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Using EU Indicators of Immigrant Integration

The Report ‘Using EU Indicators of Immigrant Integration’ was prepared at the request of the European Commission by the European Services Network (ESN) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG) as a tool to monitor the integration of immigrants and evaluate integration policies. Factors such as the characteristics of the immigrant population, the general context in the country and national integration policies are considered in relation to societal integration outcomes in areas such as employment, education, social inclusion and active citizenship in order to build on the pilot ‘Zaragoza’ European integration indicators. The Report reflects on the different ways in which indicators could be used to understand national contexts, evaluate the outcomes of policies, and create targets to improve integration.

This report on the further development and use of EU immigrant integration indicators in policy debates is based on research undertaken by an ad hoc research team lead by MPG including scholars from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the InternationalCentre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Vienna. The initial research results were presented in discussions papers which were first discussed by the European Commission and the National Contact Points on Integration (NCPIs) and subsequently by around 300 governmental and non-governmental integration actors and academics from all 27 Member States and Norway attending three expert seminars that were organised in the course of 2012. Participants of the seminars were asked to make presentations on the development and use of integration indicators at local, regional, national and European levels. Concluding documents summarised the seminars’ main findings. In this way, the European Commission and the NCPIs helped to refine research questions and to test how results can be interpreted and used to inform policies. The seminar participants got a better understanding of how policies and outcomes can be measured and monitored, as is being done in an increasing number of countries. This final report has three parts which are preceded by this introduction, an executive summary and a background chapter.

Part I of this report explores how three types of factors influence societal integration outcomes in four areas and as such can inform integration policies. The three types of factors concern personal characteristics of the immigrant population, the general context in the country and its specific migration and integration policies. The four areas are employment, education, social inclusion and active citizenship. In those areas, the European Union selected an initial number of indicators (the Zaragoza indictors) which are considered in this project. Overall, the analysis reconfirms the relevance and usefulness of the Zaragoza indicators.

Part II reconfirms the availability, accessibility and reliability of the main sources for the calculation of the integration indicators considered within the report. They include the EU-Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as well as Eurostat’s migration statistics. These are well-established international and comparative data sources which build upon data that is gathered nationally, often by national statistical institutes.

Part III presents different options reflecting the different ways in which indicators could be used to understand national contexts, evaluate the outcomes of policies, and use targets to improve integration. It takes existing national and EU indicators as starting point for reflection. Indicators can be used to describe the (constantly changing) situation in societies with citizens and residents with and without a migration background. Indicators can also be used to clarify the link between integration policies and societal outcomes, for example by monitoring the beneficiaries of policies and conducting robust impact evaluations.

The report is explorative and descriptive in nature. Considering the advantages and limitations of international and comparative research, the results of this report represent a substantive contribution to the on-going debate and research on the development and use of integration indicators on which integration actors can build.

Attached file(s)
Authors:
Thomas Huddleston, Jan Niessen and Jasper Dag Tjaden
Posted by:
Integration Expert