GUE/NGL backed a series of proposals, recommendations and suggestions for achieving a better social inclusion and integration of refugees into the labour market during a debate on an Employment Committee report in the European Parliament this afternoon.

The report calls among other things on the European Commission to enhance the dialogue with social partners recognising their major role in the inclusion of refugees in the labour market and within society as a whole. The Commission and member states are tasked with stepping up efforts to fight all forms of discrimination, xenophobia and racism.

GUE/NGL MEP Tania González Peñas considered the proposals a good starting point for a better integration of refugees into the labour market:

“It is good news that the proposals call for refugee access to the labour market within six months of lodging their applications and for equal pay with European citizens.”

“We have to make sure that we don´t have any pernicious dynamics so that some refugees don´t get more entitlements than others because of where they come from or because of their education. We shouldn´t have first and second class citizens so we need measures against discrimination including gender discrimination in the labour market,” cautioned the Spanish MEP.

González Peñas called for an increase in public investment to support the proposals, in particular the strengthening of the European Social Fund:

“We have to come up with social inclusion and integration policies that are properly designed and boost the welfare state because otherwise there would be no integration”

“Guaranteeing access to housing, education and training, social protection, health and family reunification are irrevocable pillars that we cannot call into question because if we were to do that we would be calling into question the Geneva Convention, international law and the charter of fundamental rights of the European Union and therefore we would be calling into question our own principles and values,” asserted the MEP. 

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