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The European benchmark for refugee integration – A comparative analysis in 14 EU countries

The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) has published its baseline study presenting a comparative, indicator-based assessment of the refugee integration frameworks of 14 EU countries. The study’s results point out concrete steps that policymakers need to take to build a refugee integration framework in line with international and European standards.  

The report evaluates governments’ responses to the challenge of long-term integration of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. The study considers several dimensions of integration and uses scores to assess relevant provisions at the national level.

The evaluated dimensions of integration include:

  • Legal integration: residency, family unity and reunification, access to citizenship
  • Socioeconomic integration: housing, employment, vocational training, health and social security
  • Sociocultural integration: education, language learning and social orientation and building bridges

The publication reveals how, across the EU, there are often low standards and a lack of harmonisation on refugee integration. Moreover, the quality of integration policies for beneficiaries of international protection vary widely across European countries, despite the standards set by EU and international law. Favourable conditions are the exception rather than the rule, meaning that all countries assessed need to strengthen their current refugee integration frameworks considerably.

The NIEM project is co-funded by the European Union through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the International Visegrad Fund and Foundation Open Society Institute. NIEM is led and coordinated by the Institute of Public Affairs (Poland), with the Migration Policy Group as the coordinating research partner.

Carmine Conte, Thomas Huddleston, Alexander Wolffhardt
Posted by:
Valentina Savazzi (Migration Policy Group)