Module II. The European Multinational and Multicultural Identity: assets and tensions, immigration and integration policies

3.3.2. Integration through employment

Lack of access to employment is the primary cause of non-integration. The reasons

are multiple. First, being in a job obliges people to conform to certain societal norms including speaking the national language. There are exceptions to this rule when a person is employed by those of his or her own language group but even there, language groups do not work in isolation from the local economy. Secondly, earning money and fending for oneself tends to create a degree of self- esteem and belonging. This is especially true when a person has hitherto been living from the welfare system. And lastly, being employed creates a degree of competitive edge and an incentive to train and advance. 9

Activity 13

  • How do you feel about ‘new trends’ like the recruitment of highly skilled immigrant labour? What are the benefits and the drawbacks?

9 Lewis, Richard. New Europeans, New Identities – Reflections on Europe’s Dilemma, working paper for The Institute for European Studies (VUB). Brussels, 2008. p 17

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