Refugees WelComB!
„Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.“ (Ernesto Che Guevara)

About 60 million people are currently refuging all over the world. They flee from war, political, religious and sexual persecution, hunger, nature catastrophes, risks due to climate change …

Only after hundreds of thousands of people – particularly war refugees from Syria and the Arabic republics – started their way via the “Balkan route” to Europe, the subject “refugees” has been moving into the entire social focus and needs urgently a European solution. Even more, if we do not want to leave the field to the (right-wing) demagogues. However, a European solution requires transnational co-operation.

According to the Geneva Convention for Refugees, each refugee has a free and unhindered access to courts, is free in the choice of his religion, shall receive access to lessons or studies, to medical treatment, social security and a passport and must not be discriminated in searching for a flat and a job. This means nothing else than the right for and the duty of integration, particularly for the refugees who have a perspective to stay in Europe.


The challenges in the social integration of refugees are often the same. However, according researches that we did in advance of our project together with our partners showed that the biggest challenge is their integration into the labour market. According to that, the biggest thresholds are:

  • language barriers
  • psychological limits due to traumatic refuge experiences
  • generally difficult labour market situation (BG, ES, IT, TR)
  • work placement linked with a permanent address (HU)
  • labour market requirements strongly focussed on formal qualifications (DE, ES)
  • missing proofs for or non-recognition of Vocational Trainings or University degrees
  • decreasing employability due to a professional inactivity during the asylum procedure.

This is completed by:

  • cultural differences, different religions, diverging understanding of values
  • expectations, fears, prejudices and nescience - both of refugees and the majority
  • formalities, bureaucracy, duration of registration and asylum procedures.

The recording, assessing and recognition of competences relating to the integration of refugees in vocational training and employment is indispensable because with that they obtain tools for their professional orientation, career planning and increasing of their employability.

Apart from the validation of competences, there is the need for additional basic integration offers that need to take effect after the recognition of asylum applications latest, such as language, alphabetisation and integration courses.

This exactly was the starting point of our project! In the 16 months project duration, the partners from Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Turkey examined which integration offers are provided and successfully used in their countries.

Besides, the partners detected what needs to be considered in the validation of the competences of refugees and which instruments are appropriate for the target group in order to make a quick integration in vocational training or employment possible.

Last but not least, it was analysed in the frame of the Strategic Partnership how integration offers that are proven in practise depend on each other, which stakeholders need to be involved and in how far the offers obtain a European transfer potential.

Refugees WelComB! aimed at:

  • analysing the actual situation of the social integration, particularly their integration in vocational training and employment through targeted researches, surveys and interviews with refugees in the partner countries
  • detecting how the competences of refugees are validated, if the French model of Competence Balance meets the special needs of refugees and how it must be modified for this purpose
  • identifying best practise examples with potential of European transfer
  • determining together with refugees, refugee organisations, experts and stakeholders the most urgent needs for action that can be covered with existing resources and targeted activities in the frame of European projects.

The results were recorded in a project brochure.


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