What does integration actually mean?

VIC aims to validate integration competences of refugees and the impact of integration programmes.
In order to understand the scope of European integration activities for refugees across Europe the VIC partners firstly carried out a survey on existing integration programmes in different European member states.
The results show that most of these programmes relate to linguistic and certain formal citizenship topics. In many cases, there is neither a description of the objectives of the integration programme nor a clear description of the aspired competences within these courses. Therefore, it is very difficult to derive a common definition of what “integration” actually means in each of the courses. 

The VIC consortium started its development programme with an explanatory approach of what integration means: “Integration” is not a one-way learning pathway for migrants and refugees but a process which is at least accompanied but also designed by the local (hosting) population. Hence integration is considered a two-way process, i.e. not only refugees and migrants need to possess a number of competences but also the local citizens need certain competences to cope with challenges related to living in diverse societies.
As a matter of fact, “learning to live in a diverse society” is the principle that will guide the further development in the VIC project and which determines the “integration competences”.