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Document 52007DC0512

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration

/* COM/2007/0512 final */

In force

52007DC0512

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration /* COM/2007/0512 final */


[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |

Brussels, 11.9.2007

COM(2007) 512 final

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. IMMIGRANTS' POPULATION IN THE EU

3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON IMMIGRATION POLICY AND THE EU FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTEGRATION OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS

4. TRENDS IN NATIONAL INTEGRATION POLICIES

5. CONCLUSIONS

Annex (for information): Summary Report on Integration Policies in the EU-27

1. INTRODUCTION

Annual Reports[1] on Migration and Integration analyse actions taken on admission and integration of third-country nationals at national and EU level providing an overview of policy developments and helping to evaluate and strengthen integration measures.

During the last year, the debate on integration has further intensified both at EU and national levels. An increasing number of Member States are implementing new integration policies and adjusting strategies that build on previous experience.

This Third Annual Report includes developments until June 2007[2]. The annex 'Summary Report on Integration Policies in the EU-27' prepared in cooperation with the National Contact Points on Integration (NCPs)[3], covers the year 2005 and the first half of 2006.

2. IMMIGRANT POPULATION IN THE EU

In January 2006, the third-country nationals residing in the EU were about 18.5 million, i.e. 3.8% of the total population of almost 493 million[4]. Immigration is still the main element in EU demographic growth and positive net migration is recorded in most Member States[5]. Net migration, ranging between 0.5 and 1 million per year for most of the 1990s, has increased to levels ranging between 1.5 and 2 million since 2002.

The typology of entry differs widely between Member States. While family reunification is considerable in some countries, like Austria, France or Sweden, other Member States, like Ireland, Spain, Portugal and UK, had a high percentage of work-related immigration[6]. Important regularisations took place in Spain while France, Germany and The Netherlands opted for limited regularisations for specific groups of immigrants.

The most numerous groups of third-country nationals in the EU come from Turkey (2.3 million), Morocco (1.7 million), Albania (0.8 million) and Algeria (0.6 million). However, the number of foreign-born citizens in some Member States, like France, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK, is higher than the number of third-country nationals as many immigrants acquired the citizenship of the host country.

3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON IMMIGRATION POLICY AND THE EU FRAMEWORK FOR INTEGRATION OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS

Integration of third-country nationals is a process of mutual accommodation by both the host societies and the immigrants and an essential factor in realising the full benefits of immigration. As stressed in the Communication 'The Global approach to migration one year on: Towards a comprehensive European migration policy'[7], the link between legal migration policies and integration strategies needs to be continually reinforced.

Consolidating the legal framework on the conditions for entry and stay of third-country nationals is essential for the development of a coherent EU approach to integration. Legislative instruments are already in place concerning family reunification, long-term residents and qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as persons in need of international protection[8]. They recognise rights such as, depending on the legislative instrument, access to employment and to education/training and equality of treatment[9]. EU legislation on anti-discrimination supports this legal framework[10].

As announced in the Policy Plan on Legal Migration[11], Commission proposals for a general framework directive defining the basic rights of immigrant workers in the EU and for a directive on the conditions of entry and residence of highly skilled immigrants are forthcoming[12].

Beneficiaries of international protection require tailored integration measures owing to their particular situation. This aspect will be part of the debate launched by the Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System[13].

3.1 The EU framework for integration of third-country nationals

In 2004, the European Council adopted The Hague Programme strengthening freedom, security and justice[14]. It underlined the need for greater coordination of national integration policies and EU activities based on common basic principles.

The Council adopted the Common Basic Principles for Immigrant Integration Policy in the EU (CBPs)[15] and in September 2005 the Commission put forward A Common Agenda for Integration which provides a framework for the integration of third-country nationals in the EU[16]. The cornerstones of this framework are proposals for concrete measures to put the CBPs into practice, both at EU and national levels[17]. Furthermore, the Common Agenda provides supportive EU mechanisms to facilitate this process developing a distinctive European approach to integration through cooperation and exchange of good practice.

Council conclusions on the Common Agenda supported its main orientations and underlined the need to further enhance a common approach to integration policies and measures[18].

The network of National Contact Points now includes the active participation of all Member States. It has become an effective mechanism to exchange information and identify priority areas and it plays an important role in ensuring that efforts at national and EU level are mutually reinforcing.

Handbooks on Integration for Policy-Makers and Practitioners [19], compiled in cooperation with NCPs together with regional/local authorities and non-governmental stakeholders, are a driver for the exchange of information and good practice. The first edition (2004) covered the introduction of newly-arrived immigrants and recognised refugees, civic participation and indicators. The second edition (2007) focuses on other key issues developed in the Common Basic Principles: mainstreaming and integration infrastructure, examining the mechanisms used for implementing successful integration strategies across all policy fields; housing in an urban environment and economic integration, presenting lessons learned in these areas. A third edition is planned for 2009.

As called for by The Hague Programme, the Commission is developing a widely accessible website to support the promotion of structural exchange of experience and information on integration. It will be operational in 2008.

A comprehensive approach involving stakeholders at all levels is essential to develop an effective integration policy, as stated in The Hague Programme. Initiating a process of trans-national cooperation at municipal level between public authorities, private enterprises, civil society and migrants’ associations, with a conference Integrating Cities held in Rotterdam in October 2006, was a crucial step[20]. A European Integration Forum is also foreseen to assemble stakeholders active in the area of integration at EU level. EU umbrella organisations, having a membership across a number of Member States, will exchange expertise and draw up recommendations to be published on the integration website.

To continue the political debate initiated at the first Ministerial Conference on integration of Groningen in 2004, an Informal Meeting of EU Ministers Responsible for Integration was held in May 2007 in Potsdam. Council conclusions on the strengthening of integration policies in the EU by promoting unity in diversity were adopted in June 2007 as a follow-up to this event.

3.2 Mainstreaming integration

Based on the EU integration framework underpinned by the CBPs and as a follow-up to the suggestions for concrete actions at EU level put forward in the Common Agenda, the Commission developed a more coherent approach to integration. Mainstreaming integration becomes an integral part of policy making and implementation across a wide range of EU policies.

To facilitate incorporation of immigration, including integration objectives, into Commission initiatives a Commissioners Group on Migration Issues was established bringing together all related policy areas[21].

Employment is a key part of the integration process and the effective integration of immigrants into the labour market constitutes an important contribution to reaching the Lisbon targets for jobs and growth. In the context of the European Employment Strategy , the Integrated Guidelines call for Member States to give consideration to integration of immigrants into EU labour markets[22]. The Commission monitors the impact of national reform programmes with annual Joint Employment Reports and encourages Member States to make immigrants' labour market integration a more explicit dimension of employment policies[23]. A High Level Advisory Group on Social Integration of Ethnic Minorities and their Full Participation in the Labour Market was established to analyse labour market barriers and exchange good practice.

Immigrants represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs in Europe. Their businesses have a significant impact on EU economic growth. An Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship Network was set up to exchange information to overcome difficulties in setting up businesses. A study on good practice in this area will be published and a conference is planned for spring 2008[24].

The importance of the cultural dimension of integration is increasingly recognised and intercultural dialogue , including inter- and intra- faith dialogue, became an essential instrument to foster successful integration and counteract racism and extremism. The 2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue will give a major input to the strengthening of activities in this area.

Promotion of fundamental rights, non-discrimination and equal opportunities plays a crucial role in the context of integration. An Inter-service Group against Racism and Xenophobia coordinates policies within the Commission and the Fundamental Rights Agency provides expertise in this area[25]. Efforts to tackle structural barriers faced by immigrants are being reinforced in the context of the '2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All' launching a major debate on benefits of diversity[26]. As women are a majority of the immigrant population in the EU[27], addressing their specific needs is increasingly reflected in gender mainstreaming mechanisms such as the Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men 2006-2010[28].

The Commission strengthened the integration dimension in social inclusion and social protection policies in the framework of common EU objectives that Member States translate into national/regional policies on the basis of National Reports on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion. The monitoring process of these policies contributes to driving efforts to reinforce integration measures filling in remaining gaps between immigrants and citizens[29]. Within the Commission, an Inter-service Group on Urban Development coordinates the urban dimension in community policies[30] and other urban initiatives (such as the European network Cities for Local Integration Policy CLIP, coordinated by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) have been set up to share good practice on a wide range of integration-related issues. A particular emphasis is given to the needs of vulnerable groups in order to reduce inequalities in the framework of the Community action programme for public health (2003-2008)[31].

Education and training provide tools for improving the level of successful attainments and are essential to empower immigrants to be active participants in society. Integration is promoted through educational initiatives such as the Education and Training 2010 programme[32]. As immigrant children and youth tend to have lower school results than other pupils[33], an up-coming Commission Communication will explore causes and identify measures to address these educational challenges. Integration is a spontaneous process especially for children . Tackling integration challenges at a very early stage is a key approach for successful outcomes and the EU strategy on the rights of the child[34] takes into account the potential of this group. Moreover, the structured dialogue at EU level in the context of youth policies as a follow-up of the European Youth Pact[35], contributes to addressing the specific needs of this target group, focusing on the social and professional integration of young people in 2007 and on intercultural dialogue in 2008.

3.3 EU financial instruments

The EU supports Member States' integration policies with a number of financial instruments. Since 2003, the Commission has been co-financing trans-national integration projects that promote cooperation between Member States, regional/local authorities and other stakeholders under INTI Preparatory Actions[36].

In the framework programme Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows 2007-2013, the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals will support the integration challenges that Europe is facing. It aims to create a new form of solidarity to promote Member States' efforts in enabling immigrants to fulfil conditions of residence and to facilitate their integration. It will also help Member States to share their best practice reinforcing cooperation at EU level[37].

The European Refugee Fund supports tailored integration measures for people falling within its scope including refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection whose stay in the EU is of a lasting and stable nature. In the framework programme Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows, the new European Refugee Fund starting in 2008 will continue to finance these targeted projects[38].

In the context of the European Social Fund (ESF) , the Community initiative EQUAL offered a pool of innovative good practice to prevent and fight labour market discrimination of immigrants[39]. Increasing immigrants' participation in employment and thereby strengthening their social integration is a specific priority of the new ESF for 2007-2013[40]. Moreover, the new PROGRESS programme 2007-2013, will also support the implementation of the anti-discrimination and gender equality principles.

Regional policy instruments also address issues of migration and integration, especially in urban areas. In particular, the URBAN II Community initiative had a strong focus on social inclusion in disadvantaged urban areas[41] and the URBACT programme for the exchange of experience on urban development issues takes into account specific diversity challenges faced by European cities. This approach will continue with the URBACT II programme 2007-2013[42].

4. TRENDS IN NATIONAL INTEGRATION POLICIES[43]

Integration of third-country nationals has been the subject of a debate focussed on discrimination phenomena and cultural and religious diversity. In some cases, dramatic events were crucial in influencing the public perception of immigration. Many Member States identified new priorities and revised their policies. Most concepts present in Member States' integration policies are codified by the Common Basic Principles and they are, to different extents, reflected in their integration strategies.

CBP1 A variety of measures are adopted in Member States to foster integration as a two-way process. However, to put this principle into practice in a meaningful way is a long-term challenge requiring further efforts. Structural initiatives targeting the host population to reinforce its ability to adjust to diversity are still underrepresented in national strategies.

CBP2 Basic values such as liberty, democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms are considered important elements of new policies. A number of Member States have introduced measures to provide knowledge on basic values in civic orientation programmes.

CBP3 The integration of immigrants into the labour market remains a major challenge of national integration policies. Measures to strengthen this aspect, including prevention of unemployment through education and training, more effective systems to recognise qualifications, fighting against discrimination at the work place and promotion of employment for immigrant women are increasingly implemented.

CBP4 Most Member States consider basic knowledge of the host society language as an essential element of integration. Many countries focus their integration strategies on introduction programmes, including (sometimes compulsory) language and civic orientation courses for newly-arrived. A growing number of Member States increase the flexibility of courses in terms of targeting specific needs. Only a few Member States carry out in-depth evaluation of these activities.

CBP5 Comprehensive integration policies include education and training as fundamental elements of the integration process. Member States' efforts focus on targeted language classes and tuition to facilitate integration at school. Many initiatives promote respect for diversity in the educational environment and support for teachers. However, immigrant children and youth face specific challenges that should be further addressed.

CBP6 Although a growing number of Member States develop the capacity of service providers to interact with immigrants, they attach a varying degree of importance to this issue. In some Member States, initiatives on equal access to public institutions are launched including anti-discrimination and information measures. Developing cooperation between governmental stakeholders and engaging companies in debates on integration are measures that only now are emerging.

CBP7 The importance of daily life interaction and the crucial role of local activities is stressed by most Member States, although the extent to which such activities are reflected in integration strategies differs widely. Measures to promote initiatives for the interaction of immigrants and host society, including the setting up of shared forums, are still limited.

CBP8 Member States' legislations guarantee the respect of all religions and ensure the principle of non-discrimination on religious grounds. While the importance of inter- and intra- faith dialogue, as an element of broader intercultural initiatives, is widely recognised, measures to reinforce this aspect often appear as ad hoc responses to current events. In some Member States, such dialogue begins to be promoted on a more structured basis.

CBP9 The participation of immigrants in the democratic process is increasingly perceived as a significant aspect of successful integration. In a growing number of cases, migrants' representatives are involved in the elaboration/implementation of integration policies. In particular, there is a growing interest in active citizenship and naturalisation processes as elements to strengthen opportunities for involvement in the host society. A rather limited number of Member States provide third-country nationals with voting rights in local elections.

CBP10 Most Member States have reinforced their capacity to mainstream integration into all relevant policies, while also developing targeted measures. However, effective sharing of information, coordinating with all tiers of government and stakeholders and paying due attention to the mainstreaming of gender equality and to the specific needs of migrant youth and children, are still major challenges.

CBP11 Member States increasingly perceive the need to enhance the capacity to collect, analyse and disseminate integration-related information, including gender disaggregated statistics, in a more systematic way. More detailed data help avoiding confusion and improving visibility of immigrants' contribution to the host society's development. Further progress is necessary to monitor and evaluate integration policies and programmes and to identify specific indicators.

5. CONCLUSIONS

The Council conclusions of June 2007 mark a new step in steering the EU integration agenda. They stress the need to consider approaches to integration involving society as a whole and recognise that intercultural dialogue is an important instrument for fostering integration.

To further develop the EU framework building on the Common Basic Principles and the Common Agenda, the Commission will put forward new initiatives. The National Contact Points will play an essential role in this process.

The Commission will explore various concepts of participation and citizenship and their influence on the integration process. Platforms for discussion involving stakeholders and immigrants' representatives will be encouraged at all levels.

The Commission will also examine the added value of common European modules for migrant integration based on existing good practice to develop guidelines on various aspects of the integration process (introductory courses, promoting participation of immigrants and other citizens in local life, etc).

The influence of the media in orienting public debate is broadly acknowledged as they can contribute to raise awareness , to clarify misunderstandings and to engage the increasingly diverse societies in a thoughtful debate. Building on a recent study[44], the Commission will examine ways to ensure that the opportunities immigrants bring for societal development, economic growth and cultural diversity are brought to the attention of the public and more widely recognised.

The Commission will also explore how integration processes could contribute more actively to preventing social alienation and discrimination against immigrants focusing especially on youth and management of diversity to avoid extreme cases of rejection of host society.

Yardsticks relating to various aspects of integration are needed to effectively shape policies and improve performance by learning from the highest standards. The Commission will examine ways to further promote the development of common indicators and indexes for use by Member States to evaluate integration programmes and to provide benchmarks for comparative analysis.

Finally, the Commission will consider ways to redesign the Annual Report on Migration and Integration to make it an up to date instrument for the comparative analysis of developments in integration policies. It will present a new concept to provide a more comprehensive information and monitoring tool. Moreover, the Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of relevant EC legislation and its impact on integration of third-country nationals.

Annex (for information)

Summary Report on Integration Policies in the EU-27

This Summary Report has been drafted on the basis of a questionnaire completed by the National Contact Points on Integration[45]. The questionnaire refers to third-country nationals who are legally residing in the Member States, both newly-arrived and long-established immigrants and refugees.

The aim of the questionnaire was to gather specific information concerning various dimensions of the integration process in the Member States for the calendar year 2005 and the first half of 2006. The Report is structured along the lines of the Common Basic Principles on integration (CBPs) and in keeping with the Common Agenda for Integration.

The CBPs and the Common Agenda are well known by those directly involved in integration policies at national level. Measures aiming at disseminating them further to a wider group of policy-makers and to civil society are undertaken. In Bulgaria and in the Slovak Republic they are discussed and presented to the broader public. They are increasingly mentioned in official declarations and political statements. Some Member States, such as Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Spain, refer to the CBPs on a regular basis when dealing with immigration and integration issues. In the Czech Republic and Greece, the CBPs enriched the debate leading to the adoption of new legislation. They are also explicitly incorporated in some Member States' programmes. In the Spanish Strategic Plan on Citizenship and Integration, a full text version of the CBPs is reproduced and reference is made to the Common Agenda for Integration. In the consultations held with stakeholders about the content of the Strategic Plan, extensive information was given on integration initiatives taken at the EU level. In Ireland, the CBPs continue to inform the policy making process and all projects submitted for funding from a recently announced Immigrant Integration Fund are required to reflect the CBPs.

1. ‘Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of Member States’

In the Czech Republic and Greece, this principle is part of, respectively, the 'Updated Concept of Immigrant Integration' and the new 'Integrated Action Plan'. In Slovenia, a 'Unit for cultural rights of minorities and for the development of cultural diversity' was established within the Ministry of Culture to support the better understanding and co-existence of different cultural identities. In Belgium, the French and Flemish Communities set up programmes for intercultural communication and awareness-raising on the rights of foreigners targeting both the host society and immigrants. In Denmark, a fund supports local projects such as the 'Copenhagen Day of Dialogue' including intercultural activities and debates. For the 'Danish Constitution Day', a competition for young people, focused on subjects of democracy and integration and widely covered by the media, is prepared. The Swedish government declared the year 2006 the Swedish Year of Multiculturalism' to promote opportunities for all to participate in cultural life and to create co-operation between various cultural traditions. In Luxembourg, the 'Neighbours’ Festival', the 'Festival of migrations, cultures and citizenship' and other multicultural initiatives are organised to promote integration. In Finland, immigrants who obtain Finnish nationality are invited to the 'Theme day of nationality' in the city of Turku. A 'Multicultural personality of the year' and a 'New resident of Turku of the year' are elected. In The Netherlands, primary and secondary schools are encouraged to organise initiatives for the promotion of civic citizenship and integration. Within the new Irish National Action Plan against Racism 'Planning for Diversity', local partnership companies support anti-discrimination and integration initiatives. In the Slovak Republic, the new 'Action Plan to Prevent All Forms of Discrimination, Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance' was adopted. Measures involving the media to promote understanding of immigration are undertaken actively in Belgium, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In Latvia, the 'International Tolerance Day' was organised in collaboration with the media. In Lithuania, a new version of the 'Code of Ethics of Journalists and Publishers' was approved to shape understanding of diversity. In Portugal, many initiatives are carried out to manage cultural diversity including television and radio programmes, such as the 'Week of Cultural Diversity'. In the United Kingdom , the 'Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society' strategy and the 'Community Cohesion Toolkit' focusing on the role of the media are among the measures launched to foster a sense of common belonging.

2. ‘Integration implies respect for the basic values of the European Union’

A number of Member States, including Belgium , Denmark , Finland , France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands refer to the basic values of the European Union in introductory programmes for newly-arrived third-country nationals. Some countries increasingly promote EU basic values through broader initiatives. In Belgium, a 'Committee of Seven Wise Men' elaborated on basic values and presented its recommendations to the Flemish government to harmonise civic integration courses. The French Community supports educational programmes targeting school teachers and students. Interdisciplinary citizenship courses will be included in the curriculum of all mandatory educational programmes. In France, the concept of integration includes a strong political and civic dimension reflecting common republican values which are discussed by the 'High Council of Integration.' In Lithuania, civic orientation and integration courses on the host society's culture and history are organised for people granted asylum. In Luxembourg, compulsory civic education courses are provided to those applying for nationality. In Bulgaria, a project 'Civic education – road to Europe' is organised targeting young people. Sweden set up initiatives to raise awareness on basic values including a new 'National Action for Human Rights', as well as a specific programme to combat violence and oppression in the name of honour. In The Netherlands, a declaration of 'Solidarity with The Netherlands', covering respect for common values, is pronounced during naturalisation ceremonies.

3. ‘Employment is a key part of the integration process and is central to the participation of immigrants, to the contributions immigrants make to the host society, and to making such contributions visible’

The contribution of immigrants to the economic growth and development of the host society is increasingly recognised, as underlined by Greece, Italy and Spain . To facilitate the labour market integration of immigrants the Czech Republic has planned a simplification of bureaucracy and the possibility to reside legally while looking for a job. In Spain, a new system 'Catalogue of Labour Shortages in Specific Occupations' has been set up to identify shortages and to allow for a swift processing of residence and working permits. Portugal established 'Offices of Employment and Entrepreneurial Support for Immigrants' within the 'National Immigrant Support Centres', and it launched an advertising campaign 'Immigrant Portugal, Tolerant Portugal'. In Poland , a number of labour market integration measures are carried out by the Intercultural Centre for Vocational Adaptation and the Work Club of the Polish Humanitarian Organisation. In the Slovak Republic, the process of assessment of qualifications and skills and the access to vocational training has been simplified. A specific web-site has been created to advertise vacancies and provide information to employers. The Danish government concluded a political agreement 'A new change for everyone' on access to jobs and education, including new financial incentives to municipalities and obligations for local authorities to provide job offers. In Ireland, publications such as the 'Know before you go' booklet including information on finding employment for newly-arrived immigrants and the 'Employment Rights Information Booklet' are available in multiple languages. The 'Employment for Parents of Irish Born Children Programme' promotes the employment of third-country national parents of an Irish born child and the study 'An Exploration of Local Strategies for the Integration of Migrant Workers and their Families' was carried out. In France, a group of big enterprises drafted a 'Diversity Charter', which is now being signed by many other employers, to commit themselves to create an intercultural environment among their staff. The Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry established a working group to reinforce immigrant entrepreneurship through networking, interaction, education and training, development of advisory services and information. In The Netherlands, an action plan was adopted to further develop immigrant entrepreneurship and a monitoring system against discrimination at the work place is being set up. A 'Diversity Unit' was established by the Belgian federal government to fight against discrimination at work and to promote equality. The Flemish Community organises individual labour market insertion programmes for newly-arrived third-country nationals as part of introductory programmes. In Greece, interventions in favour of unemployed immigrant women are a priority. In Sweden, the employment office for immigrants created a special team to provide support before and during the initial period in a new job. Austria promotes employment of immigrants in the public sector. In the United Kingdom, within certain industry sectors, language teachers and integration experts are available to develop schemes for labour market integration of immigrants.

4. ‘Basic knowledge of the host society’s language, history, and institutions is indispensable to integration; enabling immigrants to acquire this basic knowledge is essential to successful integration’

In most of the Member States, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece , Italy , Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden, information material and welcome packages in various languages are available for newly-arrived third-country nationals. Introduction programmes are established in most Member States and they are compulsory in some countries, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece and The Netherlands . In Austria, immigrants have to sign an Integration Agreement and to follow German language training in order to receive a residence permit. The City of Vienna provides special cheap courses for young and long-term immigrants. In Denmark, an examination on Danish society, history and culture has to be taken to obtain Danish citizenship and a basic civic test will also be introduced for some categories of immigrants. In the United Kingdom , the 'Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship' syllabus to prepare for the citizenship test was published. In Portugal, the 'Portugal Welcomes You' programme provides language and introductory citizenship courses for newly-arrived third-country nationals. In France, knowledge of the French language, values and institutions is a pre-condition to acquire a long-term residence permit. Language courses, including an examination and a certificate, are compulsory depending on the level of knowledge and they are free of charge for newly-arrived third-country nationals. They are organised in a flexible way according to different needs and child care is available during classes. In Germany, language classes are compulsory depending on the level of knowledge and integration courses provide orientation and basic knowledge of German institutions. In Lithuania , Slovenia, Romania and the United Kingdom a personal integration plan is drafted for every refugee. Italy and Spain foresee introduction courses with a focus on vocational training in their territories, as well as in the immigrants' countries of origin. The Netherlands organises compulsory pre-departure examinations on language and civic orientation for immigrants, with the exclusion of refugees and asylum seekers, to be taken in the country of origin. In Ireland, citizens' information centres are located in every town and cultural orientation programmes and information leaflets are also available. Stakeholders were involved in the organisation of language courses to provide an effective service. In Luxembourg, a pilot project for language classes in French and Luxembourgish 'Cours Inlux' has proved to be very successful and will be renewed. In Poland, a web-site was set up after consultation with refugees, in order to provide them with the most useful information and a newspaper addressing immigrants is drafted with their contribution.

5. ‘Efforts in education are critical to preparing immigrants, and particularly their descendants, to be more successful and more active participants in society’

In Austria , intercultural teaching and learning are principles of federal law, implemented by providing training and support to teachers and promoting anti-discrimination activities in all schools. In Finland, municipalities are granted an increased State subsidy to support young immigrants speaking other languages and teaching in their mother tongue is available. The general school programme includes teaching on foreign cultures. In Spain, half of the 'State Fund for Reception, Integration and Education' is used by schools to develop reception programmes for newly-arrived young immigrants and their families, to provide teaching support during an initial period and to hire intercultural mediators. Teaching exchange programmes with third countries and a movie 'Settlers' on interculturality at school are examples of initiatives undertaken. In Belgium, the French Community develops courses in the language and culture of origin of immigrants and courses promoting openness towards other cultures. In all parts of the country, reception programmes, bridging classes and language courses are organised to facilitate the introduction of newly-arrived young third-country nationals. In Bulgaria, the national programme for the development of education and training foresees specific measures targeted at children speaking another language. Data and research on performance at school are analysed. In Estonia, relevant resources are allocated to train teachers of Estonian as a second language and for bilingual education. In Romania, free courses of Romanian are available for adults and training for teachers is organised to address better the need of students. Finland and Hungary provide classes in various languages as preparatory courses for the integration of immigrant children into the general education system. Greece organises reception and tutorial classes to ease the integration into schools and other measures are set up to ease enrolment and to support families. In Luxembourg, a reception unit for young immigrants who arrive in the course of the school year was created and intercultural mediators and special staff are available to help with language difficulties. In Portugal, the 'Choices Program' aims at preventing low level of achievements and early school-leaving and the 'Between Cultures Secretariat' promotes intercultural education within the wider educational system by training of teachers. Classes of Portuguese as a second language are available in schools. In the United Kingdom , within the framework of the 'Aiming High' strategy, funding and guidance materials are provided to local authorities and school boards in order to address the needs of immigrant children and youth. In The Netherlands, schools and local authorities organise meetings at least once a year to avoid segregation and to promote integration. In Poland , training for teachers is available and a conference was organised on measures tackling language difficulties of immigrant children. A kindergarten project 'Children of the World' addresses integration challenges at an early stage with the interaction of children of different origins through arts and games. In Ireland, the 'Department of Education and Science' established a steering committee to co-ordinate responses to the educational needs of newly-arrived young immigrants and to put in place a system of language support for non-English speakers. New 'Guidelines on Intercultural Education in Primary School' are published to support teachers and school management in developing a more inclusive classroom environment. In Sweden, a specific curriculum for learning Swedish as a second language exists and the 'Higher Education Act' requires higher education institutions to promote actively recruitment of immigrants. In France, language tuition and introductory courses are available at school. Recent measures focus on the participation in preparatory courses for university studies and on the smooth transition into the labour market.

6. ‘Access for immigrants to institutions, as well as to public and private goods and services, on a basis equal to national citizens and in a non-discriminatory way is a critical foundation for better integration’

In Italy, access to social services for immigrants is eased by mediatory services. Legal advice, information and orientation desks are available at the local level. In Lithuania, access to public offices is facilitated by interpretation services and information in other languages. In Austria, special multi-language information desks are available for various services. The User Panel of the Danish Immigration Service is set up to bring together the Danish Immigration Service and immigrant's representatives. In Poland, training is organised for people working with refugees and a centre provides information on legislation and available services within public institutions. In Sweden, all government agencies have to adopt action plans to take into account cultural diversity in recruitment procedures and a system with de-personalised applications for jobs will be tested. In The Netherlands, an anti-discrimination project within the structures of the government is launched. In Finland, the Ministry of Labour produced a 'Handbook on equality data' containing good anti-discrimination practices. In the Czech Republic, multicultural education and improvement of language skills of public administration staff is an increasing priority. Bulgaria implements a training project to teach social assistants to work in multiethnic environments. In Romania, public services may employ interpreters and cultural mediators and train their staff to ease the access of immigrants to services. In the Slovak Republic, training for the staff of labour, social and family affairs offices is available, as well as consulting and mediatory services. In Hungary, desk officers of family support centres and social and labour offices participate in training on integration issues. In Latvia, a 'Centre of trust' is being built for third-country nationals as a contact point with the institutions. In Ireland, the newly established 'Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service' acts as a one-stop-shop providing a single access point to services. Interpretation support, anti-racism and intercultural training is available for service providers . Government Departments and State Agencies provide information, in multiple languages, on the rights and entitlements of access to a wide range of public services. In Portugal, national and local immigrant support centres are one-stop-shops set up for the delivery of services with the involvement of socio-cultural mediators. An 'SOS Service for Immigrants' and a simultaneous translation service provide help and information in various languages with the assistance of socio-cultural mediators. Within the pilot project 'Strategic Upgrade of National Refugee Integration Services' (SUNRISE), in the United Kingdom a personal caseworker provides information and advice to facilitate access to services.

7. ‘Frequent interaction between immigrants and Member State citizens is a fundamental mechanism for integration. Shared forums, intercultural dialogue, education about immigrants and immigrant cultures, and stimulating living conditions in urban environments enhance the interactions between immigrants and Member State citizens’

Some Member States, such as Greece and Italy, stress in particular the role of cultural mediators, as well as of volunteering and third sector organisations facilitating the interaction between immigrants and the host society. In Austria, a special department for integration and diversity matters forms a point of co-operation between immigrants' organisations, non-governmental organisations and the City of Vienna. In Ireland, local community groups are funded to provide day-to-day support and to promote participation of newly-arrived third-country nationals in local community life. In Bulgaria, the 'Sports Vacation Programme' promotes tolerant inter-ethnic relations. In Estonia, an employment exchange programme between different regions of the country is developed to promote interaction. In Denmark , the participation of immigrants in volunteering organisations is promoted. In Lithuania, a web-site for various minorities' organisations is created to reach a broader public. In Luxembourg, a pilot project to organise entertainment workshops for the interaction of national citizens with immigrants has been successful and will be repeated in many towns. In The Netherlands, many projects in the context of the 'Broad Initiative for Social Cohesion' have been launched including the 'Not beside but with each other' campaign to avoid segregation. A major project to collect examples of co-operation among young people of different cultures is broadly covered by the media. In the United Kingdom , measures to engage together more closely immigrants and the host population include an action plan on intercultural dialogue, a government 'Respect Task Force' and the cohesion guidance 'Leading Cohesive Communities – a guide for leaders and chief executives'.

8. ‘The practice of diverse cultures and religions is guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and must be safeguarded, unless practices conflict with other inviolable European rights or with national law’

Denmark set up various initiatives fostering intercultural dialogue and stressing religious diversity, including dialogue meetings between the Danish Prime Minister and the Minister for Integration and various ethnic minority organisations. Germany organised a federal level conference to launch a long-term dialogue process with representatives of Muslim communities. In Finland, a working group on intercultural and inter-religious dialogue was established within the 'Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations'. It acts as a permanent forum for discussion and exchange of information between religious communities and national authorities to increase mutual understanding. In Italy, a 'Council for Italian Islam' was set up to support the central government in gaining an insight on problems faced by Muslim communities and to establish a permanent dialogue. In Latvia, an anti-discrimination project 'Information campaign against Islamophobia' is being implemented and an on-line encyclopaedia on religious diversity and postcards on inter-religious dialogue have been prepared. In Luxembourg, a public conference is organised every year by an inter-religious group representing all major faiths. In Sweden, the Minister responsible for religious affairs holds regular meetings with representatives of different religious communities aimed at reinforcing mutual understanding and trust. In The Netherlands, training for spiritual leaders is organised by Muslims' organisations and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry for Immigration and Integration.

9. ‘The participation of immigrants in the democratic process and in the formulation of integration policies and measures, especially at the local level, supports their integration’

In Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary , Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and soon in Greece , third-country nationals are, in principle, entitled to vote in local elections. However, legislative frameworks regulating political participation vary widely. In most of these countries, such voting rights are linked to the length of regular stay or are only recognised to specific categories of third-country nationals. In other Member States, they are only granted to citizens of third countries with which specific bilateral arrangements exist. In Luxembourg, awareness-raising campaigns will be organised to inform immigrants about their voting rights at the local level and a proposal has been presented to extend the competences of municipal advisory councils for foreigners ('Commissions communales consultatives') to favour their participation in public life. In Belgium, the Walloon and Brussels Capital governments encouraged third-country nationals to register to vote in local elections. Cities and communities with a high concentration of minorities are obliged by the Flemish government to facilitate their participation in local policies through special consultative councils and activities of the 'Forum for Ethnic Minorities'. In a growing number of countries, specific support for immigrant women organisations is provided. The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain involve immigrants' representatives, as well as other civil society actors and different stakeholders, in the elaboration and/or implementation of integration policies. In Portugal , the Consultation Council for Immigration Affairs (COCAI), consisting of five immigrants communities, plays an important role in drawing immigration policies. A 'Council for Ethnic Minorities' has been established in Denmark to advise the Ministry of Integration and integration councils are active at the local level. In Spain, the 'Forum for the Integration of Immigrants', a three-tiered consultative body created by the government, involving immigrants' associations, social partners, non-governmental organisations and public administration, was renewed with enlarged composition and competences. Its consultation has become mandatory for any legal or practical initiative in the field of integration at national level. In France, the 'National Council for the Integration of Immigrant Population', including representatives of immigrants' associations, has been re-established and is regularly consulted by the Ministry in charge. In Ireland, funding is provided to immigrants' organisations to promote their participation in the democratic process. Irish partnership companies also facilitate the establishment of local level forums which enhance dialogue and interaction between relevant service providers, representatives of the community and voluntary sector and representatives of immigrants' communities. In Italy, a 'Council dealing with third-country nationals and their families' will be established at national level and 'Immigration Territorial Councils' are set up at local level. In Sweden, government funding has been made available to create a network of elected representatives from municipalities and County Councils to promote an intercultural environment. In the United Kingdom , a 'Commission on Integration and Cohesion' has been set up, involving various stakeholders, to elaborate practical steps in order to make local communities more cohesive and integrated.

10. ‘Mainstreaming integration policies and measures in all relevant policy portfolios and levels of government and public services is an important consideration in public-policy formation and implementation’

In the Czech Republic, all relevant Ministries apply integration mainstreaming in the development of departmental policies and legislation. In the French Community of Belgium, all Ministers commit themselves to undertake concrete actions to promote cultural pluralism and mutual comprehension. In Finland, an integration advisory board was established to co-ordinate activities of various Ministries. 'The Integration Act' was amended so that measures focusing on public general services take into account the needs of immigrants. In Greece, an inter-ministerial committee, supported by a special committee involving experts, was established by the Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation to improve the level of co-operation and co-ordination on integration. In Romania, inter-institutional co-operation is developed by co-ordination meetings organised with representatives of various governmental institutions and non-governmental organisations. Ireland established the 'Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service' to bring together the various strands of government activity. Within these revised structures, a new 'Integration Unit' is being established to promote and co-ordinate all social and organisational measures. France strengthens efforts in terms of public services and social measures in the areas where immigrants are more present.

11. ‘Developing clear goals, indicators and evaluation mechanisms are necessary to adjust policy, evaluate progress on integration and to make the exchange of information more effective’

In Denmark, a study on integration indicators is under way and benchmarking of integration efforts at municipal level is published every year by the Minister of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs to identify best practices. The Swedish 'Integration Board' monitors the situation and progress of integration policies, analysing various aspects of Swedish society and producing yearly reports to assist decision-making in this field. In Portugal, the 'Immigration Observatory' carries out research to support the development of integration policy. In Romania, comprehensive research on the situation of persons granted protection, including the analysis of many integration aspects, has been carried out. Its policy recommendations will be used for drafting future measures. Germany and Estonia selected external contractors to evaluate their integration programmes in order to inform future policy-making and enable adjustments for more effective policy outcomes. In Estonia, a public opinion survey was also carried out. In Ireland, all State funding initiatives on integration have clear performance indicators. Procedures are in place to monitor the implementation of funded projects and to inform developing integration policy. In the Czech Republic, within the 'Commission for the Integration of foreigners' one of the working groups deals also with the setting up of integration indicators.

[1] The First Annual Report COM(2004) 508 was published in July 2004 and the second one SEC(2006) 892 in June 2006

[2] The report takes account of Council conclusions of June 2007, Council document 10267/07

[3] The Commission set up the network of NCPs as a follow-up to JHA Council conclusions of October 2002

[4] Source: Eurostat. Although Romania and Bulgaria acceded to the EU in 2007, their citizens are considered in this estimation as EU nationals

[5] Except Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and The Netherlands. Eurostat, Statistics in Focus, Population and social conditions, 1/2006

[6] International Migration Outlook, Annual report 2006 OECD

[7] COM(2006) 735

[8] Council Directive 2003/86 on the right to family reunification, Council Directive 2003/109 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents and Council Directive 2004/83 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third-country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted. A legislative proposal to extend rules on long-term residence to beneficiaries of international protection is adopted, COM(2007) 298

[9] A study on conformity checking of national measures to transpose asylum and immigration directives will be available in 2008

[10] ec.europa.eu/employment_social/fundamental_rights/legis/legln_en.htm

[11] COM(2005) 669

[12] The Commission will also present legislative proposals concerning seasonal workers and remunerated trainees in 2008 and intra-corporate transferees in 2009

[13] COM(2007) 301

[14] Council Document 16054/04

[15] Council Document 14615/04

[16] COM(2005) 389

[17] The European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions welcomed the developing of the EU integration framework in their respective opinions

[18] Council Document 14390/05

[19] ec.europa.eu/justice_home/doc_centre/immigration/integration/doc_immigration_integration_en.htm

[20] Next event will be organised by the Eurocities network in Milan in autumn 2007

[21] ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/frattini/doc/2006/pr_30_08_06_en.pdf

[22] COM(2006) 815

[23] Council document 6706/07

[24] ec.europa.eu/enterprise/entrepreneurship/ethnic.htm

[25] eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php

[26] ec.europa.eu/employment_social/eyeq/index.cfm

[27] UN Population Division, Trends in Total Migrant Stock: The 2005 Revision

[28] ec.europa.eu/employment_social/gender_equality/gender_mainstreaming/general_overview_en.html

[29] 2007 Joint Report on social protection and social inclusion register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st06/st06694.en07.pdf

[30] 'The urban dimension in Community policies (2007-2013)', ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/guides/urban/index_en.htm#down

[31] ec.europa.eu/health/ph_programme/programme_en.htm

[32] ec.europa.eu/education/policies/2010/et_2010_en.html

[33] PISA 2006, OECD

[34] COM(2006) 367

[35] COM(2005) 206

[36] ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/2004_2007/inti/funding_inti_en.htm

[37] ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/integration/funding_integration_en.htm

[38] ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/refugee/funding_refugee_en.htm

[39] ec.europa.eu/employment_social/equal/index_en.cfm

[40] ec.europa.eu/employment_social/esf2000/2007-2013_en.html

[41] ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/urban2/index_en.htm

[42] urbact.eu/towards-urbact-2.html

[43] This section draws from Member States' replies to a Commission questionnaire. See annex Summary Report on Integration Policies in the EU-27

[44] Migration and public perception, BEPA 2006

[45] Replies have been received from all Member States except Cyprus and Malta

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