At the invitation of the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, the EU ministers responsible for integration will meet in Potsdam on 10 and 11 May as part of the German EU Council Presidency. At the conference, ministers will discuss how European cooperation and the exchange of experience within the EU regarding integration policies can be improved and how the intercultural dialogue can be strengthened.
“With regard to second and third generation descendants of immigrants living in Member States, achieving full integration and ensuring equal opportunities is one of the most important challenges of EU home affairs policy. Although the term integration is often used with different meanings, our societies are facing the same challenges. A successful integration policy is an essential prerequisite for future immigration; it is crucial to preserving freedom and maintaining social cohesiveness. Another issue at the focus of our meeting is the intercultural dialogue. Intercultural dialogue is particularly important for ensuring stability and internal security, given the growing Muslim population in many Member States.”
Even if it remains primarily a national responsibility, integration is a growing dimension of European migration policies. The Dutch Council Presidency organized the first meeting of European integration ministers in November 2004. The Potsdam Ministerial under the aegis of the German Presidency is the first follow-up meeting. It will be focused on agenda-setting for future cooperation. The Member States will also discuss new national initiatives aimed at better integrating immigrants into the host societies. With regard to intercultural dialogue, Germany intends to propose regular meetings at working level to share experience, develop common strategies, and coordinate measures to address current problems.
Additional information for media representatives:
Date: 10-11 May 2007
Venue: Hotel Dorint, Jägerallee 20, 14469 Potsdam