For migrants, migration is a way to work towards the fulfillment of their aspirations. For countries of origin and of destination it can become part of an overall strategy to achieve economic and social goals. Individuals may decide to move to another country to earn a decent living and enhance their skills and competences. Governments may decide to open up national labour markets to non-nationals and members of their families as one means among many others to remedy labour market shortages and mismatches. People may be forced to move for political, social or environmental rea-sons, or for a combination of these. Countries may honour their human rights commitments and humanitarian obligations and offer these people protection and support. The journey of refugees and other migrants may be long and painful but is often rewarding. It starts when they leave their coun-try of origin and ends when they become fully participating members of society in the country in which they settle. Sometimes the journey is completed not by themselves but by their children.
This paper follows migrants on their journey and suggests policy responses corresponding to each step of this journey. The complexity of the changes individuals and societies are undergoing means that there are no easy answers. The paper deals first with the reasons why people migrate, what they aim to achieve and the immigration conditions to which they are subject, before turning to what they do to adapt and become active citizens of receiving societies. It provides background information and facts on global migratory movements and socio-economic change in Europe. Finally, it describes the accompanying integration challenges and opportunities and makes suggestions for policy responses.