Global Actors Toolkit

The MIPEX can be used by global actors as a benchmark to assess the impact of international and European standards, be they binding law, voluntary agreements or recommendations, on national law and policies. It also presents information on how national governments have committed to their implementation. You can see who falls below and who goes beyond these standards; whether standards have motivated change and improvements and if there is a need for assistance in developing implementation measures. Where there are no standards you can see if there is room for future cooperation by looking at common strengths and weaknesses. 

MIPEX User's Guide for Global Actors

Strengths and weaknesses

MIPEX’s 31 European and North American countries have, on average, policies just halfway favourable for integration. Scoring around 50%, overall policies create as many obstacles as opportunities for immigrants to become equal members of society. Migrant workers, reunited families and long-term residents enjoy basic security, rights and protection from discrimination. The three greatest obstacles are for settled foreigners to become citizens or politically active and for all children, whatever their background, to learn and achieve together in school.

Trends

MIPEX finds strong positive statistical correlations between its different strands. Most countries that do well (or poorly) in one area of integration do well (or poorly) in the others.

Click on a policy pictogram

Labour Market Mobility

To find a job, not all foreign residents with the right to work have equal access to the full labour market, education system or employment services. For instance, only nationals and EU nationals in Europe enjoy equal opportunities in the public sector and better procedures to recognise their non-EU degrees. Most immigrants can use public employment offices. Targeted support is the major area of weakness in most countries. 

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Family Reunion

Most immigrants in Europe and North America have a legal right to family reunion that is slightly favourable for them and their families’ integration. Countries with restrictive definitions of the family tend to also impose burdensome conditions on the sponsor. Those with inclusive definitions often limit conditions out of respect for family life. 

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Education

Education, a new MIPEX strand, emerges as a major area of weakness in the integration policies of most countries. Few school systems make professional assessments of what newcomer children learned abroad. Most children have at least an implicit right to attend kindergarten and compulsory education. They also access general measures to help disadvantaged students. They will benefit as much or as little as other students with the same social background.

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Political Participation

Most immigrants have few opportunities to inform and improve the policies that affect them daily. 11 countries, mostly in Central Europe, still have laws denying immigrants basic political liberties. In Europe, non-EU nationals can stand as municipal candidates in 13 of the countries surveyed, vote locally in 19, regionally in 7, and nationally in 2 (PT, UK). Consultative bodies exist at local level in 15 countries and at national level in 11. They only provide halfway meaningful opportunities for immigrants to improve policies. About half of the countries fund immigrants’ political activities, while a third inform them of political rights. 

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Long-Term Residence

Along with family reunion, long-term residence is a relative strength for countries’ integration policies. These residents can work, study, retire and live in the country just like nationals. Migrants must pass many different eligibility requirements and conditions – some more restrictive than others. Several permit-holders cannot apply, even if living in the country for 5 years or more. 

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Access to Nationality

Dual nationality and jus soli are becoming the norms for countries of immigration. Most parts of the procedure still discourage or exclude many from trying. To apply, immigrants in Europe wait on average 7 years in total because of some longterm residence requirements. Half of the countries make citizenship conditional upon income and high fees. Applicants are normally required to know the language, often at high or unclear levels. Tests rarely come with the support to pass them. After rather discretionary procedures, applicants can at least appeal and enjoy some protections from statelessness and withdrawal.

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Anti-discrimination

Europe and North America perform better on anti-discrimination than they do in most areas of integration policy. A wide range of actors in most areas of life cannot discriminate against a person on the grounds of race, ethnicity or religion. If it’s for her nationality or multiple grounds, she has a harder – or no – chance. Generally, a victim seeking justice benefits from protections against victimisation, sharing the burden of proof, financial aid and interpreters. Equality NGOs could have stronger legal standings to represent victims, lead class actions and use situation testing.

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  • Labour market mobility and family reunion: Immigrant families can better reunite and participate in countries that help all newcomers find the right jobs, with leading countries being old and new countries attracting labour migration.
  • Labour market mobility and education: Countries where immigrant adults can improve their careers, skills and qualifications are more likely to see and address their children’s specific needs and opportunities.
  • Family reunion and long-term residence: Countries tend to grant secure and equal rights to families and long-term residents.
  • Conditions for residence: Increasingly, the many high conditions that immigrants traditionally must meet to naturalise after many years are imposed on newcomers who wish to settle down or reunite with families.

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The MIPEX enjoys strong support from integration policy actors across all participating countries in Europe, the US and Canada.

Migrant integration actors who use the MIPEX in their own efforts to improve integration policies in their countries and encourage others to do so have given their support as signatories to the MIPEX. 

... see the signatories

Endorsements 

The MIPEX succinctly describes integration policies across Europe and North-America and identifies their strengths and weaknesses. It is a rich resource for enabling Members of the European Parliament to compare policies and assess how to set favourable conditions for immigrant participation in our diverse societies, and gives practical guidance to turn weaknesses into strengths.’

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament


... see more endorsements

OVERALL SCORES 2010 - Country results

Click on the map to dig into the in-depth results for each country.