The Immigrant Citizens Survey asked immigrants to assess their aspirations and needs for integration and then evaluated how effective policies are in meeting them. The pilot took place in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
The Immigrant Citizens Survey has a dedicated website where you can download all Survey products.
Click here or on the image to visit it.
For policy actors to fully understand the integration process and their impact on it, they needed to go beyond asking the general public and reach out to the beneficiaries of their policies and services themselves. We knew what the different laws and policies are across Europe (see the Migrant Integration Policy Index) – but we did not know which policies were working in practice and, above all, why or why not.
This knowledge gap could be overcome by a representative survey among non-EU immigrants— by directly asking about policy impact and by formulating the survey so that the results are comparable and easy-to-use by civil society. Immigrants as direct beneficiaries needed to be asked questions on key integration areas: about their background; integration goals; awareness of current policy; trust in implementing actors; reasons for/against participation, levels of satisfaction; observed benefits; and recommendations.
Though integration is local, many policies are national and, increasingly, impacted by EU law and European trends. To evaluate which policies are improving integration, it was critically important to have data that is comparable between cities, between the local and national level, and between countries. This pilot survey built on past work surveying immigrants, bringing together the most experienced national partners, following best practice, and providing new data in many areas of integration policy.
Results were launched in partnership with a national integration NGO, so that advocacy and policy-making organisations could better use the results of polling and consultation among immigrants. The timing of this project was strategic for the emerging EU agenda on capturing immigrant perceptions and designing common reference indicators to evaluate integration policy. As a result of this pilot, the voice of immigrants was made large and representative enough to affect the formulation of integration (and immigration) policies in Europe. This evidence base aimed to:
- Increase knowledge of policy impact and immigrants’ experiences;
- Create more impactful policies and services with better integration outcomes for immigrants and diverse societies;
- Secure national and European-level interest in structural support of surveying immigrants.
- The first paper, on over-qualification, helps to explain why working immigrants perceive themselves to be overqualified for their jobs.
- The second paper, on citizenship, help to explain under what conditions non-EU-born immigrants apply and are accepted for naturalisation.
- The third paper, on integration courses, identifies which immigrants and under which conditions these courses are beneficial for labour market integration.