MIPEX Methodology

How does MIPEX decide the scores?

There are 148 policy indicators on migrant integration in the MIPEX. These have been designed to benchmark current laws and policies against the highest standards through consultations with top scholars and institutions using and conducting comparative research in their area of expertise.


A policy indicator is a question relating to a specific policy component of one of the 7 policy areas. For each answer, there are 3 options. The maximum of 3 points is awarded when policies meet the highest standards for equal treatment.


Within each of the 7 policy areas, the indicator scores are averaged together to give one of 4 dimension scores which examine the same aspect of policy. The 4 dimension scores are then averaged together to give the policy area score for each of the 7 policy areas per country which, averaged together one more time, lead to the overall scores for each country. In order to make rankings and comparisons, the initial 1, 2, 3 scale is converted into a 0, 50, 100 scale for dimensions and policy areas, where 100% is the top score.

MIPEX Indicators (2010)

Download the full list of indicators which comprise the Index.

What does MIPEX measure?

Legal frameworks to promote integration

MIPEX measures policies that promote integration in European societies. Integration in both social and civic terms rests on the concept of equal opportunities for all. In socio-economic terms, migrants must have equal opportunities to lead just as dignified, independent and active lives as the rest of the population. In civic terms, all residents can commit themselves to mutual rights and responsibilities on the basis of equality. When migrants feel secure, confident and welcome, they are able to invest in their new country of residence and make valued contributions to society. Over time, migrants can take up more opportunities to participate, more rights, more responsibilities and, if they wish, full national citizenship.

The process of integration is specific to the needs and abilities of each individual and each local community. Although government policy is only one of a number of factors which affects integration, it is vital because it sets the legal and political framework within which other aspects of integration occur. The state can strive to remove obstacles and achieve equal outcomes and equal membership by investing in the active participation of all, the exercise of comparable rights and responsibilities and the acquisition of intercultural competences.

A regular monitoring exercise

MIPEX aims to be a regular assessment on a widening range of policy areas, critical to a migrant's opportunities to integrate, where an enlarging Union and selected third countries can benefit from benchmarking policies to the highest, newest European standards. This edition focuses on seven policy areas: Labour Market Mobility, Family Reunion, Education, Political Participation, Long-term Residence, Access to Nationality and Anti-discrimination. A number of policy areas cut across the MIPEX strands, such as integration programmes and healthcare and housing.

What are the highest standards used by MIPEX?

For each of the 7 policy areas: labour market mobility, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to nationality and anti-discrimination, MIPEX identifies the highest European or international standards aimed at achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all residents. The European Union work programme 2010-2014 on Freedom, Security and Justice re-confirmed: ‘The objective of granting comparable rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all is at the core of European cooperation on integration.’ The highest standards are drawn from Council of Europe Conventions or European Union Directives. Where there are only minimum standards, European-wide policy recommendations are used.

Sources of MIPEX equality standards: Europe

Tampere European Council Presidency Conclusions, 15 and 16 October 1999

Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on Admission of migrants, 2000

EC Directive on the right to family reunification, 2003/86 of 22 September 2003

Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on family reunion, 2000

EC Directive on the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, 2003/109 of 25 November 2003

EC Directive on the right of citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, 2004/38 of 29 April 2004

Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on long-term residents, 2000

EC Council Conclusions of 26 November 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background 2009/C 301/07

>Council Directive< 77/486/EEC of 25 July 1977 on the education of the children of migrant workers

Council of Europe, Convention on the participation of foreigners in public life at local level, 1992

Gsir, Sonia and Martiniello, Marco, Local Consultative Bodies for foreign residents – a handbook (Council of Europe; Strasbourg 2004)

Council of Europe, European Convention on Nationality, 1997

Bauboeck, R. et al. (eds.) “Evaluation and Recommendations” in “The Acquisition and Loss of Nationality in 15 EU Member States” (Amsterdam University Press; Amsterdam, 2006)

Starting Line Group, Proposals for legislative measures to combat racism and to promote equal rights in the European Union, 1998

Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, 2000/43 of 29 June 2000

Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, 2000/78 or 27 November 2000

Sources of MIPEX equality standards: International

UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (IESCR)

UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and the Members of Their Families

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

ILO Convention No. 97 of 1949 on Migration for Employment

ILO Convention No. 143 of 1979 on Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions)

ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration: Non-binding principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration

What is transposition?

A Directive is a European Community law which Member States must pass into their national legislation. This process - known as ‘transposition' - gives national authorities the freedom to decide the exact form and methods of the law, as long as it clearly meets the aims of the Directive. This is particularly the case with Directives on migration, which contain numerous derogations and flexible wording. MIPEX does not monitor transposition itself, but rather the implementation of the highest standards sometimes found within relevant Directives on migration.

For more on transposition, see Schibel (MPG), Monitoring and influencing the transposition of EU immigration law - the family reunion and long-term residents Directives, European Migration Dialogue, September 2004

The research process

The OPC scientific partners for each strand reviewed the previous MIPEX II indicators to guarantee that they were clearly worded, policy-relevant, and sustainable for future updating. The scientific partner on education designed an entirely new strand on the education of migrant pupils. After the consultations, more indicators were added. With the final review of the indicators among the scientific partners, MPG approved the final list of 148 indicators.


Three questionnaires were designed: one on the five strands concerning foreigners' law (labour market mobility; family reunion; long-term residence; political participation; and access to nationality); one on education; and one on anti-discrimination. The three questionnaires corresponded to the three areas of expertise required for the OPC study. National experts were subcontracted in the countries included in the EIF project, as well as self-financing countries. In total, experts worked in the 27 EU Member States, as well as Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States.  The national teams ranged from 2 to 6 experts, depending on their available expertise in the three areas.


The indicators were completed by the national experts and anonymously double-checked by peer reviewers. The new education strand was only completed for 2010. MPG's central research coordinator staff checked both the experts' and peer reviewers' responses to guarantee that they properly understood the questions and answered them in a consistent manner as in other countries. In each country there were a handful of questions where expert and peer reviewer disagreed. The MPG central research team mediated an anonymous discussion between the two in order to obtain the correct response based on publically-available data and legal texts.


The finalised data for the 31 countries was inputted and analysed centrally by the MPG team. Correlation analysis was undertaken in order to identify trends within and between policies. A search and collection of available European public opinion data was also made for the OPC website. Comparative statistics on immigration and integration in each of the countries were also gathered for the national country profiles. Country profile contributors were secured in most countries in order to provide additional contextual information. The aim was to better understand why policies changed and what evidence and evaluations were used to justify and implement policy changes.  In most cases, the country profile contributor was selected from among the national experts and peer reviewers. National partners were involved in some countries where they possess broader and more policy-relevant expertise. Based on the results and the country profile contributions, the MPG team was able to write up national country profiles. They focused on recent policy changes and investigated the justifications and potential impact of these changes. The results were also written up for each of the seven policy strands as well as for the overall score. These findings analysed the strengths and weaknesses for the 31 countries as well as for all EU Member States, the best and worst practices, as well as the major trends and changes in the past three years. 

MIPEX Indicators

Download the full list of indicators which comprise the Index.