MIPEX 2015 International Key Findings
Most labour market policies focus on helping immigrants to find jobs – and most do after 10+ years, but often lower quality jobs below their qualifications or below the poverty line. Policies tend to provide basic information and access to most types of jobs, self-employment and trainings. Traditional countries of immigration and most Western European countries are increasingly investing in more effective general and targeted programmes, but many may be too new or small to reach the many non-EU men and women in need, who rarely access trainings or unemployment benefits.
For the small number of transnational families, family reunion policies are one major factor determining whether or not they reunite in the country. Non-EU families of all types are more likely to reunite in countries with inclusive family reunion policies, like Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal. However several countries are becoming more restrictive, given the influence of populist parties, and expecting transnational families to live up standards that many national families could not.
As countries become more diverse, schools and health services are slow to adapt to immigrants’ specific needs. Few staff are trained, equipped or required to respond. Immigrants’ basic access to these services depends a lot on their legal status. Traditional countries of immigration and a few in Northern Europe are offering more personalised general and targeted support, which seems to reach larger number of immigrants in need and may help explain their progress over time.
Policies largely determine whether immigrants are settling down permanently, becoming voters and becoming equal citizens. Restricting permanent residence and citizenship (e.g. AT, CY, GR) leads to large numbers of ‘permanently temporary’ foreigners who are legally precarious and socially excluded. Facilitating permanent residence but restricting citizenship (e.g. DK, IT, CH, EE, LV) means most immigrants are secure in their status but treated like ‘second-class citizens’ in national politics and several areas of life. Equal rights are not guaranteed in practice in countries whose policies privilege certain national or ethnic groups over others (e.g. HU, JP, KR and ES). In contrast, confident countries of immigration like New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Portugal opened up these opportunities, so that most immigrants enjoy equal and secure rights that boost their integration outcomes in many areas of life.
Strong anti-discrimination laws have spread across Europe, thanks to the EU, but remain relatively new and under-resourced. Potential victims are often uninformed and poorly supported to access justice because equality policies, bodies and NGOs have few powers and little reach. The time has come for enforcement. Most victims are not coming forward with complaints, so countries still have to take the 1st steps in the long path to justice.