“Co-operation on integration is an excellent example of how we can join forces to develop new knowledge and concrete benefits for the region and everyone living here, existing and new residents alike,” says Sweden’s Minister for Nordic Co-operation Margot Wallström, who is leading the efforts of the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation in 2018.
According to a survey conducted by the consultancy company Rambøll, Nordic authorities have found the first co-operation programme to be useful and relevant. Integration efforts in the Nordic Region have been made easier by the information gained through networks, publications, and workshops within the scope of the programme.
Special emphasis on children and young people
The results of Rambøll’s survey underline the importance of carrying forwards into the new co-operation programme the work that has been done and the structures that have been established during the first programme period. Pertinent areas of the new programme include efforts to facilitate the inclusion of refugees and immigrants in the labour market, the situation of newly arrived children and young people (especially unaccompanied children), and the role of civil society and non-governmental organisations in integration efforts. The support that refugees and immigrants get from them is of huge importance.
Successful integration prevents exclusion and extremism, and increases social security
The new co-operation programme includes efforts to prevent extremism.
“Effective integration requires knowledge, commitment, and interest among the region’s new residents, its authorities, and local society,” says Wallström. “Successful integration prevents exclusion and extremism, and increases social security,” she continues.
The new programme for Nordic co-operation on the integration of refugees and migrants will come into effect on 1 January 2019. As with the first programme, it will be cross-sectoral in terms of policies.