Welcoming and Integrating: Three years at the service of immigrants
[31/12/2005] [Portugal] [Impact assessment and evaluation] [English]
Posted by : Portal Initial, EWSI
Authors : Portugal
Portugal has in recent years become not only a country of Emigration – which it continues to be – but also a host country for Immigration. For each ten Portuguese emigrants scattered throughout the World, we have one immigrant amongst ourselves.
This framework establishes the need for a coherent policy with regard to migrations, with the Portuguese Government arguing for the same principles of receiving and integrating immigrants, compared with the rights which they demand for their own emigrants in third party States.
Immigration currently accounts for around 4% of the population resident on national soil and approximately 8% of the active population, and has undergone a highly accelerated growth in recent years, notwithstanding the reduction in this rhythm in the previous year. This pertinent alteration has brought with it new challenges, for which Portuguese society was not prepared. Both at the level of the management of migratory fluxes, through control of the entry, stay and departure of foreigners from national territory, and above all, from the level of welcoming and integration, it has been necessary to find new answers, inspired on a humanistic vision of an intercultural society, historically open to the world.
The 15th Constitutional Government has written into its political priorities the principle of “toughness on entry and generosity on welcoming” for immigrants in Portugal. It has fallen to ACIME in these two years, to fight for the generosity on welcoming, affirming a policy of integration with a human face. In order to achieve this, it has been necessary to reshape the legal framework, update the main lines of action and resize the available budget.