The Equality Challenge
Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena
Madeline V. Garlick, Stephen Davies and Adriano Silvestri* According to the European Commission, the number of migrants from non-EU Member States is around 20.2 million, representing about 4 per cent of the Union’s population.1 This is a significant figure which reflects the increased diversity of European society. At a time of economic instability and difficulty in many European countries, however, there is a risk that public attitudes towards thirdcountry nationals may be negatively affected, making their integration in the European Union more difficult. Cuts in services, such as integration programmes including language training, as well as higher unemployment generally, may reduce the opportunities for migrants and refugees to be socio-economically self-sufficient. Public views of migrants and refugees may be shaped by this perceived or actual lack of participation in or contribution to the host society. The European Commission, in the 2011 ‘European Agenda for the Integration of Third Country Nationals’,2 emphasises the need for a positive attitude towards diversity, based on strong guarantees for fundamental rights and fair treatment as well as the mutual respect of different cultures and traditions. It also recommends strengthened efforts to combat discrimination and to give migrants instruments to become acquainted with the fundamental values of the EU and its Member States. Thus, sound strategies and dialogue between host societies and third-country nationals could tackle xenophobia, meaning fear of the foreign, where it * The views expressed are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission, the UNHCR and the...