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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 51.66% of the population was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. Amsterdam is proud of its cultural and ethnical diversity and actively works to attract international students and high-skilled migrants. Like many European cities, Amsterdam experienced a peak in refugees and asylum seekers arrivals in 2015 and in response has implemented a holistic integration model, which starts at the moment migrants arrive and supports them for their first three years. Migrants are not considered as a minority group with different needs, but rather as one group among others with specific characteristics (such as women, the elderly, the disabled, LGBT) whose outcomes are monitored to identify potential structural gaps in their access to opportunities and services. This work compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local actions for integration, across a number of sectors, are being designed and implemented by the City of Amsterdam and its partners within a multi-level governance framework.

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Block 2. Time and space: Keys for migrants and host communities to live together

This section describes the leading principles of the city’s reception and integration policies. Across the ten cities analysed in the case studies, the concepts of time and space appear to be essential in conceptualising sustainable solutions. Time is understood as the continuum in which solutions are executed in the city: from short-term reception and orientation, to long-term settling in the city along the key milestones of a migrant and his/her family lives. Space is understood as proximity and is well-illustrated by the word “connecting” (Verbinding) that the city has adopted in its approach to integration since 2003. Different communities can connect around spaces, activities, causes or housing solutions that facilitate regular interaction and break down prejudices and cultural barriers.

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