Nedzhmi Ali, Shadow rapporteur, on the ECA Briefing paper “The integration of migrants from outside the EU”

N. Ali 3 copy

This statement was presented at the meeting of the Budgetary control committee of the European Parliament on Wednesday, 20th June 2018, in Brussels. Ms. Iliyana Ivanova, ECA member from Bulgaria, did the presentation of the briefing paper on behalf of the Court.

Dear Mme Chair, Ms Ivanova, colleagues,

First of all, I would like to express our high appreciation for the study prepared by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and to your presentation, Ms. Ivanova. While the integration of migrants is extremely important for the functioning of the European societies, we should have a detailed information about the situation. ECA´s document´s quality is based on the very broad scope of sources of information, starting with the inputs from officials of the Commission and the respective agencies, going to reports and surveys from the Member States (MS) and ending with different publications. This is the right way, after a processing the relevant information, to present the real picture in the area of migration and integration.

While the process of integration during the years proved to be very complex and encountering many obstacles, I believe that the set of challenges, presented in the briefing, covers most of the aspects of this process – from human rights and non-discrimination to the coordination of funding and measuring of the outcomes.

Having in mind the above stated, I would like further clarification for some of the observations or recommendations in the briefing paper of ECA:

Firstly – In paragraph 4 are presented the percentages of the reasons for migrants to legally reside in the EU. Nevertheless, for 33% of the migrants information is not available. If we are not able to classify correctly these persons, it would be difficult to address their needs and to be efficient enough in the process of their integration.

Secondly – In the briefing paper we see that the vast majority of migrants (77%) are located within five EU MS. While in reality we are talking about the five largest countries in the Union, probably there is a number of additional reasons this to happen – for example the functioning of the democratic systems, economic conditions, sizes of the labor markets, as well as historical connections with the countries of origin?

ThirdlyFigure 6 presents the evolution of selected indicators. When measuring the integration gap between EU citizens and migrants from outside the EU, may we assume that a number of second and third generation migrants belong to the group of EU citizens?

FourthlyFigure 8 overviews the most relevant EU funds to support the integration. For me it was very interesting to check how different funds are being utilized in this area. In this regard, I am curious why some of the funds are being used by such a small number of states?

Finally - We agree with your proposal that other EU funds (such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus +, COSME, Europe for Citizens and the Employment and Social Innovation Programme), implemented directly by the Commission or by delegated bodies can also be used to finance actions aiming at migrant integration. It would be very interesting to assess to what extent these programmes could serve to support attracting talented and skilled persons from third countries. 

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