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Portugal: Government pilot project reinforces integration (Unofficial translation)

With the aim of reinforcing policies for the integration of immigrants, the pilot project Integrar Valoriza (in English: to integrate adds value) was approved at the Council of Ministers meeting in Portugal on 1 July. The project aims to involve municipalities with a high number of immigrant residents or workers, as well as those in which local economic activity depends on foreign labour.

According to information from the office of the Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, in order to be part of the network of municipalities involved in the pilot project, 'criteria for national representation by NUTS II and population density will be taken into account'. For example, one of the requirements stipulates a minimum percentage of 7% of immigrants among the population that resides or works in the municipality. There is also another set of criteria including such requirements as having relevant local economic activity, mostly carried out by a foreign labour force, and having implemented or being committed to implementing, within a period of six months, at least one of the following responses:

  • a local support centre for the integration of migrants (CLAIM);
  • a Municipal Plan for the Integration of Migrants (PMIM);
  • a local housing strategy that includes housing for immigrant people;
  • offering Portuguese language courses.

The president of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP), Manuel Machado, said that he considered it very important that the country guarantees 'the hosting of immigrants with dignity', and that he feels the Government's decision makes progress in that direction.