[30/05/2013] [EU-wide] [Report] [English]
Posted by : Integration Expert
Authors : Migration Policy Group (EWSI Editorial Team)
EWSI Special Feature Issue 2013/01 focuses on the political participation of third-country nationals.
What is a Special Feature?
Special Features are designed to make the link between current news on integration and EWSI content. In doing so, they help to:
- Put what is heard in the news on integration into a wider and deeper perspective;
- Bring back balance to the often unbalanced portrayal of integration in the news;
- Guide users through the maze of EWSI content by acting as a ‘content vade mecum’.
How was this topic chosen?
2013 is the European Year of Citizens during which dialogue at all levels of government, civil society and business will be encouraged to explore what European citizens want the EU to be by 2020 in terms of rights, policies and governance. EU citizens rights include the right to vote and stand as a candidate in European Parliament elections and the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections. But where do migrants fit into this schema? What voting rights do they have? Are they allowed to become members of political parties and stand for election? To what extent are they consulted on local or national integration policies?
In order to answer these questions, this Special Feature gives a brief introduction to the developments that have taken place in this ambit over the past 20 years on a European level and highlights recent research dealing with different aspects of the political participation of migrants. Section 2 looks at the removal of legal barriers to participation by outlining the granting of political rights such as the right to vote or stand in elections and facilitating naturalisation. Of the migrants who are allowed to vote or stand for election, Section 3 shows how and in what proportions they go to the ballot box as well as the work being carried out by societal entities such as political parties to mainstream anti-discrimination and diversity. Consultative bodies and dialogue platforms offer another form of representation by transmitting the views of immigrant representatives to local or national authorities in an advisory capacity. Finally, Section 4 focuses on forms of political participation amongst the migrant youth.
On pages 9 and 19 of the attached document, the paragraphs concerning Austria should read as follows:
P.9: "Third-country nationals are not allowed to vote in any elections. During a recent meeting in Vienna, this was highlighted as a problem for the legitimacy of the voting system. A new citizenship law is currently planned for Austria, but critics say it will not result in a large increase in the number of Third-country nationals becoming citizens or getting the right to vote."
P.19: "In 2010, the government committed to a National Action Plan for Integration, after numerous NGO consultations, an integration platform, expert reports and panels, statistics and new indicators. This Plan encourages intercultural dialogue on all levels and saw the creation of an Integration Council and Advisory Board, which include civil society stakeholders.
In 2011, the Islam Dialogue Forum was set up following a recommendation by the Integration Council in order to establish an institutional dialogue with Muslims in Austria.
In 2012, a general consultation with all citizens of Vienna took place to create the Vienna Charter, which provides the framework for good neighbourly relations, actively promotes dialogue between citizens and builds solidarity."
The attached document has been corrected.