Integration discussion evening of NIEM Netherlands
On 15 December 2017, the NIEM Netherlands team held an integration discussion evening in Maastricht. The event was organized in cooperation with the Refugee Project Maastricht NGO and was designed to bring together refugees and asylum-seekers in Maastricht to talk about what integration means in practice to them. The idea of the event was to check the theoretical and conceptual assumptions made about integration in the NIEM project with those directly concerned about and affected by integration policies and laws. One of the topics that dominated was about integration being a two-way process. Participants claimed that asylum-seekers and refugees do not feel properly integrated until they are able to contribute to the society (e.g. by earning their own living). Some participants highlighted very practical obstacles to integration, such as age, specificity of the municipality which you are assigned to, and problems related to navigating the healthcare system.