Integration vs. Inclusion

“United in diversity” is the official motto of European Union. Diversity reflected in the identities of the Member States (which were contributed by migrants from around the globe), makes the basis for the EU. In the era of globalization, the European society is inevitably enriched by the increase in migration processes. They affect European demographics, languages and cultural practices, and Europeans will continually need to adjust to these changes. Unfortunately, some minorities in the EU are facing discrimination, racism and xenophobia.

Integration is considered as a solution to this problem, while another viewpoint implies the best resolution to be inclusion and participation that have several noteworthy differences. The integration means “the process by which people who are relatively new to a country become a part of society”, in other words assimilation to existing order in a homologous society. That is why integration is often perceived as a one-sided process, placing the change only on minorities, who has to catch up with majority demands.

To avoid a one-sided assimilation the concept of integration is often replaced by terms “inclusion” and “participation”, which implies a two-sided process. The term “inclusion” is used to describe not only the relation between minorities and majorities but all social groups. Social inclusion is a stated policy goal for governments throughout the EU to enable everyone “have access, use, participate in, benefit from and feel a sense of belonging to a given area society.”14081117_1268550396522789_673082390_n

If the minority wants to be a part of a big society, it is the one who needs to take measures to meet the “standards”, while others are convinced that the best option for both sides is to be open-minded enough to adapt and exchange cultural and social features and to have more complex and diverse society, while not losing national identity.

Written by EYP Armenia member Davit Manukyan.

Posted by Diana Ghazaryan.

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