We live in a time when more people choose to live outside of their home country than ever. Through the years, around 72 million migrants have made their home in Europe. Just the European Union itself is home to over 33 million people born outside of the EU. In addition, the most recent Eurostat figures show that more than 17 million citizens changed their country of birth within the EU for another EU country.
Demand for migrant workers to fill gaps in local labour markets is set to rise as Europe’s population ages. Conflicts in the Middle East are forcing more refugees to seek safety in the EU. The European societies are ethnically and culturally mixed, and this trend is growing. Although the societies are becoming more mixed, the conflicts between the people from different cultures are still there and in many areas the cultures are becoming more divided.
The current situation demands more temporary competencies, methods and tools which shall be put into practice from the youth workers who are already working with people from different cultures, in order to improve the communication and cooperation for peacefully living together. Because if not, the young people will continue to create stereotypes and prejudices which will lead to hate speech, discrimination, conflicts and even somewhere ghettoisation.