MPG’s recent research on naturalisation policies and outcomes has been prominently used in the 2013 Annual Migration Report of Belgium’s new Federal Centre for the analysis of migration flows, the protection of fundamental rights of foreigners and the fight against human trafficking. Citing the MIPEX and MPG’s recent project with EUDO-Citizenship (known as ACIT), the report tries to analyse the impact of the 2012 Nationality restriction on the integration of immigrants. The report endorses the use of the ACIT indicators to evaluate the impact of the new law and cites Huddleston and Vink’s ACIT paper showing the strong positive correlation between integration and naturalisation policies across Europe. The report summarises MIPEX assessment of the 2000 legal liberalisation leading to a ‘simple, short, and free’ procedure, the discretionary nature of the Parliament’s Naturalisation Committee, and the the prospective impact assessment of the 2012 restriction on the MIPEX blog.
Drawing on MPG’s analysis, the Centre recommends that public authorities create the conditions for foreigners to still be able and interested to become citizens. The Centre also calls for the new naturalisation law and procedures to be regularly evaluated based on their impact on integration: Will there be a major decrease in the number of naturalisations? Does being a foreign rather than Belgian citizen make it harder for immigrants to integrate on the labour market and in other areas of public life?