Years after the humanitarian emergency of 2015-16, the debate over migration is still very polarised. It continues to be instrumentalised by policymakers and is still portrayed as an emergency and a threat, even if the number of asylum seekers and migrants trying to get into the EU are just a few thousands, as those, recently, coming via Belarus. No real progress in the most divisive aspect of the Commission’s Pact on Asylum and Migration is in sight: the reform of the Dublin regulation.
Yet, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial role that migrants play in our economies and societies, a role that the Commission’s Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027 recognises, insisting on the importance of social cohesion. The Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion seems to be less divisive than the Pact on migration. However, there is a clear asymmetry between, its underlying values and the way the human rights and international rules are disrespected at European borders.
This Progressive Post dossier aims to analyse the structural economic and social inequalities that stand in the way of migrants’ integration process – among them the access to health services and that have been further exacerbated by Covid-19 – but also the role integration plays for the difficult path to social cohesion in Europe.