EU unveils new action plan on migrant integration

BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Tuesday unveiled its new action plan to improve the integration and inclusion of migrants in the European Union (EU).

"The plan proposes targeted and tailored support that takes into account individual characteristics that may present specific challenges to people with a migrant background in the EU countries, such as gender or religious background," the Commission said in a statement.

The main actions are focused on migrants' education and training; employment opportunities and skills recognition; access to health services; as well as to adequate and affordable housing.

"Integration and inclusion policies are vital for newcomers, for local communities, and contribute to cohesive societies and strong economies," noted Margaritis Schinas, European Commission vice president for promoting the European way of life.

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for home affairs, said that "inclusive integration is giving the same tools and support needed to contribute to society so that migrants can reach their full potential and European societies benefit from their strength and skills."

Migrants and citizens with a migrant background play a key role in European society and in different sectors of its economy, given that around 34 million EU inhabitants were born outside the bloc. However, they face ongoing challenges in terms of access to education, employment, healthcare and social inclusion.

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