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Differences that Matter. International Conference on Measuring Refugee Integration


The NIEM partnership is pleased to invite you to the conference
October 28, 13:00, European Youth Centre, Budapest, Zivatar u. 1, 1024 Hungary


In 2016 a six-year long, transnational project ‘The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM)’ was launched. It analyzes integration policies towards beneficiaries of international protection in 15 EU-member states with the aim to collect evidence on gaps in integration standards, identify promising practices, evaluate the effects of legislative and policy changes and thus to provide key actors in the integration field in the EU with information necessary to better face the current challenges and improve the integration outcomes. It is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union. Please find more information about the project here.

The conference will bring together the whole project partnership – representatives of 15 NGOs, think tanks and research institutes – as well as the Slovak NGO Marginal included in a parallel project focused on the countries of the Visegrad Group (Visegrad Countries National Integration Evaluation Mechanism). 

It will consist of three main parts: 
•    A keynote speech presenting the history of the NIEM project, its socio-political context as well as the key results with special focus on the V4 region;
•    A workshop giving a deeper insight into how the NIEM evaluation works in various European countries;
•    A moderated panel discussion with the participation of policy makers, experts and representatives of beneficiaries of international protection – offering a chance to discuss challenges and solutions of refugee integration in the current European political and policy environment.
Free entry. We kindly ask you to register
The conference is co-financed as a part of the NIEM project and the V4NIEM (Visegrad Countries National Integration Evaluation Mechanism) project from the AMIF and the International Visegrad Fund.
The conference will be held in English and Hungarian. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.


13:00-13:25 Welcome & Introduction

Representative of the UNHCR

Representative of the Menedék Hungarian Association for Migrants

Ewa Kownacka, Institute of Public Affairs

13:25-13:50 Expanding evidence-based assessment of refugee integration at a time of changing policy agendas in Europe

Thomas Huddleston, Migration Policy Group (Migration Policy Group)

Keynote address

13:50-14:00 A benchmark for refugee integration based on indicators: the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism

Alexander Wolffhardt, Migration Policy Group (Migration Policy Group)

14:00-14:20 Coffee break

14:20-15:50 Thematic sessions: Comparative results, good practice & policy challenges in (V4)NIEM countries

Three parallel, interactive sessions will discuss good practices and policy needs in 16 EU Member States against the background of comparative European findings. Conference participants are invited to engage with (V4)NIEM research partners on key challenges, possible solutions and experiences in a cross-country perspective.

• Skills: findings & policy options in the integration dimensions Employment, Vocational Training, Education & Language Learning and Social Orientation
• Mainstreaming: findings & policy options in the integration dimensions Mainstreaming, Social Security, Housing & Health
• Active Citizenship: findings & policy options in the integration dimensions Residency, Family Reunification, Citizenship & Building Bridges

15:50-16:10 Coffee break

16:10-17:40 Towards comprehensive, long-term refugee integration

Hazem Aboyouness, Study consultant and project leader and the Ibn Rushd Study Association (Sweden)
Enikő Csontos, Head of Political and Economic Analysis, European Commission's Representation in Hungary
Jon Hoisaeter, Deputy Regional Representative, UNHCR Central Europe
Tamim Nashed, intercultural expert, former policy officer on refugee inclusion at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
Aydan Özoğuz, Member of the German Bundestag, former Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration

Moderator: András Kováts, Menedék Hungarian Association for Migrants

Panel Discussion, Q&A

17:40–18:10 NIEM in action: Building national coalitions for improved refugee integration policies

Talk with (V4) NIEM partners on their activities to foster evidence-based debate and inform policymaking 

18:10-18:15 Wrap-up & close