The refugee crisis has been dominating headlines for months. However, beyond the short-term crisis, there will also be long-term implications for European societies. Citizens are concerned about integrating new arrivals, and political tensions have been running high. It is vital, therefore, to encourage discussion and debate across Europe about integration issues.

To this end, Debating Europe, with our partners at the Czech Debate Society, recently hosted a public debate in the Czech Republic about refugee integration. The debate was moderated by Martin Režný on behalf of the Czech Debate Society, and involved Dr. Josef Kraus from the Department of Security and Strategy Studies (BSS) at the Masaryk University in Brno, and Zora Hesova and Petr Novak, from the Department for Asylum and Migration Policy at the Czech Ministry of the Interior.

For our Czech readers, the video (in Czech) is posted below:

How can refugees best be integrated into European society? How can public concerns about new arrivals be allayed? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Gustave Deghilage
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


51 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Fitimtar Huda

    Its very difficult. They represent totaly diferent cultures diferent religions and different ways of living. In this world full of racism its very difficult to outcome these obsticles

  2. avatar
    Rogerio Coelho

    They do not want to be integrated, but if European women wear hijab, if in Europe the alcohol and pork are forbidden, if we introduce sharia law as well, the integration will be easy.

  3. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    It would be better if the EU tackled the root of the problem, greed for the resources and resource rich land of Syria and stop the war on Syria. Then the people can go back to their beloved homeland and rebuild it and prosper and live in peace and not war. Also the EU should subsidise renewable energy then no resource giant will need to fight wars over something nobody wants or needs to buy.

  4. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Surly you mean into ‘German’ society ?, why should anyone else suffer for Merkel’s stupidity.

  5. avatar
    Rácz Tivadar

    The majority of them are no refugees and are not interested in integration. They are running around like in their home countries, are pretending to get respected their own habits, pretending acceptance and tolerance against their “they-use-to-call-it-culture” and religious beliefs? There’s not any trace of integration to see at all.

  6. avatar
    Tina Clark

    Remembering it works both ways,new age immigrants dont want to mix,regardless of colour race….They dont need to.

  7. avatar
    Manuel Alegria

    Refugees happens only because the big ones, (you know who), want to recolonize their land wiht only the amount of population they want…

  8. avatar
    Enric Mestres Girbal

    I don’t understand the EU….not even 60 years ago europeans were chassed and killed all across Africa until they left the continent, the majority having to leave their possessions….and now we open the doors to that same people.

  9. avatar
    Σαντυ Μπαλμπαγάδη

    They can’t. Too many came, too quickly, demanding things and being aggressive because things are difficult, made people in Greece negative. The magority do not want them but they hide it. Until when………

  10. avatar
    Joao Antonio Camoes

    By accepting, knowing, studying and defending rules, legislation, way of life and culture of the nation they choose. Any different position will lead to no integration.

  11. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Easy! It is a known fact that european nations simply can not receive everyone and most of them are not refugees. The first thing in order is to stop this migrations and for that it would be enough a compulsory expulsion of everyone that arrives wothout papers. Than we should compensate those that get here by legal methods. It should be the refugee chosing the country not the EU and refugees should not be placed in a single “guetto”, they should be spread across the territory of the country they chose. Local language and social classes must be mandatory. Finally it is up for the natives to look at then with respect.

  12. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic


  13. avatar

    If refugees are not allowed to work due to legal restrictions, language, lack of technical skills or simply lack of job opportunities there is no possible integration.

  14. avatar
    Louise Borg

    Stop war and conflict but NOT by interfering in internal affairs of other nations. Place direct investment in African countries not donations. Projects should be on the spot – ones that provide water, housing, food for people and jobs, on their homeland. Place sanctions against African leaders who are corrupt and using money for themselves with total disregards for their people. There has to be total transparency and accountability for the money donated by the West to African countries. Where are the billions going? Multinationals, exploiting Africa should be made to pay their taxes, in real taxes, not in god only knows what and these companies should be involved in improving society by channelling back some of their profit into the country they operate from. Refuges status should NOT be something permanent. There was a time when refuges eventually returned home to try and improve their home country. If all people in nations with problems left their homeland, how will things ever change there? STOP selling arms to guerrilla groups or militants in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter – whatever their reasons for fighting are! STOP promoting Europe and the West in general, as a land of manna and honey, because it is not. Stop trying to change values in other countries – let everyone celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make our world so beautiful. Teach and promote human rights, dignity and rule of law without imposition but through educational exchanges. Do not promote consumerism, instead promote respect for diminishing resources, the environment and self respect. Any materialistic acquisition beyond a minimum threshold that permits a dignified living, is a waste of our time on earth and of natural resources (this is hard but if we stop bringing children up with the idea that the more they possess things, the better they are, we will eventually succeed). If we did all this, there will not be any need to integrate refuges, because there will be NO refuges.

  15. avatar
    Stanko Majcen

    First of all they should know our laws, culture and they have to act upon it. Orherwise deport them. THEY HAVE TO ADAPT AND OBEY, CHILDREN HAVE TO GO IN SCOOL, like we all do. End of discussion!

  16. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    They can’t, stop bombing their countries, stop finaancing rebels and there won’t be any refugees that need to integrate. And if they are islamic, newsflash, they don’t integrate because their ideology will not allow them to interact with kafir, infidels.

  17. avatar
    Hugo Dias

    accept that they are coming to a different culture and they MUST respect it, the values and the people that already is here. They must look to be valuable to the Europe, working and producing to help Europe to grow. They are respected to be muslims, but they cannot follow the islamic law here. They must follow the laws from the European countries.

  18. avatar
    Kei Nakanishi

    why dont support them to recover their homeland…? if some of them want to settle down and integrate themselves into a new country then they should be supported.

  19. avatar
    Kei Nakanishi

    why dont support them to recover their homeland…? if some of them want to settle down and integrate themselves into a new country then they should be supported.

  20. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    By educating all these people that replied here above me ,on our values about humanity. Facist xenophobic Europe is on the rise, it is scary to me how we are going back in time so fast. I wonder if anyone remembers WW2 when some of us Europeans were to refugees elsewhere, at this point I wonder why we celebrate the end of the war at all, since we clearly didn’t manage to weed out these fools fro our society, that is for peace and helping out each other. It’s sick really and disgusting.

  21. avatar
    Koronváry Péter

    The question should rather be how to offer respectable and satisfying jobs for those who do not have one. Ever read “Flow”?

  22. avatar
    Chris Pavlides

    Citizen = employer. Thus, the moment citizens keep telling they don’t want them, some people keep asking how to intergrade….

  23. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    Europeans should start a smart recolonisation of Africa and Middle East. Bring know-how , technology and wealth to those Countries. The problem with migrants is that the flow is only one way (towards Europe and the rich world), causing resentment among European lower classes. A new wave of European settlers could reshuffle the population, bringing prosperity to those areas of the World where people are hopeless and must emigrate to have a better life.
    It would be a win-win.

  24. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    The refugees best be integrated into European society by education, employment, business, receiving the European culture. The security services must strictly watch for radical Islam in the mosques.

  25. avatar
    Franck Néo Legon

    they can’t. bring them back to Africa which needs them, a real man doesn’t flee, he makes things better on his own land. we don’t need people who just go where it’s easyer without fighting and have no pride or love for their countries.

  26. avatar
    Tamás Heizler

    1. Teach them one European language.
    2. Teach them the rules and laws of our society.
    3. Immediately deport those breaking the law, let it be anything from minor tussle or shoplift to sexual harassment. The rest would respect the laws.
    4. Immediately deport those not following the instructions of female volunteers or police women. The rest would start to respect women.

  27. avatar

    Refugees do not wish to integrate. They have formed their own small communities or what we know as No Go Zones and continue on with their immoral behavior with the kaffar, the European citizens. Integration is wishful thinking on part of the politicians. The West has literally imported the war home and have lost their culture, safety, and soon government.

    • avatar

      Do you not believe in freedom of speech? Is that why you are not publishing the comment on No Go Zones and the violence perpetrated by the refugees towards the kaffar (the European citizens)? Are you not willing to admit that your political leaders made a grevious mistake in allowing the importation of a hate filled people?

      Stop filtering what people post in their comments. Not everyone can afford to live in palaces and be surrounded by guards. The common people are exposed to mistreatment of those whom you wish to aid. Some have even lost their life at the hands of the refugees.

      Stop censoring and speak truth.

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