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Migrant Voices – Mainstreaming Diversity in Political Parties

PRESENTATION

MPG recently undertook a pilot project funded by the European Programme on Integration and Migration (EPIM) to assess the extent to which migrants’ voices are successfully heard at all levels of interaction with political parties (constituents, voters, activists, employees, and political candidates). A major output will be the development of benchmarks to help parties “practice what they preach” by mainstreaming diversity practices into party processes across the political spectrum

France, Germany, UK and beyond

Scheduled to run from December 2010 to December 2011, the project brought together senior strategists from the primary political groupings in France, Germany and the United Kingdom to share good practice and formulate experience-based recommendations for action.

The target countries have some of the largest migrant populations in the European Union, long histories of immigration and sizeable electorates. They are valuable testing grounds to pilot the project for future extension to other EU countries.

Advisory Council

MPG worked with an Advisory Council made up of one individual from each of the three target countries with access to cross-party political networks and extensive experience in diversity mainstreaming to engage national-level stakeholders, contribute expertise to the comparative analysis and benchmarking process, as well as to disseminate the findings of the project within civil society organisations at a national level.

Toolkit & Results

The project produced a ‘toolkit’ for mainstreaming diversity in political parties including:

  • The results of the comparative analysis
  • Concrete proposals on effective multi-level diversity mainstreaming
  • Examples of good practice
  • Benchmarks and indicators for evaluating strategies.

The toolkit is designed for use by parties across the political spectrum as well as for use by immigrants and civil society actors working towards the better representation of migrants’ voices in politics.

The findings of the project were presented and discussed at an expert meeting at the European Parliament hosted by the EP Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup.

To learn more about the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), click here.


LATEST PRODUCTS


Migrant Voices - Mainstreaming Diversity in Political Parties WORK IN USE

European People’s Party’s think-tank draws on MPG work with political parties for its publication on migrants’ participation in the political process

Summary

The Centre for European Studies, which works as the think-tank of the European People’s Party, has based its latest policy brief on migrants’ participation in the political process onMPG’s work with political parties.

Description

CESFor its latest policy brief on Migrating Towards Participation: Immigrants and Their Descendants in the Political Process, the Centre for European Studies used MPG’s benchmarks on political parties as key standards to follow. The authors also drew on its related publication Becoming a Party of Choice: A Tool for Mainstreaming Diversity.

In its conclusions, the authors of the policy brief stress that:

“Strategically, contributing to the political integration of immigrants would help distinguish the European centre-right from populist and extremist political alternatives. Following their anti-immigrant rhetoric would only alienate the traditional centre-right electorate and cost the mainstream centre-right some credibility.”

The policy brief concludes with a list of recommendations for all political parties, including the European People’s party and its affiliates.

The full policy brief can be downloaded here.

Flemish Integration Forum endorses MPG’s Tool for Mainstreaming Diversity in Political Parties

Summary

The Flemish Integration Forum calls on political parties to use the Migration Policy Group’s tool to mainstream diversity across their party operations

Description

The Flemish Integration Forum (Minderhedenforum) has published a report on the political participation of immigrants in Flanders, coming to the conclusion that Flemish politics does not sufficiently represent the diversity of the population.

The Report, ‘Koplopers Van De Politieke Participatie: Rapport etnische diversiteit bij lokale mandatarissen’ (in Dutch) notes that Flemish political parties have failed to adopt active and sustained policies to ensure that their organisations are accessible to immigrants, and calls on political parties to use MPG’s Tool for Mainstreaming Diversity in Political Parties to help them develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that immigrants are represented at all levels within their organisation (as voters, members, candidates, leaders, volunteers, employees and providers of goods and services).

To access MPG’s reports and the online benchmark for mainstreaming diversity, click here.

Migrant Voices - Mainstreaming Diversity in Political Parties WORK IN CONTEXT

UK: Ethnic minority voters could hold key to 2015 general election result

An Operation Black Vote supporterA radical demographic shift means that Britain’s ethnic minority vote may determine the outcome of the 2015 election, according to research. The Guardian newspaper reports that a study by the cross-party group Operation Black Vote (OBV) found the number of seats where black and Asian voters could decide the outcome had rocketed by 70% compared with the 2010 election.

The study suggests that in 168 marginal seats, the ethnic minority vote is bigger than the majority of the sitting MP. The seats extend beyond inner-city areas to include places such as Southampton, Oxford, Sherwood, Ipswich and Northampton. The findings will be of particular concern to the Conservative Party, who have acknowledged that they are struggling to capture the ethnic minority vote. The party secured only 16% of the minority vote at the last election, compared with 68% for Labour. Experts say the trend will continue and may change the dynamics of British politics.

MPG’s toolkit on Becoming a Party of choice includes a benchmarking tool to help parties opening to diversity and equality, from voters and candidates to staff and suppliers. It includes examples of strategies and schemes that can be used by political parties to reach out to voters with an migrant background.

The toolkit also includes a comparative analysis of various initiatives initiated in this field by political parties in France, Germany and the UK.

A new project, DivPol, was launched earlier this year and will use MPG’s tool.

Germany: only 4% of the candidates for the national parliamentary elections have an immigrant background

As reported by Spiegel Online and and by the European Web Site on Integration, 81 candidates to the next German general elections in September have an immigrant background, which is 4 % of all candidates. Most candidates with a migrant background belong to the Green Party. There are none in the Bavarian Conservative Party (CSU). However, only few of these candidates have a chance of getting into the Parliament via the party list system.

MPG’s toolkit on Becoming a Party of choice includes a benchmarking tool to help parties opening to diversity and equality, from voters and candidates to staff and suppliers. The toolkit also includes a comparative analysis of various initiatives initiated in this field by political parties in France, Germany and the UK.

A new project, DivPol, was launched earlier this year and will use MPG’s tool.