Using MIPEX for improving integration policies

Using MIPEX for improving integration policies

Issued on 24/02/2011

Summary

Using the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) for improving migrant integration policies, written by Migration Policy Group Director and MIPEX Project Director, Jan Niessen

Description

The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) measures the commitment of governments to integration and monitors it’s translation into policies which provide immigrants with opportunities to participate in society on an equal footing.

The MIPEX establishes for 31 countries in Europe and North America the extent to which equality principles are being applied to immigrants.

Consequently, MIPEX establishes whether immigrants can live with their family and have a secure residence status, have access to employment and education and can benefit from general services as well as from special measures addressing their specific needs.

It also ascertains whether immigrants enjoy civic rights, are entitled to participate in public life, can acquire citizenship and are protected against discrimination.

Finally, the MIPEX answers questions on implementing measures and enforcement mechanisms.

The various MIPEX editions demonstrate that countries can do much better to create a more encouraging environment in which immigrants can contribute to a country’s well-being. In this regard international cooperation and comparison are important as they set standards, limit national discretion and offer learning opportunities.
This paper explores how the MIPEX results can be used to effectively implement and improve integration policies. After the first section that presents this rather new and increasingly used instrument, two distinct but related questions, sometimes raised by integration actors when they use the MIPEX, are answered.

  1. The first question relates to the fact that while the MIPEX finds out which integration policies are adopted, it seems to remain silent on whether and how these policies are implemented.
  2. The second question asks whether MIPEX can provide information on the effects of adopted legal and other integration measures. These two questions will be addressed in sections two and three of this paper, respectively.

MIPEX results do not speak for themselves but need to be placed in a broader context. This paper suggests in the fourth section a few ways of doing that. MIPEX results can be interpreted in the light of the results of relevant other index exercises. They can be compared with scientific reports and with official and NGO reports submitted to or prepared by international treaty bodies. Finally, the MIPEX results can be illustrated or contrasted with well-documented examples of integration practices. The contextualisation of the MIPEX results helps to establish whether or not there is a culture of policy implementation in the MIPEX countries.

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