EU Policy Framework for Integration of Migrant Children

While integration in itself represents a contested concept (Penninx and Garcés-Mascareñas 2016: 12–13), policies that are pertinent to the integration process embody much more than just explicit integration policies that are basically ‘part of a normative political process in which the issue of integration is formulated as a problem, (…) given a normative framing and concrete policy measures are designed and implemented (…)’ (ibid.: 19–20).

Yet this report will essentially not go beyond integration policies in a normative sense. It will mainly concentrate on legal-political developments and policy frameworks and will not tackle in depth the implementation or the socio-economic dimension, nor systematically analyse the scope, of EU integration policies in the field of the integration of migrant children. As a general overview produced at the beginning of the research process, this report will identify problem definitions and solutions that are offered by the existing EU integration policy regime, particularly in the sphere of the education of migrant children, and will outline the evolution of the main institutions, laws, definitions, documents and actions that are pertinent in the EU context. It will pay special attention to identifying those policies or initiatives that focus on the wellbeing of children while adopting a ‘whole-school’, ‘whole-child’, ‘child-centred’ or ‘child-rights’ approach.

The aim of this report is to describe the main features of the contemporary EU policy framework on integration of migrants and migrant children with particular emphasis on education. The report first describes the most general framework of integration in the EU, followed by specific educational integration policies that apply to migrant children. It uses a descriptive approach, as well as elements of policy analysis, while paying particular attention to the timeline of the last five years, from 2014 onward.

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Date of the project

01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

DG of reference

DG Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020 (H2020-SC6-MIGRATION-2018: Addressing the challenge of forced displacement)

Department & Unit