important for there to be a diverse range of opportunities and not rely on any one route in particular. This helps prevent particular groups from being excluded from interaction (and hence isolated and marginalised) if they are unable to participate on one particular basis. For example, both migrants and those from receiving communities who are full time parents and/or unemployed may be excluded from interacting if all interaction opportunities focus on the workplace. This may also exacerbate other forms of disadvantage; e.g. if a migrant who is a female carer or young Muslim man is frequently discriminated against by employers when applying for work, then this may also mean that they have reduced opportunities for wider social interactions if all interaction opportunities focus on the workplace. In turn, this can create a vicious cycle which is hard to escape, as wider social connections are often a significant factor in helping people to find a job. Even if migrants overcome any disadvantage by finding employment with an employer from a similar background, this can still contribute to fragmented communities living parallel lives with limited interaction between them, undermining social cohesion. Conversely, a wider range of interaction opportunities may reinforce and multiply the benefits gained through any one particular positive interaction.

    Questions for implementation:

    1. (i) Where are the places that migrants and others both potentially use in your locality? (ii) Do they interact with each other in these places? (iii) If not, why not? (iv) Could redesigning these places (or how they are used) help to improve the likelihood of positive interactions? If so, what contribution might you make towards doing this?
    2. (i) What (if anything) currently generates positive interactions in your context? (ii) How might these be built on to increase their range and impact?
    3. (ii) What other shared interests, activities or occasions do migrants and others in your local communities have in common? (ii) How could you use these to create new opportunities in which they might encounter each other? (iii) How might these be used to help them to engage in dialogue with each other and recognise common objectives?

Key Recommendation 1.2: Develop improved skills for interaction amongst participants

Interacting effectively with those who are different to yourself can often be very challenging, whether you are a migrant or an existing member of a local community. The other person may have a very different culture and customs, resulting in them appearing to act and think in very different ways to you. This can often cause misunderstandings and even conflict. Overcoming these barriers to effective communication requires skills in intercultural communication that enable people to learn more about each other, including some of the important ways that people may differ from what they expect. Hence, some projects have responded by helping both migrants and people within receiving communities to develop these skills to help facilitate effective interaction.

Questions for implementation:

    1. (i) What opportunities are available for people (both migrants and those in receiving communities) to learn skills that might help them to relate to those from different backgrounds and cultures? (ii) Who does (and doesn’t) take up these opportunities? (iii) Why? (iv) How might you promote the learning of these skills amongst the public in your context?

Key Recommendation 1.3: Develop improved processes to support and promote positive interactions, including generating wider involvement and providing training for those involved in promoting and enabling this work

Prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination can often make people reluctant or even opposed to interacting positively with others whom they perceive as different to themselves. Because of this, some forms of encounter can have divisive outcomes. In addition, many opportunities for potential interaction occur in everyday contexts in which people have a choice whether or not to interact, with whom they wish to interact, and how they might wish to do so. New opportunities created to promote greater positive interaction between migrants and receiving communities may only be taken up by those who are already open to building positive relationships, and fail to reach those with the most to learn.

Processes which help develop positive interactions between more diverse individuals often include the following characteristics:

1. They involve people with a diverse range of backgrounds and identities.
2. They place these diverse people in a shared safe space where (as far as possible) participants have equal status.
3. They help these diverse people to identify shared interests, similarities or common goals.
4. They are easily accessible, and enable people to build relationships gradually, without requiring those who may consider getting involved to make any long-term commitment at the outset.
5. They provide some form of low-key support, structure and/or environment that facilitates the interaction taking place.
6. They often create carefully-designed opportunities for myths about the other group to be constructively challenged through experience.

Some of these processes may occur without specific intervention, through informal relationships forming in contexts like shared neighbourhoods, schools or workplaces. However, especially where interaction is not happening of its own accord, a wide range of people and organisations can be encouraged to take a lead in creating a range of different opportunities to build a greater range of positive interactions that may appeal to different people; e.g. employers, civil society organisations, local public sector bodies, faith groups, etc.

This work can often be difficult (and even dangerous) for those involved in building bridges of interaction between previously-separated individuals and communities. As a result, the provision of quality training and support for those creating these opportunities is imperative if they are to be successful and sustainable.

Questions for reflection and implementation:

    1. (i) In your experience, who are the people or organisations that are actively promoting interaction to take place in your context? (ii) How could they be supported to do this more, and how could other individuals/groups be encouraged to get involved?
    2. (i) To what extent do the processes that these individuals and groups use reflect the characteristics highlighted above? Are there any additional characteristics that are important in your experience? (ii) What training and support is currently available for those who are involved in bringing diverse groups together? (iii) How could policy-makers improve the training and support (including resources and funding) available to these practitioners and organisations?

Section 2: Developing Contexts that Support Positive Interactions

The relationship between challenges in policy development and local interaction

Achieving widespread positive interactions relies upon the existence of a cohesive framework of integration policies, each with their specific focus, including policies which focus on legal rights to equality of opportunity and treatment, access to social and economic life, citizenship, combating racism and xenophobia, etc. These policies have already been developed extensively at national and international levels, and the principles on which they are based benefit to a large extent from a developing international consensus, at least at a European level.6 The development of various systems of indicators (and other research) has helped to measure progress towards achieving these aims.7 However, this research has shown that putting these principles into practice has often proved challenging and raised its own dilemmas. Particularly contentious areas that affect interaction include: (i) the terms on which migrants should be recognised, and by whom; (ii) the nature of their participation (and how this should be encouraged); (iii) the extent to which services should be adapted to meet their needs (and how this might best be achieved). The key recommendations below address each of these areas in turn.

Key Recommendation 2.1: Promote recognition of migrants’ positive contributions

Recognising, respecting and valuing the potential of migrants to contribute in a wide range of ways (socially, economically, etc.) to the receiving society is a crucial foundation on which positive interactions can be built. Promoting greater recognition of the positive ways in which migrants can contribute to the receiving society supports positive interaction both:

    (i) at a social level, by helping to build an environment in which positive interactions are more likely to take place;
    (ii) at an individual level, by forming an essential factor within (or arising from) such interactions.

Recognising migrants’ potential to make a positive contribution sends an important message that their presence is welcomed. Migrants can often gain negative impressions through discriminatory encounters and immigration processes that are perceived to present hostile hurdles to their presence in a particular place. Initiatives which welcome migrants can help to counteract these negative impressions. This recognition can encourage migrants to interact more (due to a perceived greater likelihood of receiving a positive reaction when they try to do this). Amongst both migrants and the wider public, it can also help to counter the many negative portrayals of migrants that are prevalent in the media (and often exacerbated by groups who use migrants as scapegoats, by blaming them for a wide range of perceived negative changes in society). Providing this welcome and recognition can be done formally (for example, at civic reception events hosted by local mayors) and informally (e.g. through working with local press to publicise ‘good news’ stories about migrants who are contributing to the local community in various ways, such as volunteering, or other successful interaction initiatives that have taken place). This can also help to create an environment in which politicians and officials can speak out in a positive way about migration and integration issues, rather than exacerbating the scapegoating process.

    Questions for reflection and implementation:

    1. (i) How are migrants commonly portrayed in popular media in your context? (ii) What positive images and good news stories are available in your context? (iii) How could you encourage these to be seen and heard?
    2. (i) How do migrants perceive their degree of welcome on arrival in your country/area? (ii) What particular encounters, systems or structures contribute towards these perceptions, both positively and negatively? (iii) What would help to improve their sense of positive recognition?
    3. How might you use improved recognition and positive interaction to help enable officials and politicians to reduce public scapegoating of migrants?

Key Recommendation 2.2: Empower migrants’ participation (and being clear what they are participating in)

There is a wide range of ways in which migrants can be empowered to take up and make the most of the opportunities that are available for positive and equal interactions. Those migrants who do not feel empowered, and who don’t possess the necessary skills and opportunities, are unlikely to be able to do this. Empowering migrants involves giving them the opportunities to display their skills to their best effect and giving them opportunities to contribute actively as agents for integration, development and social cohesion. Effective communication is fundamental for interaction to work; therefore, properly-designed language learning policies tailored to individual needs are essential. Many existing resources focus on ways of providing accessible basic language training in the language/s of the receiving society. Opportunities for migrants to learn more about the receiving society’s history, culture, institutions, laws and/or context can also be helpful. However, the extent to which this is helpful if it is made mandatory is controversial. As stated earlier, empowering migrants’ participation in the labour market is particularly important, and policymakers should take measures to make this transition easier; for example, by providing a “qualifications equivalence service” that help migrants to have their existing training recognised (where relevant) within the receiving community.

Opportunities for civic and political participation also provide established ways which can promote the interaction between migrants and receiving societies (particularly at local level). However, it is important when talking about participation to be clear what migrants (and/or other local residents) are being asked to participate in. Participation can be in a wide range of different activities, for a wide range of different purposes. For example, one form of participation may be participation in citizenship for longer term migrants through a nationalisation process that may ultimately lead to a right to vote in local and/or national elections. Whilst this can help integration in its own way, it does not necessarily cause interaction to happen between different migrants. Nor does it necessarily cause interaction to take place between migrants and others within receiving communities who are not policymakers/service delivers. Being clear about the purpose of any particular participation opportunity, and communicating this clearly to potential participants, is important to ensure that they are designed in ways that achieve their aims. Furthermore, strengthening and supporting civil society in particular ways (as explored further in Section 3) can be an important way of making quantitative and qualitative improvements to the opportunities for participation, and thereby the opportunities for interaction between migrants and receiving societies. By being clearer about these different types of participation and routes in which they can be enabled, more opportunities for interaction can be created, and they can be more likely to be mutually reinforcing.

    Questions for reflection and implementation:

    1. (i) What different forms of participation opportunities are available in your context? (ii) How effective are these at supporting interaction and integration?
    2. What other forms of opportunities for participation could you introduce?
    3. (i) How might different participation opportunities be linked together to help them to support each other in your context? (ii) What contribution might you be able to make towards this?

Key Recommendation 2.3: Consider how existing policies can promote or inhibit interaction whilst providing flexible, tailored services

Promoting more, and more positive, interactions is a cross-cutting (transversal) concern which can be affected by a wide range of different agencies and policy areas. Section 1 considered how policymakers can create opportunities that promote interaction which are applicable to a wide range of policy areas (such as education, health, housing, etc.). However, it is important to note that many policies can inhibit positive interactions, often in unintentional ways.

An important example of this is the particular difficulties that can arise for policymakers and service deliverers when trying to decide whether to provide a service (e.g. a health service or a language class) in a segregated or integrated way. Separate services are sometimes provided in order to better meet migrants’ specific needs, which may differ from those in the rest of the population in some important way/s. Providing services in this way means that the service provision can more easily be tailored to migrants’ specific backgrounds and needs. Without finding some way to adapt services, universal services can often fail to effectively reach migrants and meet their needs, and may even be argued to have developed forms of institutional discrimination that exclude migrants and undermine their equality. However, the resulting segregation in delivering the provision can mean reduced opportunities for migrants to interact with others at a time when recognising similar needs could be helpful to their integration and sense of belonging. It can also exacerbate accusations of migrants being given ‘special treatment’ not available to others within the wider community.

    Questions for implementation:

    1. (i) Which policies do you think might contribute to inhibiting interaction in your context? (ii) How could you find out more about which policies inhibit interactions from migrants and other local residents (and how they would like these to change)?
    2. (i) How could the design of these policies be adjusted so that they provide opportunities for flexible, tailored service provision that meets everyone’s needs whilst also promoting positive interactions? (ii) What contribution might you be able to make towards enabling this to happen?

Section 3: Recognising and Respecting Diversity Whilst Building a Sense of Belonging through a Web of Interactions

The relationship between interactions, identity and belonging

Developing a sense of migrants’ belonging in the wider community is an essential element in the integration process for both migrants and those within receiving communities. However, the feeling that you “belong” in a particular place, culture, and/or group is very personal and subjective, irrespective of whether or not you are a migrant. Two people in exactly the same environment may feel very differently about it, and these feelings will, over time, affect their sense of who they consider themselves to be.

Even though these feelings and self-perceptions are individual and personal, they will develop and change over time due to a person’s continuing interactions with others (as considered in Section 1) and with their social/cultural/political/environmental context (as considered in Section 2). Each of these layers (self-identity, interpersonal interactions and wider context) affects the others; this is an inter-connected on-going process. As a result, positive interactions with a wider range of people within supportive contexts (as described in the previous sections) can play an important role in developing the extent to which individuals feel that they belong in particular communities, places and countries. Within this, each positive interaction across diversity is a two way process that can lead every participant to learn and change by understanding others better, whilst also becoming more grounded in an increasingly better understanding of oneself and one’s own culture.

However, the formation of particular groups and networks, and the ways that people relate within these groups/networks, and how they relate to each other, can all have a profound effect on whether particular interactions also contribute towards social cohesion and integration. Interaction processes need to be designed to take this into account so that not only migrants but also those within receiving communities feel less threatened and more like they belong in their changing environment. This can be illustrated if you think about the relations between people being like strands of a spider’s web. If each point of intersection on the web were a person, and the strands between them are the different links that they have with other people, then the strongest web will be the one with the most diverse links. The following recommendations help to address these issues in ways that use interaction to deepen everyone’s sense of belonging together and working towards a shared future.

Key Recommendation 3.1: Recognise and respect the complexity of diversity when seeking to enable migrants to be involved in wider society, especially when involving them in developing policies, services and interventions

Policymakers seeking to build policies that develop mutual recognition and belonging between migrants and receiving societies need to recognise that a key challenge is developing ways of doing this that are sensitive to the needs of everyone involved in the process. This involves recognising that there will be a wide range of individual, group and cultural differences even within migrant communities.

This issue is particularly crucial when empowering migrants to participate through informing the development of policies and practices that affect their lives. Enabling this type of participation in policy and service development is a recognised principle that is well established in discussions of integration best practice. This requires a particular form of interaction, between migrants and those who develop policies, make decisions and/or deliver services that are of relevance to them. To be effective for this purpose, convenors of consultations must ensure that they listen actively to the migrants and ensure they engage in, and act on, the dialogue.

Recognising, and being sensitive to, the differences within and between migrant groups is crucial if policymakers are to avoid just hearing those with the loudest voices within a particular ethnic, national and/or religious group to the exclusion of others. For example, gender and age can often play a significant role in determining which voices from within a particular community are represented and heard. Specific opportunities for groups such as women and children/young people may help to ensure that their voices are heard as well as the voices of the older men who often present themselves as the ‘representative’ voice of a particular community. Such opportunities, especially if opened to the wider community, can also provide potential environments in which migrants from these groups can mix with others, as Recommendation 3.2 explores further below.

Note that due to the complexity of diversity, any person seeking to represent others will be unlike those whom they say they represent in at least some ways. If policy-makers use this as an excuse to alienate people when these participants challenge the status quo, then this can undermine their belonging and may have repercussions on the extent to which others may choose to get involved. It is much better to open up more routes to hear a range of voices than to just undermine those that are already participating. Recognising, exploring and addressing the dynamic ways in which power, inequality and diversity interact with each other and affect the interactions of particular individuals and groups is crucial to achieving a balanced success in involving everyone.

    Questions for reflection and implementation:

    1. What opportunities exist in your context for migrants to inform or participate in design and delivery of policies and services that affect them, so that these policies and services are better adapted to meet their needs?
    2. To what extent do these opportunities provide a range of routes for participation that give diverse migrants (even within the same ethnic, religious or national group) opportunities to participate?
    3. To what extent do these opportunities connect effectively with appropriate decision-making processes so that organisations act on the feedback received?
    4. (i) What needs to happen in order to ensure as many diverse voices as possible are heard and that these experiences are shared? (ii) What could you do to contribute towards this?
    5. (i) How do differences such as gender affect people’s interactions with each other in your context? (ii) How might you promote more equal and empowering interactions involving a wider range of people within diverse communities?

Key Recommendation 3.2: Develop policies which make the most of the potential arising from the multiple aspects/dimensions of everyone’s identity, and which allow for these to change and adapt over time

Key Recommendation 3.3: Build stronger networks across diverse groups based on multiple connections and affiliations, both for the public and for practitioners

By recognising the complexity of people’s differences, rather than over-simplifying them or pretending that they don’t exist, new possibilities for developing integration practice become opened up that enable diverse groups to engage with each other with integrity. Identities and cultures are deep-rooted but not fixed, and evolve constantly through complex, interactive psychological, social, cultural and political processes. Migrants may be exposed to an arguably more challenging set of these processes as they move from one country to another, but this process of engaging with people who are similar to us in some ways and different in other ways is part of everyone’s life experience.

Everyone has multiple aspects/dimensions to their own identity; for example, a person can simultaneously be a father, practice a particular religion, be an avid supporter of a particular sports team and see themselves as having a particular ethnic/class identity, etc. Feelings of belonging can be affected by which combination of these characteristics we think matter (and to what extent) in deciding who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’ on a particular occasion. Groups play an important role in this process; for example, whilst watching a football match, the supporters of a particular football club may feel like they belong with each other despite their diversity in other respects because they share their identification with that club. This does not mean that they share every aspect of their personal identities with each other, or become clones of each other. However, it does mean that they do develop a shared identity around the thing/s that they have in common that have brought them together (such as their support for their team winning the match, their love of watching the game, etc.), and the resulting affiliation becomes part of who they are.

The nature of individual and group identity dynamics is that we tend to define ourselves in opposition to an ‘other’ who is not like us, and decide who belongs in our group accordingly. In addition, belonging is not just determined by the individual by themselves. Other people (and their groups, organisations and authorities) may also decide whether they consider a particular person to belong with them. Profound difficulties often arise for those (in this context, especially 2nd and subsequent generation migrants) who experience these different identity claims as competing with each other, especially where they feel forced to choose between important aspects of themselves.

However, identity affiliations do not necessarily have to be seen as conflicting with each other: by enabling people to consider how to hold different identity affiliations together, and explore for themselves how they relate to each other, people can be assisted through the process of adapting to change of building a more secure and inclusive sense of identity. For example, some aspects of our identity may be better seen as being ‘nesting’; i.e. compatible but on different levels, such as our sense of belonging to a particular neighbourhood, city, region, country, Europe, etc. Other aspects of a persons’ identity may be made compatible through seeing themselves as a ‘hybrid’ combination (for example, integrating different ethnic/cultural influences together). This may affect both existing residents (e.g. in widening their perspective of those who might be able to be seen to belong in a particular area) and migrants (e.g. in enabling them to integrate a relationship with both their country of origin and their current country of residence).

In terms of the relationship between identity and our social interactions, this involves recognising that every individual is both like every other person in some respects and different to them in other respects. Crucially, these principles can play an important role in deepening the effectiveness of interaction activities in promoting belonging. Recognising the importance of different identity affiliations within every individual can provide a crucial bridge between otherwise very different groups, by recognising that every individual belongs to overlapping groups. These affiliations can provide an alternative (deeply committing and emotionally-engaging) basis for recognising those who are perceived as ‘the other’ to become seen as ‘one of us’ in important respects. For example, individuals that may be from very different religious or cultural backgrounds may nevertheless share a passion for the same hobby, or be equally committed to caring for their children, and hence find that they can relate to some deep aspect of each other on this basis. Enabling people (whether migrants or others) to find these shared bases of identity is important. However, for them to work in building a wider sense of belonging, it is crucial that those engaging in the interaction see their positive experience as being able to be generalised beyond the particular individuals involved. For this to happen, group differences (e.g. between migrants and receiving communities) as well as similarities also need to be acknowledged as part of their interactions in different settings.

Whilst building recognition of aspects of identity which are shared with others can be very positive in promoting belonging, it also carries a risk. Identifying strongly with one particular group, culture or cause can exclude others who do not share that identification. If people cluster and coalesce into groups in ways that limit interactions between people on the grounds of particular aspects of diversity, fault lines can develop and relationships can become polarised. The more diverse the range of connections that can be built between people, the stronger the web of relationships that results, and the less likely that they will fracture into polarised relationships along any one particular fault line.

Policy-makers and practitioners can play a key role in enabling this diversity of relationships to develop, not least through:

1. Supporting open networking and the making of multiple new links and connections based on shared ties of identity, whilst recognising the risk that if these are formed on just one basis, it might lead to some people being excluded. At the same time, avoid building closed networks that result in communities withdrawing within themselves and becoming insular despite living in very diverse environments.

2. Actively supporting initiatives aimed at building trust between migrants and local residents and, in particular, those initiatives taken by voluntary associations and organisations, faith groups and other social partners.

3. Developing the skills of practitioners and policy-makers in being aware of the impact of their own identity and culture on their work and being able to reflectively using their own identity to build bridges between different groups where this is appropriate. Developing networks of activists from different backgrounds and cultures, including both migrants and those from receiving communities, can be a particularly effective way of doing this. For example, running Inter-Cultural Communication and Leadership Schools is one way of developing these skills in a way that brings activists together in a network.8

4. Reviewing policies that require people to tick boxes and fill in forms that force them to choose between aspects of their identity that they may hold simultaneously.

It is worth clarifying that, in focusing on interaction, the intention is not to suggest that ‘activities for migrants from single cultural/faith groups should never be funded or supported’. Neither is the intention to suggest that ‘all activities which are not multilateral are divisive’. Indeed, such activities may be an important way of reaching particular groups, enabling them to explore the specific issues that arise between their culture and the cultures of those within the receiving society, and helping them to engage/adapt.

What is important is that those within such groups should also be supported to build wider links on a range of other grounds as well. If both migrants and those within receiving communities reflect this diversity of connections with each other, then the resulting interactions can help develop a deeper sense of belonging and social cohesion.

    Questions for reflection and implementation:

    1. To what extent do migrants say that they feel they belong in your context: (i) in their local community; (ii) in your country?
    2. (i) What do they feel strengthens and limits their sense of belonging? (ii) What changes in policy or practice might help to improve this?
    3. What steps could you take to build networks and share the experience of those promoting interaction from diverse communities in your context?

Selected Links to Further Resources

The following resources may help you to find examples related to aspects of this approach and explore this approach further. Please note that the inclusion of a link to a resource in the list does not necessarily imply that their contents match the approach in this document entirely. Reflect carefully when applying ideas from other contexts into a different place to see if they need adapting to match your particular setting.

Council of Europe

Orton, A. (2010) Exploring Interactions in Migrant Integration: Connecting Policy, Research and Practice Perspectives on Recognition, Empowerment, Participation and Belonging, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.
This is the companion volume to this summary policy document, which provides details of the evidence base and wider theory which led to the development of this approach, along with more detail on some of the issues raised and many more related examples. It is available to download for free from: [to be completed]

Taran, P. et al (2009) Economic migration, social cohesion and development: towards an integrated approach, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing
This presents the main aspects and characteristics of migration in the member states of the Council of Europe, analyses policy challenges raised by contemporary migration, and identifies an appropriate and integrated policy agenda. It is available to download for free from: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/migration/Documentation/Migration%20management/2008_Migration%20thematic%20report_en.pdf

Coussey, M. (2000) Framework of integration policies, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing
This publication maps out policy action needed in the 3 different stages of the integration process: in the context of new arrivals of immigrants; in the promotion of equality of opportunities for long-term migrants; in multicultural and ethnically diverse societies to ensure social cohesion. It brings together the proposals and recommendations in this area developed by various Council of Europe bodies prior to 2000. It is available to download for free from: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/migration/Documentation/Series_Community_Relations/Framework_Integration_policies_2000_en.pdf

Niessen, J. (2000) Diversity and cohesion: new challenges for the integration of migrants and minorities, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing
This report identifies ways and means of establishing, with a comprehensive approach, positive community relations for European societies. It is available to download for free from: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/migration/Documentation/Series_Community_Relations/Diversity_Cohesion_en.pdf

Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs
Final declarations of the ministerial conferences in Helsinki (September 2002) and Kyiv (September 2008). They are available to download for free from: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/migration/Ministerial_Conferences/7th%20Conference_Helsinki_2002_Final_Declaration_en.pdf

Concerted development of social cohesion indicators: a methodological guide, Council of Europe Publishing, 2005
A methodological guide to the concerted development of social cohesion indicators including a shorter set of indicators relating to the integration of migrants. It is available to download for free from: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/socialpolicies/socialcohesiondev/source/GUIDE_en.pdf

European Union

The European Website on Integration

This provides further resources on themes of active citizenship, economic participation, social cohesion, education and culture, anti-discrimination and equality, and tools and techniques; see
http://ec.europa.eu/ewsi/en/resources/index.cfm. For practice examples from the same source, see: http://ec.europa.eu/ewsi/en/practice/index.cfm .

The European Union’s “Handbook on Integration for Policy-Makers and Practitioners” provides a wide range of relevant examples and guidance. The 3rd edition focuses on working with mass media, awareness raising and migrant empowerment, and creating platforms for dialogue. It was published in 2010 and is available to download for free in multiple languages from:
http://ec.europa.eu/ewsi/en/resources/detail.cfm?ID_ITEMS=12892 .

International Labour Organisation

Involving Migrants in Work: A specific range of resources relating to involving migrants in work, including a database of practice approaches, has been compiled by the International Labour Organization, and can be found at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/migrant/equality/index.htm

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Integration evaluation tool: A tool in the context of the UNHCR strategy for the integration of refugees and can be found at [to be completed]

Networks of cities

Two networks of cities exploring related approaches at a local level are:

    · ‘Cities for Local Integration Policy’ (CLIP), “a network of 30 European cities working together to support the social and economic integration of migrants”; see: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/populationandsociety/clip.htm .
    · The Intercultural Cities programme, run jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Commission; see :

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/policies/Cities/default_en.asp

Appendix A

Summary of commonly agreed basic principles on integration adopted at the European level

The commonly agreed basic principles on integration of migrants at European level set out below are drawn from the following Council of Europe and European Union documents:

- Final declaration of the 7th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs (Helsinki, 16-17 September 2002)
- Final declaration of the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs (Kyiv, 4-5 September 2008)
- A Common Agenda for Integration Framework for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the European Union (European Commission, 2005)
- Diversity and Cohesion: new challenges for the integration of immigrants and minorities (Council of Europe, 2000)
- Framework of Integration Policies (Council of Europe, 2000)
- Recommendation R(92)12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states on Community Relations.

1. Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of member states. It aims to promote an open and welcoming society and to encourage the participation of migrants in economic, social, cultural and political life.

2. Integration implies respect for the fundamental values of the European societies, in particularly with regard to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. At the same time, it requires the recognition by the host society of the positive contribution that migrants make to society.

3. Effective integration is only possible in societies based on equal rights, obligations and opportunities, where cultural diversity is respected while barriers to integration, in particular, discrimination, racism and xenophobia are removed. People and, most importantly, public officials should understand and value ethnic and cultural diversity and be aware of the gender perspective. Moreover, the practice of diverse cultures and religions is guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and must be safeguarded, unless practices conflict with other inviolable European rights or with national law.

4. The participation of migrants in the democratic process and in the formulation of integration policies and measures, especially at the local level, supports their integration.

5. Basic knowledge, understanding and respect of the host society’s language, history, institutions and fundamental values is indispensable to integration. Enabling immigrants to acquire this basic knowledge through implementing introduction programmes for newcomers and encouraging language acquisition is essential to successful integration.’

6. Frequent interaction and dialogue between immigrants and host communities is a fundamental mechanism for integration that should be widely promoted. Efforts should be made to associate the host community and migrants in activities aimed at promoting mutual understanding. Shared forums, intercultural dialogue, education about immigrants and immigrant cultures, and stimulating living conditions in urban environments enhance the interactions between migrants and host societies.

7. Efforts in education are critical to preparing immigrants, and particularly their descendants, to be more successful and more active participants in society.

8. Migrants should be empowered to achieve their potential in receiving countries and enhance their commitment to integration. In this context, employment is a key part of the integration process and is central to the participation of migrants, to the contributions migrants make to the host society, and to making such contributions visible. It is crucial to promote equal access to employment for lawfully residing migrants by, particularly, facilitating the assessment of qualifications and skills (including those acquired in informal and non-formal settings) and improving access of migrants to vocational training. Equal treatment with regard to recruitment, career promotion, employment conditions and salary is also essential for integration.

9. In order to ensure the effectiveness of integration, the needs of vulnerable persons such as children, the elderly, disabled persons and persons who have been traumatised or physically harmed by torture and war, or in crossing borders or at sea should be properly accommodated.

10. Family reunification and the acquisition of citizenship/nationality of the receiving country by long-term migrants and recognised refugees are important in facilitating integration and building the sense of belonging and should be ensured.

* * *

Appendix B

Draft Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on interaction between migrants and receiving societies

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … 2011
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members and that this aim may be pursued, in particular, through common action in the fields of migration, integration and community relations;

Recognising the important contribution of migrants to the social and economic development of the member states of the Council of Europe and the need to enable them to develop and make full use of their potential, knowledge and skills for the benefit of themselves and the societies in which they live;

Recalling that integration is an interactive process based upon mutual willingness to adapt of both migrants and the receiving society;

Considering that the development of policies to improve the interaction between migrants and receiving societies and the participation of migrants and persons of immigrant background in civil society is critical to successful integration;

Emphasising the need to encourage migrants and receiving societies to undertake common activities in favour of the local community and the development of civil society;

Recalling the undertaking in the Final Declaration of the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration (Kyiv, 4-5 September 2008) to enhance social cohesion by improving the integration of migrants and persons of immigrant background and the re-integration of migrants who return to their countries of origin, in particular, by promoting interaction and dialogue between migrants and receiving societies;

Acknowledging the particular difficulties in the successful implementation of policies to promote and support interaction and dialogue between migrants and receiving societies and wishing to give member states further guidance in this area;

Reminding member states of the need to take further steps to reinforce social cohesion and the integration of migrants and through this facilitate their full civil, social, cultural and political participation in the communities in which they live,

Recommends that, with a view to going beyond the simple tolerance of difference, achieving full recognition of migrants’ human dignity and building a sense of their belonging to the receiving society, member states should take all necessary actions to facilitate diverse and positive interactions between migrants and receiving societies and, in particular, those set out below:

1. create diverse and improved opportunities for public interaction;

2. improve skills for interaction among participants;

3 develop improved processes to support and promote positive interactions, including generating wider involvement and providing training for those involved in promoting and enabling this work;

4 promote recognition of migrants’ positive contributions;

5. empower migrants’ participation (and define clearly what they are participating in);

6. consider how existing policies can promote or inhibit interaction while providing flexible, tailored services;

7. ensure that policy makers and practitioners recognise and respect the complexity of diversity when seeking to enable migrants’ involvement in wider society, especially when involving them in developing policies, services and interventions;

8. develop policies which make the most of the potential arising from the multiple aspects and/or dimensions of everyone’s identity, and which allow for these to change and adapt over time;

9. build stronger networks across diverse groups based on multiple connections and affiliations, both for the public and for practitioners;

Recommends, furthermore, that for the purposes of developing policies to implement the aforementioned actions member states should draw upon the guidance and methodology set out in the Council of Europe policy document “Building migrants’ belonging through positive interactions: a guide for policy-makers and practitioners”.

Concerning the communication of this recommendation and its follow-up,

Member states are encouraged to translate the present recommendation into their official language(s) so as to ensure that relevant actors fully understand its implications. Member states should, in any event, draw its principles to the attention of the public and private bodies concerned in their respective countries, via the appropriate national channels.

Member states are also encouraged to define indicators making it possible to measure compliance with the principles of the present recommendation and application of its provisions.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 2 See Appendix 4 to the present document.
Note 3 Source: CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) European Guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning.
Note 4 A new strategy for Social Cohesion, Council of Europe 2004, paragraph 1.
Note 5 Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)… is reproduced as an appendix to this document.
Note 6 E.g. For a summary of agreed European Union ‘Common Basic Principles’ on integration, and ways of implementing them in your context, see Appendix A.
Note 7 One comparative example which compiles different indicators is the Migration Policy Index at: http://www.integrationindex.eu/ .
Note 8 See http://www.intercivilization.net for details.


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