15. April 2015

FutureLab Europe held its 4th Spring Conference on Monday 13 April 2015 in Brussels. During the event, the FutureLab Europe 4th generation met to discuss integration and migration policies at the EU and member states’ level with representatives from the EU, the Belgian government, NGOs and the think tank world.

The morning kicked off with a roundtable discussion entitled “A youth perspective on the integration of migrants into European societies: Are we on the right track?”. The session focussed on the different levels of integration of migrants in EU member states and the role of national governments, NGOs, media and host societies in promoting a successful integration.

During the session, the FutureLab Europe group met Matthias Francken, Adviser to Belgian State Secretary of Asylum and Immigration; Brenda King, Chief Executive of African & Caribbean Diversity and Member of the European Economic and Social Committee; and Yves Pascouau, Director of Migration and Mobility Policies at the European Policy Centre.

FutureLab Europa participant Joao Labareda opened the debate presenting FutureLab Europe’s youth perspective on the integration of migrants in Europe and setting the scene for FutureLabbers Nathalie Straker, Hanna Engblom and Darija Maric to present their case studies on France, Sweden and Serbia respectively. The session was moderated by FutureLabber Mathew Shearman.

During the afternoon, the FutureLab Europe 4th Generation met Matthias Ruete, Director General of the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission at a public Europe@debate event in Brussels.

During the conference, FutureLab Europe participant Fiona Fritz presented the current FutureLab Europe publication “Creating a Common European Future: Integration of Young Migrants in Europe” to Director General Matthias Ruete. After her presentation, FutureLabbers discussed with him and Yves Pascouau the impact, achievements and weaknesses of EU-funded integration programmes in several EU Member States, exploring the role of EU migration policies in the integration of migrants.  Director Belinda Pyke from DG Home participated also in the discussion, outlining the need for a change of rhetoric in the migration and integration discourse and the importance of local authorities and indicators for a successful integration of migrants.

FutureLabbers Nitin Sood and Nathalie Straker participated in the discussion as panelists, sharing their opinions on EU integration policies with the other speakers and the audience.

The event was attended by many stakeholders of the Brussels community, ranging from EU officials to representatives from NGOs and the private sector, as well as journalists.

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