A holistic approach to the integration of migrants and refugees – Part 2

Migrants and refugees make a positive contribution to the development of national and local communities all over the world. Therefore, it is important to have comprehensive and service-oriented integration strategies that meet their needs and promote social inclusion.

The MIEUX+ team, with 15 years of hands-on experience in migrant and refugee integration, offers a unique online course that combines European expertise with successful practices from global partnerships and projects. This course, in English and Spanish, consists of 18 modules that can be completed in 20 hours.

Participants will learn diverse methods to address every aspect of migrant integration, understand key concepts, analyse various approaches, and develop skills to craft tailor-made integration programs.

One of the learning methods in this course is a series of video interviews with European migration experts. In this second article, the focus is on the experiences of Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, and Luxembourg, after featuring promising practices from Southern European countries in the previous article.

Estonia: language and culture

Estonia is implementing an Integration Policy aimed at creating a cohesive and stable society, where people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can embrace the Estonian identity and consider Estonia their homeland. The policy consists of various components, and its linguistic and cultural programmes are the most prominent among them.

As part of this policy, migrants are invited to attend a free educational governmental program to help them adapt and become accustomed to local life. Through this program, participants can learn Estonian, receive information about working and studying in Estonia, and get acquainted with the local culture.
Moreover, the " Language Friend Project" provides an opportunity for mentors to meet migrants in person or online. The mentors help migrants to practice their Estonian language skills, talk about the culture, and share common interests and hobbies.

Finland: encouraging international recruitment

Finland has established a new cross-government function called ‘Work in Finland’. This function provides international recruitment advice and counseling to private businesses. The country offers support to employers in all legal and administrative issues related to international recruitment.
This service was set up to provide information and assistance throughout the entire process of international recruitment, from planning to settling in and integrating the employee.

Job seekers can apply for jobs via an employment website designed for international talents who are interested in living and working in Finland. The website is also for Finnish companies looking to recruit international talents. These services are part of a national ‘Talent Boost Program’ which aims to attract international talent and encourage their immigration and integration in Finland.

Lithuania: assessing the migrant situation is key

The country used to have a unique reception centre that welcomed migrants and provided accommodation and services for asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, and refugees to integrate into society in different municipalities.

However, after Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Lithuanian government built two new camps of modular houses near the city of Rukla. These camps can accommodate 550 individuals and offer essential services like shops, medical centres, playgrounds for children, laundries, and classrooms. Additionally, a third accommodation centre was built in Vilnius to house 450 people.

The first step toward migrant integration is an initial assessment of their situation conducted by social workers, medical staff, and psychologists. The results of the assessment are then shared with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and individuals are relocated based on their needs and availability.

Luxembourg: language learning as a driver of migrant children integration

Luxembourg is investing in its school system to ensure migrant children's successful integration into the local society. The country follows a trilingual language regime where Luxembourgish is the official language and French and German are administrative languages. The language regime is crucial in terms of integration, as languages play a vital role in accessing the labour market.

Foreign students, who are fluent in German and, or French can attend classes to learn Luxembourgish, and also gain general knowledge about Luxembourgish society and culture. For those who do not speak either German or French, there are ‘reception classes’ available, which are special classes for young adults that provide intensive courses in French and introduction classes in Luxembourgish.

Throughout the process, intercultural mediators bridge gaps between the children, their families, and the school. The mediators help translate information, provide psychological care, and assist with homework and learning difficulties.

Stay tuned

The course will be available as of December 2023. Participation in the course is free of charge, as the European Union covers the costs.

Any interested public officials, governmental authorities’ representatives or MIEUX+ partners are invited to contact the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or get in touch with their focal point at ICMPD.

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