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17 February 2010

EU social policy to ease the integration of immigrants

The EU should strengthen the links between its integration policies and the Social Policy Agenda and the 2010 review of the Social Agenda should take greater account of the social effects of immigration. These are the key demands of the opinion on Integration and Social Agenda ad opted by the EESC Plenary on 17 February 2010.

The opinion on Integration and the Social Agenda by rapporteur Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños (Employees Group, Spain) emphasises the importance of the EU striving to ensure that the integration of immigrants is better mainstreamed into all social policies.

"Integration policies must be linked to the main objectives of EU social policy; thus, all people – including third-country nationals, EU citizens from immigrant backgrounds and minorities – will be able to benefit from them" stressed the rapporteur. Moreover, the opinion reiterates that the fight against social exclusion should apply to all people, including immigrants, whether they are EU citizens or third-country nationals.

The EESC underscores that the approach of diversity through immigration should be included across the board when specific policies and measures are drawn up and implemented, whilst at the same time developing specific policies and initiatives to integrate immigrants and ethnic minorities.

O n the basis of the experience gained from other policies, "the Committee proposes that a process of mainstreaming integration be provided for in the EU's different political, legislative and financial instruments, in order to promote integration, equal treatment and non-discrimination", Mr Pariza Castaños concluded.

The full text of the opinion will soon be available in all EU languages on:

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