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European Parliament Elections 2019 - What are political parties saying about integration?

European Parliament Elections 2019 - What are political parties saying about integration?

21/05/2019

With the elections for the European Parliament approaching, the European Web Site on Integration (EWSI) is looking at how (or if!) political parties in each Member State are talking about the integration of migrants and refugees in their party programmes. Do the parties focus on specific aspects of integration? Are there differences between Member States in how their parties discuss integration?

In this series of articles, EWSI examines how political parties address integration in their programmes by breaking down integration topics into 14 thematic categories and a catch-all “Other” category.

 

The analysis for each EU Member State will be linked here once it is published.

The elections will take place between May 23 and 26. For more information about voting in the 2019 European Parliament elections, visit thistimeimvoting.eu.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Cyprus say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Cyprus say about integration?

21/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

In the next European Parliament, Cyprus will be represented by six MEPs. Three parties, DISY (Center-Right, Conservative), AKEL (Left) and DIKO (Centrist), are expected to elect five out of Cyprus’ six MEPs, keeping the seats they already hold. The sixth seat will be contested by the incumbent EDEK (Social Democrat), ELAM (Nationalist) and the joint ticket of Citizens’ Alliance (Centre-Left) and the Cyprus Greens.

In their party programmes for the European Parliament elections, five parties mentioned the integration of migrants or refugees in some way. These parties were DISY, AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, Citizens’ Alliance-Greens. ELAM did not release a manifesto but is a far-right party with well-known and firm positions in favour of closed borders and measures to minimise migrant inflows.

It is important to note that the majority of declarations and views on migration put forward by the Cypriot political parties in their programmes and written statements mainly focus on addressing migrant flows rather than on measures and steps to support integration. A common feature among the parties is that they support the introduction of EU policies on migration in support of first-entry member states and want a balanced responsibility between EU states. As a result, references and proposals on integration were fairly limited to general statements without concrete suggestions or approaches.  

The parties most frequently mention the EU’s role on integration as an issue in the elections. While the parties make very broad statements advocating for greater EU support in dealing with migration, it is likely that such support would include various measures and resources relevant to integration.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

DIKO

Original Text

“Θα διεκδικήσουμε πρόσθετα κονδύλια για διαχείριση του μεταναστευτικού ζητήματος στις χώρες της νότιας Ευρώπης.” (Page 5)

Unofficial Translation

We will fight for additional funds to be allocated to southern European states to better address the issue of migration. (Page 5)

DISY

Original Text

“Η Κύπρος σήμερα αλλά και τα τελευταία χρόνια έχει δυσανάλογα πολύ μεγαλύτερες μεταναστευτικές ροές σε σχέση με το μέγεθος της χώρας μας και με τον πληθυσμό μας. Και χρειάζεται να ζητήσουμε και να πάρουμε στήριξη από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση για αυτή.” (Page 13)

Unofficial Translation

Cyprus is receiving, today and in the past few years, disproportionately large, compared to its size and population, flows of migrants. We need to ask for support from the European Union to address that. (Page 13)

EDEK

Original Text

“Διαμόρφωση ενιαίας πολιτικής για τις μεταναστευτικές και προσφυγικές ροές και μεγαλύτερη οικονομική στήριξη των χωρών εισδοχής.”

Unofficial Translation

Formulate a common policy for migration and refugee flows and offer greater financial assistance to the Member States of first entry.

 

EDEK proposes the introduction of preparatory classes to non-Greek speaking students entering Cyprus’ educational system and specifically mentions Greek language learning.

EDUCATION

EDEK

Original Text

“Δημιουργία τμημάτων υποδοχής για τους αλλόγλωσσους μαθητές (εκμάθηση της Ελληνικής γλώσσας).”

Unofficial Translation

Develop preparatory/reception classes for non-Greek speaking students (to learn Greek)

 

LANGUAGE

EDEK

Original Text

“Δημιουργία τμημάτων υποδοχής για τους αλλόγλωσσους μαθητές (εκμάθηση της Ελληνικής γλώσσας).”

Unofficial Translation

Develop preparatory/reception classes for non-Greek speaking students (to learn Greek)

 

AKEL expresses its support for an open, multicultural society that is free of discrimination.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

AKEL

Original Text

“ΑΚΕΛ είναι η δύναμη που εκφράζει και θέλει να εκφράζει τους εργαζόμενους, τη νεολαία, τον απλό άνθρωπο, την κοινωνία και τις εύλογες ανάγκες της.  Όσους και όσες πιστεύουν στις ανοικτές πολυπολιτισμικές κοινωνίες χωρίς διακρίσεις, στην ισότητα των φύλων, στις δημοκρατικές ελευθερίες και τα ατομικά δικαιώματα, στην ειρήνη και την αλληλεγγύη.”

Unofficial Translation

AKEL is a force that expresses and wishes to express the workers, the youth, the society and its needs. Those who believe in open, multicultural societies free of any form of discrimination, in gender equality, civil liberties and human rights and in peace and solidarity.

 

See the party programmes: DISY, AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, joint ticket of Citizens’ Alliance (Centre-Left) and the Cyprus Greens.

ELAM did not publish a programme for these elections.

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections - What do parties in Latvia say about integration?

European Parliament Elections - What do parties in Latvia say about integration?

20/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

Migration is an important topic for the Latvian electorate. Among all the topics covered in the party programmes for the European Parliament elections, migration is the second most frequently mentioned by Latvian political parties. However, migration is mainly discussed in the context of border control and migration policy, and integration is rarely mentioned in party programmes.

Overall, a positive stance regarding migration is rare. Some rather extreme proposals regarding migration and refugees can also be found in party programmes, but not among parties that are likely to win a seat in the next European Parliament. Several pre-election debates have focused on migration with a strong emphasis on security rather than integration.

Latvia will elect eight MEPs who are most likely, according to recent polls, to come from:

  • Social Democratic Party “Harmony” (“Saskaņa” sociāldemokrātiskā partija)
  • Development/For! (Attīstībai/Par!)
  • New Unity Party (Jaunā Vienotība)
  • National Alliance "All For Latvia!" – "For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK" (Nacionālā apvienība "Visu Latvijai!"-"Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK")

Additionally, four more parties have the potential to win one seat: Latvian Russian Union (Latvijas Krievu savienība), the Progressives (Progresīvie), Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība) and the New Conservative Party (Jaunā konservatīvā partija).

Only one party mentioned integration its party programme. Development/For! states that they support newcomer integration, without further specificity, and also envisions an inclusive Europe.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Development/For! (Attīstībai/Par!)

Original Text

“Eiropa mums nozīmē atvērtu un iekļaujošu sabiedrību.”

Official Translation

“We see Europe as an open and inclusive society.”

 

OTHER

Development/For! (Attīstībai/Par!)

Original Text

“Mēs esam par… jaunpienācēju integrāciju.”

Official Translation

“We support… proper integration of newcomers to Europe.”

 

While only one party discusses integration in its programme, several of the parties mention topics like irregular migration, border control and how to deal with increased refugee flows.

Since the 2014 elections, several of the current Latvian MEPs have changed their party affiliations. As it currently stands, New Unity has 4 MEPs, the Latvian Russian Union has 2 MEPs, and the National Alliance has 1 MEP. There is also 1 MEP with no party affiliation.

See the party programmes: Social Democratic Party “Harmony” (“Saskaņa” sociāldemokrātiskā partija), Development/For! (Attīstībai/Par!), New Unity Party (Jaunā Vienotība), National Alliance "All For Latvia!" – "For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK" (Nacionālā apvienība "Visu Latvijai!"-"Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK"), Latvian Russian Union (Latvijas Krievu savienība), the Progressives (Progresīvie), Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība) and the New Conservative Party (Jaunā konservatīvā partija).

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in the Netherlands say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in the Netherlands say about integration?

20/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

The Netherlands will elect 26 MEPs for these European Parliament elections. This number, however, will increase to 29 after Brexit takes place. Just a few of the Dutch political parties made a notable emphasis on the integration of migrants and refugees in their programmes for these elections, while the programmes of all the parties had standpoints on asylum and migration policies.

Until now, the ‘established’ Dutch parties have delivered most of the MEPs. These parties are already numerous and include Democrats 66 (D66), Christian Democrats (CDA), People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Labour Party (PvdA), Socialist Party (SP), GreenLeft (GroenLinks), Christian Union and Reformed Political Party (ChristenUnie-SGP), Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) and Party for Freedom (PVV). The new party Forum for Democracy is expected to make a strong showing for these elections, joining the current parties.

Other parties which have recently performed well nationally, such as the GreenLeft, are also expected to gain seats. Two of the leading parties from the 2014 elections, Democrats 66 and the Christian Democrats, may lose seats.

Although few parties mention integration measures targeted directly at migrants and refugees, many parties do discuss social issues relevant to integration such as anti-discrimination, which was the most commonly mentioned topic in integration.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)

Original Text

“Wat ieders geslacht, afkomst, geaardheid of geloof ook is: in Europa kan iedereen rekenen op een gelijke behandeling en een bescherming van zijn elementaire mensenrechten.” (Pagina 68)

Unofficial Translation

Whatever anyone’s gender, origin, orientation or belief is: in Europe everyone can count on equal treatment and protection of their basic human rights. (Page 68)

Democrats 66 (D66)

Original Text

“Europa kan meer doen om minderheden te beschermen. Europa moet de rechten van mensen actief waarborgen. Als mensen dreigen in gevaar te komen door hun religie, seksuele voorkeur, etniciteit, handicap of geslacht, moet Europa ingrijpen.” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

Europe can do more to protect minorities. Europe must actively guarantee human rights. If people are endangered due to their religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, disability or gender, Europe must intervene. (Page 20)

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“Europese regels tegen discriminatie moeten beter gehandhaafd worden, bijvoorbeeld door een laagdrempelige klachtenregeling.” (Pagina 25)

Unofficial Translation

European rules against discrimination must be better enforced, for example through an easily accessible complaints procedure. (Page 25)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“Strengere naleving van de wet tegen discriminatie op de arbeidsmarkt. De nieuwe Europese Arbeidsinspectie krijgt voldoende capaciteit om discriminatie tegen te gaan.” (Pagina 7)

“Extreemrechtse partijen bedreigen de rechten van minderheden en antisemitisme en moslimhaat nemen toe. Vluchtelingen worden gecriminaliseerd en op basis van hun geloof geweigerd. Dat is onvoorstelbaar en mag niet gebeuren… De Europese anti-discriminatierichtlijn eindelijk in te voeren. Nederland moet het initiatief nemen om de impasse te doorbreken die al sinds 2008 bestaat, omdat sommige lidstaten dwarsliggen. Dan kan er harder worden opgetreden tegen elke vorm van discriminatie.” (Pagina 8)

Unofficial Translation

Stricter compliance with the law against discrimination on the labour market. The new European Labour Inspectorate should have sufficient capacity to combat discrimination. (Page 7)

Extreme right-wing parties threaten the rights of minorities and anti-Semitism and Muslim hatred are increasing. Refugees are criminalized and refused based on their beliefs. That is unimaginable and must not happen… To finally introduce the European anti-discrimination directive. The Netherlands must take the initiative to break the deadlock that has existed since 2008, because some Member States are obstructing. Then stronger action can be taken against any form of discrimination. (Page 8)

Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren)

Original Text

“De Europese Unie staat voor gelijke rechten van alle burgers in haar lidstaten. Discriminatie is onacceptabel, op welke grond dan ook.” (Pagina 29)

“Landen in de EU bestrijden alle vormen van discriminatie op basis van etniciteit, geslacht, overtuiging of geaardheid.” (Pagina 30)

Unofficial Translation

The European Union stands for the equal rights of all citizens in its Member States. Discrimination is unacceptable, for whatever reason. (Page 29)

EU countries should combat all forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, belief or orientation. (Page 30)

 

Some of the parties also believe that the EU has an important role to play in anti-discrimination.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

Democrats 66 (D66)

Original Text

“Europa kan meer doen om minderheden te beschermen. Europa moet de rechten van mensen actief waarborgen. Als mensen dreigen in gevaar te komen door hun religie, seksuele voorkeur, etniciteit, handicap of geslacht, moet Europa ingrijpen… Het voorstel voor een EU-brede antidiscriminatiewet moeten… opnieuw op tafel komen bij de Europese Raad.” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

Europe can do more to protect minorities. Europe must actively guarantee human rights. If people are endangered due to their religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, disability or gender, Europe must intervene... The proposal for an EU-wide anti-discrimination law must… be discussed again at the European Council. (Page 20)

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“De Europese Commissie dient lidstaten die weigeren hun burgers te beschermen tegen discriminatie desnoods voor het Hof van Justitie te dagen.” (Pagina 25)

Unofficial Translation

The European Commission should, if necessary, sue Member States that refuse to protect their citizens against discrimination before the Court of Justice. (Page 25)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“De nieuwe Europese Arbeidsinspectie krijgt voldoende capaciteit om discriminatie tegen te gaan.” (Pagina 7)

“Zich inzetten om racisme en etnische discrimina-tie op Europees niveau te agenderen en serieuze beleidsmaatregelen te ontwikkelen om een meer tolerante samenwerking tussen de verschillende mensen in Europa te bevorderen. Op dit moment zijn racisme en etnische discriminatie in Europa nog steeds onaangenaam aanwezig, zowel in het dagelijkse leven als op de arbeidsmarkt. ” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

The new European Labour Inspectorate should have sufficient capacity to combat discrimination. (Page 7)

Commit to putting racism and ethnic discrimination on the agenda at the European level and develop serious policies to promote more tolerant cooperation between the different people in Europe. At present, racism and ethnic discrimination are still unpleasant in Europe, both in daily life and in the labour market. (Page 20)

Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren)

Original Text

“De EU stimuleert het wegwerken van verschillen tussen vrouwen en mannen op de arbeidsmarkt. Ze geeft zelf het goede voorbeeld door te zorgen voor een betere vertegenwoordiging van vrouwen en minderheden in Europese topfuncties.” (Pagina 30)

Unofficial Translation

The EU encourages the elimination of differences between women and men in the labour market. It would set a good example itself by ensuring better representation of women and minorities in top European positions. (Page 30)

 

When it comes to specific integration measures directed at migrants and refugees, language learning is the most prevalent theme.

LANGUAGE

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“Al voor het besluit over hun asielverzoek is genomen, moeten asielzoekers de mogelijkheid hebben de taal te leren en zichzelf nuttig te maken.” (Pagina 29)

“GEZINSVORMING: … Van de buitenlandse partner wordt verlangd dat deze bereid is na overkomst de taal te leren en te integreren.” (Pagina 71)

Unofficial Translation

Even before the decision on their asylum application has been made, asylum seekers must have the opportunity to learn the language and make themselves useful. (Page 29)

FAMILY FORMATION: ... The foreign partner is expected upon arrival to be willing to learn the language and to integrate. (Page 71)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“De PvdA wil: … Dat lidstaten aan nieuwkomers ruime mogelijkheden bieden voor taalonderwijs...” (Pagina 72)

Unofficial Translation

The PvdA wants: … That Member States offer newcomers ample opportunities for language learning... (Page 20)

Socialist Party (SP)

Original Text

“Van vluchtelingen die asiel hebben gekregen verwachten we dat ze meedoen in onze samenleving en organiseren we dat dit mogelijk is. Dat is beter voor iedereen. In Nederland zorgen we voor goed taalonderwijs, zodat iedereen Nederlands leert.” (Pagina 32)

Unofficial Translation

We expect refugees who have been granted asylum to participate in our society and we organise to make this possible. That's better for everyone. In the Netherlands we ensure good language education, so that everyone learns Dutch. (Page 32)

 

Employment, health, education and housing also feature occasionally.

EMPLOYMENT

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“RECHT OP VRIJ VERKEER: Migranten verkrijgen na twee jaar het recht op vrij verkeer van werknemers binnen de EU als ze in hun eigen levensonderhoud kunnen voorzien.” (Pagina 72)

Unofficial Translation

RIGHT OF FREE MOVEMENT: Migrants will have the right to free movement as workers within the EU after two years if they can provide for themselves. (Page 72)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“De PvdA wil: … Dat lidstaten aan nieuwkomers ruime mogelijkheden bieden voor… snelle en doeltreffende accreditatie van elders genoten opleidingen, en praktische educatie om integratie te stimuleren.” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

The PvdA wants: … That Member States offer newcomers ample opportunities for… rapid and effective accreditation of training received elsewhere, and practical education to foster integration. (Page 20)

 

HEALTH

Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren)

Original Text

“Grondrechten, zoals toegang tot medische zorg, gelden ook voor mensen zonder verblijfsvergunning.” (Pagina 26)

Unofficial Translation

Fundamental rights, such as access to medical care, should also apply to people without residence permits. (Page 26)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“Vluchtelingen in afwachting van al dan niet een verblijfsstatus, moeten zeker zijn van een veilige opvang waar naast een dak, eten, onderwijs en zorg ook hygiëne en voldoende ruimte aanwezig zijn.” (Pagina 19)

Unofficial Translation

Refugees awaiting residence status or not, must be sure of a safe reception where, in addition to a roof, food, education and care, there is also hygiene and sufficient space. (Page 19)

 

EDUCATION

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“[Kinderen van asielzoekers] moeten natuurlijk naar school kunnen.” (Pagina 29)

Unofficial Translation

[Asylum seekers’] children must, of course, be able to go to school. (Page 29)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“De PvdA wil: … Dat lidstaten aan nieuwkomers ruime mogelijkheden bieden voor… snelle en doeltreffende accreditatie van elders genoten opleidingen, en praktische educatie om integratie te stimuleren.” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

The PvdA wants: … That Member States offer newcomers ample opportunities for… rapid and effective accreditation of training received elsewhere, and practical education to foster integration. (Page 20)

 

HOUSING

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“Moslims wordt in sommige Europese landen huisvesting geweigerd… Al ruim een decennium houden sommige lidstaten Europese regels tegen uitsluiting of achterstelling op het gebied van huisvesting, onderwijs of sociale voorzieningen tegen.” (Pagina 24)

Unofficial Translation

Muslims are refused housing in some European countries… For over a decade, some Member States have been blocking European rules against exclusion or disadvantage in the field of housing, education or social services. (Page 24)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“Als je wegens geweld of andere vormen van onderdrukking huis en haard hebt verlaten, moet je zeker zijn van bescherming. Dat betekent opvang in een veilige omgeving. Waar je een dak boven je hoofd hebt, je kind naar school kan en je toegang hebt tot zorg… Overvolle kampen moeten we gezamenlijk zien te voorkomen.” (Pagina 19)

Unofficial Translation

If you have left your home because of violence or other forms of oppression, you must be sure of protection. That means shelter in a safe environment. Where you have a roof over your head, your child can go to school and you have access to care… Jointly, we must prevent overcrowded camps. (Page 19)

 

Three of parties put special emphasis on the rights and needs of migrant and refugee children.

ATTENTION TO VULNERABLE GROUPS

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“MINDERJARIGE VLUCHTELINGEN: De belangen van kinderen in de asielprocedure moeten beter gewaarborgd. Ook om te voorkomen dat kinderen hier wortelen zonder te kunnen blijven. Kinderen van vluchtelingen en migranten die jonger zijn dan 12 jaar worden niet langer blootgesteld aan verhoren van overheidsinstanties, die bijvoorbeeld zijn gericht op het vaststellen van de gezinsband in het kader van gezinshereniging. Voor oudere kinderen geldt dat gesprekken die instanties met hen voeren voldoen aan de eisen die het Kinderrechtenverdrag hieraan stelt.” (Pagina 70)

Unofficial Translation

MINOR REFUGEES: The interests of children in the asylum procedure must be better safeguarded. Also to prevent children growing roots here without being able to stay. Children of refugees and migrants who are younger than 12 years old should no longer be exposed to interrogations by public authorities which, for example, are aimed at establishing family ties in the context of family reunification. For older children, the conversations that authorities have with them should meet the requirements set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Page 70)

Labour Party (PvdA)

Original Text

“Kinderen verdienen hierbij extra aandacht en zorg. Kinderlevens mogen niet jarenlang stilstaan, simpelweg omdat asielprocedures eindeloos duren.” (Pagina 19)

“Kinderrechten steviger verankeren in asielafspraken. Dit moet onder meer voorkomen dat kinderen in de cel terechtkomen.” (Pagina 20)

Unofficial Translation

Children deserve extra attention and care. Children’s lives cannot stand still for years, simply because asylum procedures last for a very long time. (Page 19)

Embed children's rights more firmly in asylum agreements. This should, among other things, prevent children from entering the [detention] cell. (Page 20)

Socialist Party (SP)

Original Text

“Er is speciale aandacht voor de positie van kinderen.” (Pagina 32)

Unofficial Translation

Special attention is given to the position of children. (Page 32)

 

Regarding residence and naturalisation, the GreenLeft emphasises the need for quick family reunification mechanisms, while Democrats 66 is opposed to the “sale of European citizenship”.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION, PERMITS & NATURALISATION

Democrats 66 (D66)

Original Text

“’Gouden visas’, oftewel het verkrijgen van een EU-paspoort of verblijfsvergunning door een finkeinvestering te doen ineen EU-land, hoort niet thuis bij de EU. De verkoop van Europees burgerschapis wat ons betreft immoreel en biedt bovendien een rode loper aan criminele elementen.” (Pagina 31)

Unofficial Translation

“Golden visas”, or obtaining an EU passport or residence permit by making a substantial investment in an EU country, does not belong in the EU. The sale of European citizenship is in our opinion immoral and also offers a red carpet to criminal elements. (Page 31)

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“GEZINSHERENIGING VLUCHTELINGEN: De procedures voor gezinshereniging voor vluchtelingen moeten zo snel en soepel mogelijk zijn. Gezinshereniging telt niet mee in het hervestigingsbeleid, maar blijft een apart mechanisme.” (Page 70)

“GEZINSVORMING: De EU beschermt het recht op gezinsvorming en -hereniging. Om een partner uit het buitenland te laten overkomen, gaat de soepele inkomenstoets gelden uit de EU-richtlijn vrij verkeer en verblijf. Van de buitenlandse partner wordt verlangd dat deze bereid is na overkomst de taal te leren en te integreren.” (Pagina 71)

Unofficial Translation

FAMILY REUNIFICATION REFUGEES: The family reunification procedures for refugees must be as quick and flexible as possible. Family reunification should not count in the resettlement policy but remain a separate mechanism. (Page 70)

FAMILY FORMATION: The EU protects the right to family formation and reunification. To have a partner come over from abroad, the flexible income test will apply from the EU directive on free movement and residence. The foreign partner is expected upon arrival to be willing to learn the language and to integrate. (Page 71)

 

The GreenLeft also states several objectives related to the rights of migrants and refugees, asylum-seeking or not. Democrats 66 advocate for the protection of human rights for refugees. The Christian Democrats (CDA) also mention the protection of basic human rights for people of all origins.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)

Original Text

“Wat ieders geslacht, afkomst, geaardheid of geloof ook is: in Europa kan iedereen rekenen op een gelijke behandeling en een bescherming van zijn elementaire mensenrechten.” (Pagina 68)

Unofficial Translation

Whatever anyone’s gender, origin, orientation or belief is: in Europe everyone can count on equal treatment and protection of their basic human rights. (Page 68)

Democrats 66 (D66)

Original Text

“Het Europese continent moet een welkome plek zijn voor mensen op de vlucht voor geweld en oorlog. Vluchtelingen vinden hier een humaan onderkomen. D66 vindt het belangrijk dat vluchtelingen in de hele EU dezelfde humane behandeling krijgen. Het gaat om mensen, om de menselijke waardigheid en om de bescherming van mensenrechten. Daarop doen we geen concessies.” (Pagina 28)

Unofficial Translation

The European continent must be a welcome place for people fleeing violence and war. Refugees find humane accommodation here. D66 believes it is important that refugees receive the same humane treatment throughout the EU. It is about people, human dignity and the protection of human rights. We do not make any concessions on this. (Page 28)

GreenLeft (GroenLinks)

Original Text

“Mensen die wij toelaten, moeten de kans krijgen om te integreren. Asielzoekers hebben recht op goede voorzieningen, waaronder toegang tot juridische ondersteuning. Asielzoekers stoppen we niet weg in een detentiecentra.” (Pagina 29)

“RECHTEN MIGRANTEN: Legale migranten krijgen na vijf jaar verblijf dezelfde rechten als EU-burgers, waaronder kiesrecht.” (Pagina 72)

“RECHT OP VRIJ VERKEER: Migranten verkrijgen na twee jaar het recht op vrij verkeer van werknemers binnen de EU als ze in hun eigen levensonderhoud kunnen voorzien.” (Pagina 72)

Unofficial Translation

People we admit must have the opportunity to integrate. Asylum seekers are entitled to good facilities, including access to legal support. We do not put asylum seekers away in detention centers. (Page 29)

RIGHTS MIGRANTS: After five years of residence, legal migrants receive the same rights as EU citizens, including the right to vote. (Page 72)

RIGHT OF FREE MOVEMENT: Migrants will have the right to free movement as workers within the EU after two years if they can provide for themselves. (Page 72)

 

Finally, one of the parties, the Forum for Democracy, states its belief that immigrants have failed to integrate. Its proposed solutions are related to restriction of immigration, rather than proposals to improve integration.

OTHER

Forum for Democracy (FvD)

Original Text

“Doordat immigranten nauwelijks toetreden tot de arbeidsmarkt, zorgt massale immigratie juist voor méér mensen die een beroep doen op sociale voorzieningen, terwijl hun leerachterstanden het onderwijs onevenredig belasten en hun oververtegenwoordiging in de criminaliteit ons maatschappelijk bestel onder grote druk zetten.” (Pagina 3)

Unofficial Translation

Because immigrants barely enter the labour market, massive immigration causes more people to turn to social services, while their educational disadvantages are disproportionately burdening education and their overrepresentation in crime puts great pressure on our social system. (Page 3)

 

See the party programmes: Forum for Democracy, People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), GreenLeft (GroenLinks), Christian Democrats (CDA), Labour Party (PvdA), Democrats 66 (D66), Christian Union and Reformed Political Party (ChristenUnie-SGP), Socialist Party (SP), Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren), Party for Freedom (PVV).

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Estonia say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Estonia say about integration?

16/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

Estonia will have six MEPs in the next European Parliament. Issues concerning migration received attention in all party programmes for the European Parliament elections. Except for the Estonian Reform Party, the parties also mentioned the integration of migrants or refugees in some way.

However, as Estonia held its national parliament elections just two months ago, on 3 March 2019, the focus of the political debate has remained on local issues. The new government stepped into office at the end of April, leaving the debates on the future of the European Union in the background.

The new Estonian MEPs are likely to come from the Estonian Reform Party, Social Democratic Party of Estonia, Estonian Centre Party and Conservative People’s Party of Estonia. It is possible, though unlikely, that either Pro Patria or Estonia 200 could also get one seat. As of 14 May 2019, the Social Democratic Party and the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia are expected to gain one seat, while Pro Patria will likely lose its current seat.

The manifestos of the Social Democrats and Centre Party raise similar concerns and goals in three aspects relevant to migrant integration: employment, language learning and diversity. The Estonia 200 party also mentions integration in the employment context.

EMPLOYMENT

Estonian Centre Party

Original Text

"Tööjõu liikumise vabadus pole võimalik ilma igakülgse võitluseta diskrimineerimisega tööturul, sealhulgas diskrimineerimisega kodakondsuse, etnilise kuuluvuse ja keele alusel. Vastavad meetmed peavad saama adekvaatse toetuse nii EL kui eraldi liikmesriikide tasandil." (lk 6)

Unofficial Translation

Freedom of movement for the workforce is not possible without a comprehensive fight against discrimination in the labour market, including discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity and language. Such measures must receive adequate support at both EU and national level. (Page 6)

Social Democratic Party of Estonia

Original Text

"Tööränne Eestisse peab arvestama meie tööturu vajaduste ja nõudmistega ning toetama majanduses tootlikkuse kasvu. Seejuures tuleb austada kõigi inimeste inimõigusi ning luua seaduslikele migrantidele võimalused Eestis kohanemiseks, õppimiseks, sealhulgas eesti keele ja kultuuri õppimiseks, ning töötamiseks." (lk 9 eestikeelses versioonis)

Official Translation

"Labor migration to Estonia must take into account the needs and demands of our labor market and support productivity growth in the economy. In doing so, the human rights of all people must be respected, and opportunities must be created for legal migrants to adapt and study in Estonia, including learning the Estonian language and culture, and to work in Estonia." (Page 8 in English version)

Estonia 200

Original Text

"24. Soodustame õpihimuliste noorte õpirännet ja eneseteostuse võimalusi otsivate täiskasvanute tööhõivet, kui nad on valmis integreeruma kohaliku ühiskonnaga ja tunnustama valitsevat õiguskorda." (lk 4)

Unofficial Translation

24. We encourage learning mobility for young people who are eager to learn and the employment of adults seeking opportunities for self-realisation, when they are ready to integrate with the local society and recognise the prevailing legal order. (Page 4)

 

LANGUAGE

Estonian Centre Party

Original Text

"Peame oluliseks võõrkeelte, sh eesti keele õpetamise toetamist EL liikmesriikides." (lk 7)

Unofficial Translation

We consider it important to support the teaching of foreign languages, including Estonian, in the EU Member States. (Page 7)

Social Democratic Party of Estonia

Original Text

"Tuleb […] luua seaduslikele migrantidele võimalused Eestis kohanemiseks, õppimiseks, sealhulgas eesti keele ja kultuuri õppimiseks…" (lk 9 eestikeelses versioonis)

Official Translation

"… opportunities must be created for legal migrants to adapt and study in Estonia, including learning the Estonian language and culture…" (Page 8 in English version)

 

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Estonian Centre Party

Original Text

"Tööjõu liikumise vabadus pole võimalik ilma igakülgse võitluseta diskrimineerimisega tööturul, sealhulgas diskrimineerimisega kodakondsuse, etnilise kuuluvuse ja keele alusel. Vastavad meetmed peavad saama adekvaatse toetuse nii EL kui eraldi liikmesriikide tasandil." (lk 6)

"Me oleme veendunud, et ühised euroopalikud väärtused hõlmavad ka austust vähemuste keeleliste ja hariduslike õiguste vastu." (lk 7)

Unofficial Translation

Freedom of movement for the workforce is not possible without a comprehensive fight against discrimination in the labour market, including discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity and language. Such measures must receive adequate support at both EU and national level. (Page 6)

We are convinced that common European values include respect for the linguistic and educational rights of minorities. (Page 7)

Social Democratic Party of Estonia

Original Text

"Euroopalikuks alusväärtuseks on inimõiguste austamine ja kaitsmine, Euroopas ei tohi olla kohta sallimatusel ja viha õhutamisel. Sotsiaaldemokraadid seisavad otsustavalt vastu populistide mõtlematutele vihakõnedele ja tegevustele, mis alavääristavad inimesi nende rahvuse, soo, seksuaalse sättumuse, nahavärvi või vaadete pärast." (lk 1)

Official Translation

"Respect for and protection of human rights is a fundamental European value; there must be no place for intolerance and incitement to hatred in Europe. The Social Democrats are firmly opposed to the thoughtless hate speech of the populists and to activities that undermine people because of their nationality, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, or views." (Page 1)

Conservative People’s Party of Estonia

Original Text

"2) Euroopa Liit peab kaitsma ja väärtustama kristlikku kultuuri ja teisi traditsioonilisi euroopalikke väärtusi! Seoses kiiresti kasvava moslemite arvuga Euroopas on ohtu sattunud Euroopa identiteet ja väärtused."

Unofficial Translation

2) The European Union must protect and value Christian culture and other traditional European values! The rapidly growing number of Muslims in Europe has put European identity and values at risk.

 

In addressing integration in the employment context, the Centre Party also wants the EU to be more involved in fighting discrimination in the labour market. The party also supports common European values, including respect for the rights of minorities.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

Estonian Centre Party

Original Text

"Tööjõu liikumise vabadus pole võimalik ilma igakülgse võitluseta diskrimineerimisega tööturul, sealhulgas diskrimineerimisega kodakondsuse, etnilise kuuluvuse ja keele alusel. Vastavad meetmed peavad saama adekvaatse toetuse nii EL kui eraldi liikmesriikide tasandil." (lk 6)

Unofficial Translation

Freedom of movement for the workforce is not possible without a comprehensive fight against discrimination in the labour market, including discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity and language. Such measures must receive adequate support at both EU and national level. (Page 6)

 

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Estonian Centre Party

Original Text

"Peame oluliseks, et kõigi Euroopa Liidu riikide valitsused jagaksid ühtseid euroopalikke väärtusi. Niisuguste väärtuste hulka kuulub … kõigi vähemuste, sh rahvusvähemuste õiguste austamine." (lk 4)

Unofficial Translation

We consider it important that all European Union governments share common European values. Such values include … respect for the rights of all minorities, including national minorities. (Page 4)

 

The Social Democrats want to ensure opportunities for legal migrants to study in Estonia. Estonia 200 also mentioned ‘learning mobility’ for young people.

EDUCATION

Social Democratic Party of Estonia

Original Text

"Tuleb […] luua seaduslikele migrantidele võimalused Eestis kohanemiseks, õppimiseks, sealhulgas eesti keele ja kultuuri õppimiseks…" (lk 9 eestikeelses versioonis)

Official Translation

"… opportunities must be created for legal migrants to adapt and study in Estonia, including learning the Estonian language and culture…" (Page 8 in English version)

Estonia 200

Original Text

"24. Soodustame õpihimuliste noorte õpirännet ja eneseteostuse võimalusi otsivate täiskasvanute tööhõivet, kui nad on valmis integreeruma kohaliku ühiskonnaga ja tunnustama valitsevat õiguskorda." (lk 4)

Unofficial Translation

24. We encourage learning mobility for young people who are eager to learn and the employment of adults seeking opportunities for self-realisation, when they are ready to integrate with the local society and recognise the prevailing legal order. (Page 4)

 

On the other hand, the conservative and right-wing parties each mention issues concerning migrant integration once in their manifestos. The Conservative People’s Party states that Christian culture and other traditional European values must be protected (see Diversity above), while the party Pro Patria presents its concern about the misuse of residence permits.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION, PERMITS & NATURALISATION

Pro Patria

Original Text

"Selleks tuleb hoida ära soovimatu sisseränne ja elamislubade väärkasutus ning tagada turvalisus ja riigi julgeolek." (lk 19)

Unofficial Translation

To this end, undesirable immigration and misuse of residence permits must be prevented and security and national security ensured. (Page 19)

 

See the party programmes: Estonian Reform Party, Social Democratic Party of Estonia (available in Estonian and English), Estonian Centre Party, Conservative People’s Party of Estonia, Pro Patria, Estonia 200

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in the United Kingdom say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in the United Kingdom say about integration?

16/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU. 

The United Kingdom is participating in the upcoming European Parliament elections and will elect 73 MEPs. Of the parties that published programmes for the European Parliament elections, five parties mentioned the integration of migrants or refugees in some way. These parties were the Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Change UK and Plaid Cymru.

The debate in the UK has been dominated by Brexit, with most party manifestos for these elections discussing migration and integration mainly in terms of European Union membership and reciprocal citizen’s rights. When it comes to the integration of third-country nationals, the parties most frequently mention upholding common values of anti-discrimination and equality as well as access to rights.

The 73 MEPs are likely to come primarily from the Brexit Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Greens. There are several other parties that could win at least one seat: Change UK,  UK Independence Party, Plaid Cymru (Wales only), Scottish National Party (Scotland only), Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland only), Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland only) and the Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland only). Following Brexit, all 73 MEPs will leave the European Parliament, and their seats will be partially redistributed to other EU Member States.

Both Change UK and the Brexit Party are newly formed parties. The Liberal Democrats are expected to increase their seats, while the Conservative Party and the UK Independence party are expected to lose seats. The Brexit Party and the Labour Party currently lead the polls.

Both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats mention the labour dimension of migration in their programmes.

EMPLOYMENT

Labour

“Labour rejects the Government’s plan to class as ‘unskilled’ any migrant worker earning less than £30,000. This would include nurses, teachers and social care workers who we desperately need. Labour will ensure our NHS and care sector can recruit the staff needed to care for our sick and elderly now and in the future.” (Page 25)

Liberal Democrats

“All countries across the EU, including the UK, need to do more to promote better participation of… ethnic minority people in the labour market in order to benefit from their full economic potential.”

 

Labour and Plaid Cymru also call for the protection of migrants’ rights in the employment context.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Labour

“For too long unscrupulous employers have exploited migrant workers and undercut local wages. At UK level, Labour would strengthen trade union rights, increase the minimum wage to a real living wage, fund proper enforcement, and give trade unions access to workplaces. We will ban the overseas-only advertising of jobs in the UK, and ensure every worker has the same basic rights from day one in the job.” (Page 17)

“Labour will continue to call for the UK to play a bigger role to support fair asylum and migration policies based on shared responsibility and solidarity between nations and people, respecting the rights of, and our duties to, refugees.” (Page 25)

Plaid Cymru

“It is crucial that all migrants are treated with dignity and regard for their basic human rights. We want to protect the rights of migrant workers and combat all forms of labour exploitation and forced labour in Europe.”

 

Four of the parties are concerned about xenophobia, racism, discrimination and/or hate crimes. Labour stresses the positive benefits of immigration and diversity.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Labour

“Labour believes that immigration has positive benefits for our communities and economy. Greater diversity and inward investment enriches our culture and enables the new skills and dynamism needed to create economic growth.” (Page 22)

“Labour will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe, wherever and however it arises. Labour wants to bring our country back together.” (Page 25)

Greens

“We are proud that Europe is diverse and colourful. We strongly condemn and fight any kind of discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of – but not limited to – gender and sexual identity, class, colour, ethnicity and their intersections. We want all policies and services to recognise the true diversity of people and their families – and the contribution they make to our societies.”

“Green ambition for 2019-2024: … Ensure that all EU and national Equality bodies have the powers to promote equality and tackle discrimination – including through appropriate legal processes and court.”

“The 2016 referendum unleashed a torrent of hatred, fear and division across our country. We’ll work with our neighbours to combat such hatred and welcome refugees and celebrate freedom of movement.”

Liberal Democrats

“While progress has been made towards equality for women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and LGBT+ people, there are many challenges still to overcome. There is increasing hostility towards women and minority groups – especially online – and reports of hate crimes are on the rise… We are committed to combatting this type of discrimination, promoting equality and tackling hate crime.”

Plaid Cymru

“In Wales, Plaid Cymru will work with Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure that all hate crime, including homophobic, racist and anti-disability hate crime, is treated as a serious offence by Welsh police forces and investigated appropriately so that victims can feel confident and secure in reporting incidents.”

 

The Greens want EU support for integration of migrants and refugees but do not specify what kind of support or to what extent. The Liberal Democrats want sanctions against states that fail to protect against discrimination based on race or other categories.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

Greens

“We want the European Union to support countries, regions, cities and communities integrating refugees or migrants.”

Liberal Democrats

“The EU sets a minimum standard for protection against discrimination on the grounds of gender, gender identity, race, disability and sexuality. States that violate these protections must face sanctions.”

 

Change UK makes a reference to support for local authorities in dealing with the challenges of immigration, but the party does not specify the kinds of support.

LOCAL & REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Change UK

“Immigration is a net positive for our country. Where it poses challenges to some of our communities, we need to take action; for example, central government should be properly supporting local authorities.”

 

Plaid Cymru wants to help refugees and asylum seekers integrate into Welsh society, but the party does not mention specific aspects of integration.

OTHER

Plaid Cymru

“In Wales, Plaid Cymru want Wales to be a real nation of sanctuary for refugees fleeing war and oppression and will help refugees and asylum seekers integrate into Welsh society.”

 

See the party programmes: Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Scottish National Party, Change UK, Plaid Cymru, UK Independence Party, Sinn Féin.

The Conservatives, Brexit Party, Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party have not published programmes for these elections.

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Portugal say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Portugal say about integration?

16/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

In the new European Parliament, Portugal will have 21 MEPs, who are likely to come from five parties: the Socialist Party (PS), the Social Democrats (PSD/PPD), the Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) of the Greens and the Communist Party, the Left Bloc (BE) and the People’s Party (CDS-PP). The integration of migrants and/or refugees received relatively little attention from these parties, while issues concerning migration and asylum policy got more attention.

The Socialist Party currently has eight MEPs in the European Parliament and is expected to gain one more. The Social Democrats and the People’s Party are expected to win eight seats in total, one more than in 2014, when they ran in a coalition. The long-standing CDU coalition of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (Verdes) may lose one MEP, going from three seats to two, while the Left Bloc is expected to gain an additional seat for a total of two seats. 

Migration and integration-related topics are generally not featured in the debates broadcast on the main television channels, but they are mentioned in the manifestos of some parties. Two of the parties—the Greens and the Socialist Party—mention the fight against xenophobia and discrimination. The Left Bloc highlights the contribution of immigrants to social and cultural diversity.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Greens

Original Text

“Os Verdes assumem-se frontalmente contra as violações dos direitos humanos e contra qualquer tipo de discriminação, seja devido a deficiência, género, raça, origem social ou étnica, língua, religião, idade, orientação sexual ou outra.”

Unofficial Translation

The Greens take a stand against violations of human rights and against any discrimination based on disability, gender, race, social or ethnic origin, language, religion, age, sexual orientation or other motive.

Left Bloc

Original Text

“A larga maioria destes imigrantes permanece em solo europeu, dando um contributo inestimável para a diversidade social e cultural, para o equilíbrio do saldo demográfico e para a sustentabilidade dos sistemas de segurança social.” (Page 5)

Official Translation

The vast majority of these immigrants remain on European soil, making an invaluable contribution to social and cultural diversity, balancing the demographic balance and ensuring the sustainability of social security systems. (Page 5)

Socialist Party

Original Text

“Preconizamos, por outro lado, uma política integrada para as migrações, que... assegure vias legais para uma gestão controlada das migrações, acompanhada de um investimento sério na integração social dos imigrantes e no combate ao racismo, à xenofobia e a todas as formas de discriminação.” (Page 5)

Official Translation

We also advocate an integrated migration policy... It should also provide legal avenues for the controlled management of migration, accompanied by serious investment in the social integration of immigrants and in combatting racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. (Page 5)

 

The coalition of the Greens and the Portuguese Communist Party emphasises the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Communist Party

Original Text

“Por uma Europa assente na elevação dos direitos laborais e sociais... O respeito pelos direitos dos migrantes e dos refugiados” (Page 22)

Unofficial Translation

For a Europe based on the elevation of labour and social rights… Respect for the rights of migrants and refugees (Page 22)

Greens

Original Text

“É fundamental defender uma política de migração e de apoio aos refugiados, baseada no respeito pelos direitos humanos, na solidariedade, no combate às causas da imigração em massa e no respeito pela independência e autodeterminação dos povos.”

Unofficial Translation

It is fundamental to defend a policy of migration and support to refugees based on the respect for human rights, solidarity, the fight against the causes of mass immigration and on the respect for the independence and self-determination of peoples.

 

Though it does not outline specific investments to be made, the Socialist Party does mention that there should be “serious investments” in the social integration of immigrants.

BUDGET, CAPACITY & RESEARCH

Socialist Party

Original Text

“Preconizamos, por outro lado, uma política integrada para as migrações, que... assegure vias legais para uma gestão controlada das migrações, acompanhada de um investimento sério na integração social dos imigrantes e no combate ao racismo, à xenofobia e a todas as formas de discriminação.” (Page 5)

Unofficial Translation

We also advocate an integrated migration policy... It should also provide legal avenues for the controlled management of migration, accompanied by serious investment in the social integration of immigrants and in combating racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. (Page 5)

 

The People’s Party refers to ‘humanism in integration’ but does not specify what this means.

OTHER

People’s Party

Original Text

“O CDS defende maiores investimentos em centros de acolhimento e hotspots capazes de, à entrada, distinguirem cada caso, assegurando rigor na entrada e humanismo na integração.” (p.36)

Unofficial Translation

The CDS advocates greater investments in reception centres and hotspots capable of, at entry, distinguishing each case, ensuring rigor in entry and humanism in integration. (p.36)

 

Voting is optional for Portuguese citizens and for EU citizens who have registered to vote in Portugal. Turnout for the 2014 elections was 33.67%.

See the party programmes: Socialist Party, Social Democrats, Unitary Democratic Coalition of the Greens and the Communist Party, Left Bloc (in Portuguese and English), People’s Party

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

OECD launches new website for better communication on migration and integration

OECD launches new website for better communication on migration and integration

15/05/2019

The OECD’s Network of Communication Officers on Migration (NETCOM) has launched a website dedicated to the communication of migration and integration topics. The new website will serve as a resource and provide a space for NETCOM members and others interested in migration and integration to share their experiences and good practices in communicating these subjects.

The site highlights important communications campaigns at the national and international levels, such as Portugal’s 2016 campaign What if it was me?, the Czech Republic’s 2018 campaign Let’s Talk Together (about Migration) and the International Organization for Migration’s 2017 campaign I am a Migrant. It also links to useful data and resources, including the OECD’s Indicators of Immigrant Integration and the special 2018 Eurobarometer survey on migrant integration in the EU.

The website’s Blog features articles and talks from experts and communications professionals in the field of migration and integration. For example, David Hickey, Director General for Communications at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), writes about the strategy and lessons learned of IRCC’s Immigration Matters initiative. Kate Lyons, a reporter for the Guardian, writes about the motivation and challenges of reporting on the stories of individual asylum seekers for the Guardian’s New Arrivals series.

NETCOM brings together communication officers and political advisors working in OECD member governments, along with other stakeholders, to discuss communication objectives and challenges in migration and integration.

See the new website

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Luxembourg say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Luxembourg say about integration?

14/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

For the new European Parliament, Luxembourg will elect six MEPs who are likely to come from the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV), Democratic Party (DP), Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and Déi Gréng (Greens). In their programmes for these elections, the major parties made only brief proposals or statements related to the integration of migrants and/or refugees, while topics related to migration and asylum policy received far more attention.

In the current European Parliament, CSV has three MEPs, while DP, LSAP and Greens each have one.  CSV is expected to lose one seat, which could go to ADR (national-conservative party), the Pirate Party or Déi Lénk (Left). Most parties make little mention of integration in their programmes, but there are nonetheless a few notable proposals regarding migrant and refugee integration.

For example, the Greens argue that the fight against precarious working conditions, which affect migrants more than other groups, must be stepped up. The Left wants to protect the rights of undocumented workers and ensure that all residents can express themselves politically.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Déi Gréng (Green)

“Victims of human trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation should not simply be returned to their countries of origin. They need protection programmes and should be given permanent residence permits. Moreover, their labour and social rights should be consistently guaranteed.” (Page 20)

“In our view, the respect of the human rights of asylum seekers and of Europe’s open borders are non-negotiable.” (Page 26)

“... the fight against precarious working conditions (which affect migrants more than other groups of individuals (e.g. in the food industry or construction)) must be stepped up. In addition to the consistent application of the EU Employers Sanctions Directive, we demand the establishment of claims centres that whistleblowers and victims of exploitation can turn to, even anonymously.” (Page 27)

Déi Lenk (Left)

Original Text

« Elargir la citoyenneté européenne en permettant en principe aux résident.e.s, qu’ils soient citoyen.ne.s de l’Union ou ressortissant.e.s de pays tiers, de s’exprimer politiquement lors de toutes les élections et de bénéficier des autres droits et libertés garantis aux ressortissant.e.s des États membres. » (Page 21)

« Régulariser les travailleurs et travailleuses sans-papier après six mois de résidence. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Expand European civic rights to permit residents, whether they are EU citizens or third-country nationals, to express themselves politically in all elections and to benefit from the other rights and liberties guaranteed to EU nationals.

 

Regularise undocumented workers after six months of residence.

 

Moreover, the Greens argue that municipalities and regions should receive more funding for integration.

LOCAL & REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Déi Gréng (Green)

“Municipalities and regions that take in refugees should receive funds from a municipal integration fund, which must be created for this purpose.” (Page 27)

 

LSAP (social democrat) wants improved regulation at the EU level for integration, though the party does not specify what changes it wants.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

LSAP (Socialist Workers’ Party)

“Improved European regulation for the integration of migrants.” (Page 5)

DP (Democratic Party)

“We call upon responsible political forces to mobilise the considerable potential of the EU to address essential challenges demanding a reaffirmation of our fundamental values and respect for human rights. That we have seen a rise in xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism is beyond dispute: this, we must fight together; we must combat the spread of hate speech that is so prevalent across the internet.” (Page 4)

 

The bigger parties also address the issues of social cohesion and xenophobia.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

CSV (Christian Social People’s Party)

“Anyone from a non-European socio-cultural background has to be given the chance to integrate and adopt to European culture. Europe is not only a continent of hope and refuge, but also a continent that values human dignity and human rights. People who move to Europe have to understand and accept the way we live, our values, our principles, and our norms. Someone who cannot commit to constitutional and legal systems and to equality between men and women, cannot stay. Europe has to be fully committed to its values and has to function according to European rules. Any person who has the wish to move to Europe, should internalise our values.”

“European politics has to work with Muslim citizens to make clear that Islam is absolutely compatible with European constitutional and social orders. It lies in the EU's interest that a tolerant, integrated, and European Islam is created...”

DP (Democratic Party)

“We call upon responsible political forces to mobilise the considerable potential of the EU to address essential challenges demanding a reaffirmation of our fundamental values and respect for human rights. That we have seen a rise in xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism is beyond dispute: this, we must fight together; we must combat the spread of hate speech that is so prevalent across the internet.” (Page 4)

Déi Gréng (Green)

“We campaign for an open, tolerant and inclusive society, in which human rights and equal opportunities are the norm. Green? Yes, but most of all, Europe needs to remain colourful and diverse. We reject all types of discrimination and marginalisation.” (Page 20)

“We will continue to fight against all kinds of discrimination - whether on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, religion, age, nationality or ethnic group - everywhere in Europe. We demand more means for the independent equal opportunity centres and for the European programme to promote diversity, with the aim of preventing discrimination through awareness-raising.” (Page 20)

 

Two of the smaller parties, the Left and the Pirate Party, make detailed proposals on integration. The Left highlights the importance of family reunification, and both parties are concerned about LGBTIQ asylum seekers.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION, PERMITS & NATURALISATION

Déi Lénk (Left)

Original Text

« Défendre le droit au regroupement familial pour ceux et celles qui obtiennent un statut de réfugié. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Defend the right to family reunification for those who obtain refugee status.

 

ATTENTION TO VULNERABLE GROUPS

Déi Lénk (Left)

Original Text

« Veiller à ce que toutes les procédures d’asile soient conformes aux enjeux de genre et concernant les personnes LGBTIQ, particulièrement en mettant en place des centres de coordination chargés de coordonner l’intégration de la dimension du genre. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Ensure that all asylum procedures conform to issues of gender and concerning LGBTIQ individuals, particularly by putting in place coordination centres in charge of coordinating integration with a gender dimension.

Piratenpartei (Pirate Party)

Original Text

“D’Infrastrukture fir Asylsichender sinn dacks net op d’Bedierfnesser vu den eenzele Mënschen zougeschnidden. Esou ass et beispillsweis méiglech, datt LGBTIQ-Persounen, déi opgrond vun hirer Sexualitéit oder hirer geschlechtlecher Identitéit an hirem Heemechtsland verfollegt goufen, sech hei mat anere Schutzsichenden, déi hirersäits duerch en LGBTIQ-feindlecht Gesellschaftsbild aus hirem Heemechtsland gepräägt sinn, am selwechten Ënnerdaach erëmfannen.

Fir Konfliktsituatiounen ze vermeiden an de physesche souwéi och psychesche Wuel vun de Betraffenen ze garantéieren, fuerderen d’Piraten d’Schafung vun engem Foyer respektiv engem ofgetrennte Beräich an enger bestoender Infrastruktur, wou LGBTIQ-Mënschen ënnerkomme kënnen, wann d’Situatioun et noutwenneg mécht.

Et ass dacks esou, datt betraffe Leit sech opgrond vun hiren Erfarungen net trauen, fir iwwert hir Situatioun ze schwätzen. Mir fuerderen dofir eng Formatioun fir d’Agenten aus de Foyeren, déi d’Thematike Coming-Out, sexuell Orientéierung a geschlechtlech Identitéit behandelt. Och d’Iwwersetzer an d’Security-Personal sollten an dëser Thematik hiren Aufgaben entspriechend forméiert ginn, fir an de jeeweilege Situatiounen ugemoossen kënnen ze handelen.” (Pages 49-50)

Unofficial Translation

Asylum seekers' infrastructures are often not designed for individual needs. Thus, it can be possible that LGBTIQ people who were persecuted on the grounds of their sexuality or their sexual identity in their home country will encounter [in Luxembourg] LGBTIQ-hostile company from their home country who are living in the same housing structures.

To avoid conflicts and promote both physical and psychological well-being among the relevant persons, the Pirates demand the creation of a foyer or a separate area in a dedicated infrastructure, where LGBTIQ people can feel safe, if the situation makes it necessary.

It is often the case that [LGBTIQ] people have difficulty talking about their situation. We therefore ask for training for social workers in the housing structures regarding the topics of coming out, sexual orientation and sexual identity. Translators and security staff should also have their respective tasks structured in order to be able to deal with the situations in question.

 

The Pirate Party also emphasises the importance of research and data regarding LGBTIQ asylum seekers, as well as overall funding for the integration of refugees through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

BUDGET, CAPACITY & RESEARCH

Piratenpartei (Pirate Party)

Original Text

“Fir d’Asylpolitik ze fërderen, muss den Asyl- a Migratiounsfong méi Programmer fir d’Ophuelen an d’Integratioun vu Flüchtlingen an den eenzele Memberlänner ënnerstëtzen.” (Page 49)

“Fir festzestellen, op déi getraffe Mesuren hiren Zweck erfëllen a fir deementspriechend op d‘Hëllef vun anere staatlechen oder konventionéierte Servicer zeréckzegräifen, sollten Informatiounen a Statistike ronderëm d’LGBTIQ-Asylsichenden EU-wäit erhuewe ginn, déi relevant fir e Suivi an deem Domaine sinn. Konventionéierten Acteuren, déi eng Kollaboratioun mat de Foyeren an dësem Kontext hunn, sollten, ënnert Berécksiichtegung vun der Privatsphär vun de Betraffenen an den datschutzrechtlechen Aspekter, Zougrëff op dës Statistiken hunn.” (Page 50)

Unofficial Translation

In order to promote the policy of asylum, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund must support more programmes for refugees and the integration of refugees into the individual Member States.

To verify if the relevant measures achieve their goal and to provide accordingly the help of other state or conventional services, information and statistics about LGBTIQ asylum seekers should be collected EU-wide for a relevant monitoring in that domain. The conventional actors who collaborate with housing structures in this context should have access to these statistics, subject to the privacy of those involved and the data protection law.

 

Finally, while the ADR (national-conservative party) does not have specific proposals regarding the integration of migrants and refugees, they argue that there is a “proliferation of actors” in the area of refugee-related problems, and that this proliferation should be avoided.

OTHER

ADR (Alternativ Demokratesch Reformpartei)

Original Text

“D'ADR fuerdert eng staark Ënnerstëtzung vun humanitären Organisatiounen am Beräich vun der Flüchtlingsproblematik, besonnesch vum UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Gläichzäiteg gëllt et, enger Proliferatioun vun Acteuren an dësem Beräich entgéintzewierken, fir d’Efforte kënnen ze konzentréieren, d’Anhale vu Rechtsnormen ze garantéieren an d’Kontroll ze erliichteren.” (Page 17)

Unofficial Translation

ADR asks for a strong support for humanitarian organisations with respect to refugee problems, in particular for UNHCR. At the same time, the proliferation of actors in this field should be avoided in order to be able to concentrate efforts, respect the rule of law and maintain control.

 

Voting is compulsory for Luxembourgian citizens and for EU citizens who have registered to vote in Luxembourg. Turnout for the 2014 elections exceeded 85%.

See the party programmes: ADR (national-conservative), CSV (Christian democrat), Déi Gréng (Greens), Déi Lénk (Left), DP (liberals), LSAP (social democrat), Pirate Party

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Slovakia say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Slovakia say about integration?

13/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

Migration is a sensitive topic for the electorate in Slovakia. Political parties and candidates have therefore been cautious in discussing migration and integration during their campaigns for the 2019 European Parliament elections. In general, political parties in Slovakia emphasise migration and asylum policy in their programmes for the EU Parliament elections, while they give almost no attention to the integration of migrants and refugees.

Slovakia will have 13 MEPs in the upcoming European Parliament (14 MEPs after Brexit), and they are likely to come from nine different political parties:

  • Direction Social Democracy (SMER-SD)
  • People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS)
  • Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)
  • Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNo)
  • We Are Family (Sme Rodina)
  • Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
  • Progressive Slovakia and TOGETHER-Civic Democracy (PS-Spolu)
  • New Majority (NOVA)
  • Slovak National Party (SNS)

No party made any significant mention of the integration of migrants or refugees in their programmes for the elections.  Moreover, the parties do not point to migrants and refugees as contributing positively to Slovakian society and do not view migration as a priority at the national level. However, some of the political parties see migration as a priority at the European level, with an emphasis on maintaining national sovereignty over the issue.

The leading political party SMER-SD has highlighted in its campaign that Slovakia was the first country to question the quota system for the relocation of asylum seekers in 2015. The OĽaNO and SaS parties also pay attention to asylum and migration policy topics like the Common European Asylum System and EU external borders, while ĽSNS takes a generally anti-migration position.

Although not directly addressing the integration of migrants and refugees, the party Progressive Slovakia, which is running on a joint ticket with the TOGETHER-Civic Democracy party (Spolu), did mention the threat of xenophobia and racism in its programme.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Progressive Slovakia

Original Text

“Niektoré nebezpečné klamstvá ovplyvňujú výsledky volieb, šíria neistotu, xenofóbiu a rasizmus, rozdeľujú spoločnosť na nepriateľské tábory, alebo sa snažia zničiť dôveru k myšlienke spoločnej Európy.”

Unofficial Translation

Some dangerous lies affect election results, spread insecurity, xenophobia, and racism, divide society into hostile camps, or try to destroy trust in the common European idea.

 

In this context, Progressive Slovakia also calls for coordinated action at the EU level.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

Progressive Slovakia

Original Text

“V zápase s touto hrozbou je koordinovaný postup členských štátov výhodou, ktorú musíme lepšie využívať.”

Unofficial Translation

In combatting this threat [of lies, insecurity, racism, xenophobia, etc.], coordinated action by Member States is an advantage that we need to make better use of.

 

See the party programmes: Direction Social Democracy (SMER-SD), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) manifesto and “value compass”, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNo), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Progressive Slovakia (PS), TOGETHER-Civic Democracy (Spolu)

People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), We Are Family (Sme Rodina), New Majority (NOVA) and the Slovak National Party (SNS) have not published statements on their websites explaining their programmes for these elections, though they may have published information about their candidates and election-related news.

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.