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France terre d’asile webinar : “The evolution of refugee integration policies between 2017 and 2019”

On September 29th 2020, France terre d’asile held a webinar as part of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) project on the evolution of refugee integration policies between 2017 and 2019. 

First, a fellow from the Migration Policy Group shared the results of the latest comparative study on refugee integration in 14 EU countries. Key developments in the EU between 2017 and 2019 were presented, revealing that France is one of the countries which experienced the strongest positive change across all areas of refugee integration. 

A researcher from France terre d’asile subsequently detailed all positive policy developments that occurred in France since the adoption of the National Strategy on integration in 2018, in particular regarding the mainstreaming, social links and employment dimensions. Despite overall significant improvements, major remaining gaps were pointed out such as the lack of coordination among all stakeholders, the legal restrictions to access the labour market or administrative barriers to access social rights. Key recommendations insisted on the necessity to facilitate the access to skills recognition and the procedure of recognition of diplomas, to further develop targeted programmes for refugees as well as to strengthen state-funded language training. 

During a roundtable, a representative from the Interministerial delegation for the reception and integration of refugees (DiAir) also shared the need to overcome the digital divide, a challenge which has been further exacerbated by the health crisis of the Covid-19. A research fellow from the French institute of international relations also highlighted the need to increase refugees’ participation when developing and implementing policies. Integration directors at both France terre d’asile and Forum Réfugiés-Cosi eventually mentioned the lack of accommodation facilities for refugees, the difficulties to secure independant housing, as well as the difficulties to access mental healthcare whereas there is an increasing number of refugees suffering from mental and trauma-induced disorders.

Alexia Duvernoy
France terre d’asile

Wideo from the webinar (in French)