Education plays an important role in the social inclusion of third country nationals. As migrant education emerged on EU policy agenda, knowledge resources also became available. Inequalities in education outcomes have been monitored for migrant pupils through the EU Education & Training Monitor since 2012. The same year, the SIRIUS network was founded as the only European policy network on migrant education by the Commission. It has since then conducted numerous studies on the education of children and youngsters with migrant background.
The main EU funding instrument in the field of education and youth policy is the 2014-2020 Erasmus+ programme which provides opportunities for over 4 million residents to study, train, gain work experience, and volunteer abroad. To ensure that the programme works for disadvantaged young people, the Erasmus+ Inclusion and Diversity Strategy was designed in 2015. In response to the 2015 refugee arrivals, migrant and refugee pupils were made one of its top priorities.
Besides education, the Erasmus+ programme also promotes dialogue, support and participation across all areas of sport policy. Physical activity can be extremely valuable in the context of social Inclusion and integration. It allows marginalised and underprivileged groups, particularly immigrant women, to interact with other social groups. Current EU activities of in the field of sport are outlined by the Work Plan for Sport for the period 2014-2017 while the third EU Health Programme, launched in 2014 with a budget of €449.4 million, is the main instrument the European Commission uses to implement the EU’s health strategy.
The 2015 to 2018 Work Plan for Culture is the most relevant goal setting document for the cultural integration of immigrants as it sets out the strategic objectives for European cooperation in cultural policy-making. In terms of funding opportunities, the Commission launched Creative Europe in 2014. It is a consolidated framework programme in support of Europe's cultural and creative sectors. One call for proposal was published in 2016 with refugee integration as a cross-sectoral strand.
Besides these thematic financing schemes and related tools, the EU launched some mainstreamed initiatives during this period which continue to contribute to successful integration policies and practices across Europe. The introduction of the European Integration Modules in the field of introductory and languages courses; commitment by the host society; and active participation of immigrants in all aspects of collective life is one of such initiatives. The 2012 update of the Common Integration Indicators encompassing employment, education, social inclusion and active citizenship is another example. While the Modules are designed as flexible reference frameworks that can be adapted to national contexts, the set of Common Indicators serve as a basis for EU level monitoring and contributes to enhanced coordination of integration policies.
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