Vice-President Frattini, EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security stated: "Realising the full potential of immigration only takes place if immigrants are provided with opportunities to integrate into the host society and economy". The Vice-President continued: "Following the adoption of the Common Basic Principles in 2004 and the Common Agenda for Integration, which I put forward in 2005, we are developing a distinctive European approach to integration, which is now clearly recognisable".
Commissioner Špidla, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, further added: "The European labour market will inevitably need more immigrants. We do not have a choice between a future Europe with immigration and future without it. The real issue is whether we will manage to successfully integrate both today´s and tomorrow´s immigrants - to include them not only in jobs, but in all spheres of our societies".
In January 2006, the number of third-country nationals residing in the EU was 18.5 million, i.e. 3.8% of the total EU population of almost 493 million. Immigration is still the main element in EU demographic growth and positive net migration is recorded in most Member States. Net migration, ranging between 0.5 and 1 million per year for most of the 1990s, has increased to levels ranging between 1.5 and 2 million since 2002.
The First Annual Report was published in July 2004 and the second in June 2006. The Third Report provides information about the establishment of the EU framework for the integration of third-country nationals up to June 2007. Moreover, the Commission announces in this Report its commitment to put forward new initiatives to further develop this framework. These include exploring how participation and citizenship can foster the integration process and promoting the development of common indicators and indexes that could be used by Member States on a voluntary basis in order to assess integration policy outcomes.
The annex 'Summary Report on Integration Policies in the EU-27' prepared in cooperation with the National Contact Points on Integration, provides specific information about the various dimensions of the integration process in Member States for the calendar year 2005 and the first half of 2006.
The Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration will be the subject of discussions at the High Level Conference on Legal Immigration, which is being organised by the Portuguese Presidency on 13-14 September.
For more information:
- A common framework for the integration of third-country nationals
For more information on the activities of Vice-President Frattini, please visit his website at: