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Publication date:19 November 2019

Integration of young refugees in the EU: good practices and challenges

Over 2.5 million people applied for international protection in the 28 EU Member States in 2015 and 2016. Many of those who were granted some form of protection are young people, who are likely to stay and settle in the EU. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights interviewed some of them, as well as professionals working with them in 15 locations across six EU Member States: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden. This report presents the result of FRA’s fieldwork research, focusing on young people between the ages of 16 and 24.


The project explores what happened to those people who sought asylum in the EU as part of the large-scale arrivals in 2015-2016. It focuses on young people aged 16-24 who have received or are likely to receive international protection in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden. The project looks at policies related to residence permits, family reunification, education, housing and social assistance.

Desk and field research analyses the impact of policies and legal responses on these people’s fundamental rights, integration perspectives as well as their vulnerability to crime. The objective is to identify factors that have contributed to or prevented the integration of young people in need of international protection.


The findings of the project will help EU institutions and Member States to enhance refugee integration policies. EU institutions, Member States and other actors face challenges when it comes to receiving and integrating young people who may stay for a long period in the EU. The project will help by providing insights into:

  • challenges to fundamental rights protection in general and also during specific transition periods, i.e. from childhood to adulthood, from asylum seeker status to protection status holder, from (compulsory) schooling to further education or entry into the labour market;
  • local experiences and good practices concerning the reception and integration of young people likely to stay in the EU in the long term;
  • if and how policies have affected young people in terms of their vulnerability to crime. FRA consulted with stakeholders at EU and national level in shaping the project.


FRA’s desk research will cover national laws transposing EU law on the reception and the rights of persons in need of international protection. It will also look into national and regional/municipal policies adopted since September 2015 concerning residence permits, family reunification, education, housing and social assistance.

FRA’s fieldwork includes face-to-face interviews with young asylum seekers and refugees, national and local/regional-level focus groups as well as interviews with experts and authorities in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden.