Socio-cultural situation in Lithuania
Integration of migrants
International Organization for Migration IOM (http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/about-iom/lang/en) states that the process of integration concerns all aspects of life in a society, and includes migrants as well as the host society. Migration patterns are producing increasingly diverse cultural influences in host societies. These influences can be used constructively while preserving social coherence and unity. Integration measures are generally intended to preserve or re-establish the smooth functioning of a society and to assist people who require support in order to become active participants in economic, social, and cultural life.
According to IOM there are several approaches to integration. No single set of “best practices” would be relevant for all States. Approaches to integration of migrants set goals that can be positioned on a continuum that ranges from unity (common values and cultural practices) at the one end to diversity (different values and practices) at the other.
International norms that guarantee migrants certain basic human rights are relevant to integration because they require policy makers to include these basic rights in their approaches to integration. International norms support the right of migrants to interact economically, socially, and culturally with a host society under the terms of applicable national legislation, while also allowing them to maintain a sense of their own cultural identity.
International Organization for Migration settles the challenge for policy makers to enable a balance between the original cultural identities of migrants and a sense of belonging that is based on an acceptance of the core values and institutions of the new society.
Lithuania is a member of International Organization of
Migration since 1998.
According to Eurostat database (Anne Herm. Demographic pattern of international immigration in the European Union. http://iussp2009.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=92798) in 2006, the biggest numbers of immigrants in the EU were recorded in Spain, Germany and United Kingdom. These three countries together received more than 2 million immigrants (including returning nationals). We could suppose that quite a big part of these immigrants were from Lithuania.
A.Herm states that even if vast majority of immigrants in the EU settled in few big Member States, the smaller countries had stronger immigration in relative terms. Among above mentioned countries only Spain had high immigration also in relative terms to its population size. The highest rate of immigration was recorded in Luxembourg followed by Ireland, Cyprus and Spain. These four countries had significantly higher rate compared to other Member States while for Germany and United Kingdom this rate was close to the average of immigrants to all Member States (Figure 2).
According to figure 2 we can see that Lithuania, Latvia are almost in last places by a number of immigrants. Denmark and Sweden have bigger (but not the biggest) rates by immigration.