Refugee Characteristics as a Game-Changer for Integration in Fortress Europe

  • Emina Osmandzikovic University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Abstract

European security is an indispensable quality of its peace and democratic foundations. Failure to develop a coherent integration system has the potential to irreparably shake such foundations. This paper attempts to identify factors that influence integration and illuminate uncertainty around the refugee influx. Through a mixed-methods approach, I analyze secondary survey data of refugees across seven EU countries and conduct in-person interviews with key stakeholders. Survey analysis reveals that characteristics of being male and young positively shape refugees’ integration, a profile that highly resembles that of economic migrants. Topic modelling of interviews shows the fragmented image of refugee integration. Economically well-off EU states focus on legal aspects, whereas those not well-off focus on social integration. None of the two extremes are conducive to optimal integration in Europe. Overall, this paper depicts the importance of a mixed-methods approach to understanding the factors that influence refugee integration. The results are highly relevant, especially in the aftermath of the refugee crisis as an indispensable step safeguarding European security.

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Published
2019-03-31
How to Cite
Osmandzikovic, E. (2019). Refugee Characteristics as a Game-Changer for Integration in Fortress Europe. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 15(8), 59. https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2019.v15n8p59