Immigrant inflows in 2015 triggered manifold reactions all over Europe. Policies soon turned towards border management, reforms of asylum procedures, and security issues while social scientific research focused on economic consequences for public finances and challenges for national labour markets. According to a recent expert survey, however, social vulnerability is a particularly serious long-term risk for European societies. In the media asylum seekers were frequently portrayed as a “problem” or “threat”. The general public experienced a polarisation between those welcoming and those afraid of asylum seekers. Therefore, this Policy Brief addresses issues of social cohesion in Europe. It argues that multidimensional policies are needed to tackle the looming societal challenges. Most importantly, the public discourse has to be altered and investment in refugees should be increased.
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