The main goal of the National Action Plan on the integration of migrants will be to achieve an effective integration of the third country nationals in the Cypriot society on the basis of realistic goals, targeted measures and support actions.
Social inclusion is of particular interest, as the success of the project will have multiplier benefits for the host society, which first the host country must accept its multicultural character, as it has been gradually evolving since the 1990s.
The National Plan will contribute to the achievement of this goal, with a network of activities for: effective social integration of immigrants in terms of humanitarian, equality, equity and added value, while strengthening the dynamics of society and economy of Cyprus.
Based on European values, policies and best practices internationally, in order for the social integration of immigrants in Cyprus to be effective and of added value, the following must take place:
In humanitarian terms
It should not be overlooked that people who have been forced to relocate due to extreme events, such as war and famine, are in complete weakness. The fact that they have experienced real tragedies may have led to serious mental trauma. Changing living conditions have led to misery, despair, pain. The concept of humanitarian crisis is appearing for the first time with such intensity in European countries and specific immigrant population groups. The interventions that will be proposed and implemented should be designed in terms of humanity, as in most cases the immigrant groups have no other alternative, other than this host country or another European country.
In terms of equality
Activities included in social inclusion, as well as those planned and implemented by the various actors involved, should be based on European values of gender equality and open society. European values are non-negotiable and integration into Cypriot society should be done in terms of multiculturalism and respect for diversity, but the fundamental values of individual freedom and equality of people should govern all interventions. The main tool for achieving equality is to avoid the marginalization of the immigrants by an active and equal integration into the host society, as this avoids the reproduction of stereotypes which ultimately lead to inequalities.
In terms of equity
The integration of immigrants in the society of Cyprus should be carried out in terms of equity. With this in mind, the risk of undeclared employment in terms of labor lawlessness and poverty should be combated and the promotion of migrants in employment in occupations where there is a large supply of labor should be endorsed. These are the two crucial concerns that the proposed activities for the integration of migrants should take into account.
To offer a new dynamic to the society and economy of Cyprus
What all approaches and studies have in common is the fact that migrants can offer a dynamic encouragement to host societies, provided that their social integration takes place in a rational and optimally designed way. The activities that will be included in the National Plan seek to transform what is commonly perceived as an issue, into an opportunity. Immigrants have the knowledge and skills that can be used to enhance the capacity of Cypriot society and to strengthen the productive base especially in areas with labor shortages such as rural areas of Cyprus. To this end, the proposed activities include initiatives aimed at turning the migration crisis into an opportunity for economic reconstruction.