Government Toolkit

The MIPEX tool gives policymakers a quick reference guide to assess the impact of their policy changes and get an overall impression of their country’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows governments to see the effects of their approach and policy changes. It highlights policies that score well and possible areas for improvement. You can compare these strengths and weaknesses with other countries, either across your region, Europe and North America, or all the countries at once. You can find inspiration for policies and learn lessons from their objectives, implementation and results. You can also use MIPEX to assess the impact of future changes and evaluate past policies. You can further collect and share evidence about how past policies were funded, implemented, and evaluated, so that future policies can improve.

Changes

Integration policies change little by little, but with potentially great effects on people’s lives. Most countries improved just 1 overall point on the MIPEX 100-point-scale. Though the crisis changed few policies, funding cuts may undermine their implementation and impact on immigrants. Because of major reforms, integration opportunities slightly improved in GR (+10) and LU (+8) and worsened in the UK (-10). Looking at the 6 MIPEX strands with data from 2007 and 2010, 6 countries are catching up to MIPEX’s halfway mark, while 10 keep progressing beyond it. Recently wavering countries (+0) took either no or contradictory steps. New conditions slightly reversed the direction in 4 leading countries.

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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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Using evidence to improve policy

Few countries base integration policy changes on hard facts. The focus on numbers of immigrants and test scores/levels says little about whether society is integrating over time. Some governments monitor statistics on integration trends, but fewer evaluate if policies had any impact on them. Evidence is mostly used on migrant employment and education. As parties politicise integration to win votes, success is increasingly measured through election results and public perception. Whether or not integration is a priority, national changes are often justified by international law and examples from other countries. In Europe, national policies are more favourable and similar where EU law applies (family reunion, long-term residence and anti-discrimination).

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The Migrant Integration Policy Index 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. 

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Endorsements 

Over the years the MIPEX continues to be a valuable tool for mapping and assessing existing integration policies in the European Union. I am pleased to support this initiative, especially as the third edition covers all EU Member States and more policies relevant to integration. The MIPEX provides a good basis for the analysis of trends in Europe. It is worthwhile to note that many Member States generally perform better, in terms of migrant integration policies, in those areas where Union law exists such as family reunification, long-term residence and anti-discrimination.’

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs

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OVERALL SCORES 2010 - Country results

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