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Migrant Integration Policy Index


The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is a unique long-term project which evaluates and compares what governments are doing to promote the integration of migrants in all EU Member States and several non-EU countries.



MIPEX has a dedicated website where you can play with the data and make your charts and maps to compare and improve integration policies.
Click here to visit it.

What is MIPEX?

The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is a unique tool which measures policies to integrate migrants in all EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.

167 policy indicators have been developed to create a rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants’ opportunities to participate in society. The index is a useful tool to evaluate and compare what governments are doing to promote the integration of migrants in all the countries analysed.

The project informs and engages key policy actors about how to use indicators to improve integration governance and policy effectiveness.

To that end, the project identifies and measures integration outcomes, integration policies, and other contextual factors that can impact policy effectiveness; describes the real and potential beneficiaries of policies; and collects and analyses high-quality evaluations of integration policy effects.

Thanks to the relevance and rigor of its indicators, the MIPEX has been recognised as a common quick reference guide across Europe. Policymakers, NGOs, researchers, and European and international institutions are using its data not only to understand and compare national integration policies, but also to improve standards for equal treatment.

Building on its ongoing success, the MIPEX project is entering its fourth edition with a new policy strand and additional indicators.

Why use MIPEX?

Integration actors can struggle to find up-to-date, comprehensive research data and analysis on which to base policies, proposals for change and projects to achieve equality in their country. Instead they may find anecdotal, out-dated information and piecemeal statistics that are too disconnected from the real impact on people’s lives to assist in formulating improvements.

The MIPEX aims to address this by providing a comprehensive tool which can be used to assess, compare and improve integration policy. The MIPEX includes 38 countries in order to provide a view of integration policies across a broad range of differing environments.
The tool allows you to dig deep into the multiple factors that influence the integration of migrants into society and allows you to use the full MIPEX results to analyse and assess past and future changes in policy.

Who produces MIPEX?

The project “Integration policies: Who benefits? The development and use of indicators in integration debates” is led by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), and the Migration Policy Group (MPG). The project conducts a complete review of integration outcomes, policies, and beneficiaries in all EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.

MIPEX history

The Migrant Integration Policy Index was first published in 2004 as the European Civic Citizenship and Inclusion Index. It was the first time that the policies of the EU-15 towards migrants had been presented in a concise, transparent and comparable format. The 2004 Index was positively received by target audiences – NGOs, governments, academics, press and European Institutions such as the European Commission and European Parliament. It was launched in Brussels, Madrid and London. The 2004 MIPEX was a collaboration of the British Council, Migration Policy Group, Foreign Policy Centre and University of Sheffield. It was part-funded by the Barrow-Cadbury Charitable Trust and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

The second edition of the MIPEX, conducted in 2007, measures policies to integrate migrants in 25* EU Member States and Canada, Norway and Switzerland. It uses over 140 policy indicators covering six policy areas which shape a migrant’s journey to full citizenship: Labour market access; Family reunion; Long-term residence; Political participation; Access to nationality and Anti-discrimination. The MIPEX II was launched to the international press in Brussels in October 2007 followed by national events across Europe to stimulate discussions and debate. The MIPEX II partnership was led by the British Council together with MPG and co-financed by the European Community under the European Commission DG Freedom, Security and Justice INTI (Integrating Third Country Nationals) programme.

The third edition of the MIPEX, conducted in 2011, measured policies to integrate migrants in 27 EU Member States and Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA. It used over 148 policy indicators covering seven policy areas which shape a migrant’s journey to full citizenship: Labour market mobility; Family reunion; Education; Political participation; Long-term residence; Access to nationality and Anti-discrimination.  The MIPEX III was launched to the international press in Brussels in February 2011 followed by national events across Europe to stimulate discussions and debate. The MIPEX III partnership was led by the British Council together with MPG, was produced as part of the project ‘Outcomes for Policy Change’, and was co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third-Country Nationals.


Browse all MIPEX publications


EU Agency CEDEFOP looks into guidance for immigrants to close employment and education gaps

Logo_CedefopThe EU’s CEDEFOP Agency in Thessaloniki, Greece has recently published a study on delivering labour market integration guidance to immigrants, using MIPEX as a reference guide. In its introduction about why study guidance for immigrants, CEDEFOP recommends that “The strategy adopted by national states for the resident immigrant population should combat labour market mismatch, youth disengagement from education and training, and adopt an inclusive strategy that considers the needs of groups and of subgroups at greater risk, particularly women children, the EWSI-ID-employers_portfoliounemployed and those with low qualifications. A publication from the European Commission (2013) highlights that the education and labour market outcomes for nationals and immigrants are still substantially different. Generally, immigrants have lower employment levels, suffer from greater youth disengagement from education (especially among the children of the less qualified) and are at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion.

The same study suggests that if the current gap between the national and immigrant population is closed, substantial progress will be made towards the EU 2020 targets. In countries with large shares of immigrants, such as Belgium Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands, the contribution of the immigrant share can reach 50% on employment, early leaving and poverty risk targets

For more, see here.

A way forward for a National Integration Policy in Malta

On 13 June the human rights organisation Aditus released a report with “concrete recommendations aim­ed at national policymakers on how to maximise the success of the various stages of third country nationals’ integration process in Malta”. Using Malta’s scores on MIPEX as its starting point, consultations were organised and 60 recommendations developed on every MIPEX strand with different national stakeholders participating in the Malta Integration Network, as well as international experts, such as MPG’s director Jan Niessen.


ECJ: Language requirements can act as barriers to family reunification

The ECJ building in Luxembourg. Credits: Alfonso Salgueiro/Flickr

The ECJ building in Luxembourg. Credits: Alfonso Salgueiro/Flickr

The European Court of Justice has found in the Naime Dogan vs. Germany Case C-138/13 that Germany’s pre-entry language test contravenes the EU-Turkey Association Agreement and constitutes a disproportionate obstacle to family reunification.

In this judgement, the ECJ did not pronounce on the pre-entry test’s compatibility with the Family Reunification Directive (MPG briefing on the Directive). Still, the ECJ will have to address this question soon in response to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Netherlands lodged on 3 April 2014 (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken; other parties: K and A, Case C-153/14). Still, the ECJ’s judgement does hint at its likely answer on whether such a test can apply to all types of third-country nationals: “the language requirement at issue goes beyond what is necessary in order to attain the objective pursued, in so far as the absence of evidence of sufficient language knowledge automatically leads to the dismissal of the application for family reunification, without account being taken of the specific circumstances of each case“.

The 2007 test was assessed by MIPEX as not yet favourable for integration (scoring 57/100 points), because the test creates as many opportunities as obstacles for learning German. MIPEX monitoring shows that the same or greater obstacles exist in the language tests for family reunification in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, who also submitted observations in this ECJ case, as well as the United Kingdom. The weaknesses of these tests were presented in a 2011 MIPEX blog, later cited by The Guardian. Attaining basic level German and passing the professional test abroad is feasible for many learners, but not for several types of vulnerable learners who are not exempt from the test. Moreover, free German courses and tests are not available in and across several countries. The MIPEX scores predict that the pre-entry test may only be a language learning incentive for spouses abroad who can pay.  Only France’s language requirements come out on MIPEX as slightly favourable for language learning because France’s network of migration and language representatives abroad provide free courses for all applicants and provide exemptions for all those cannot access them.

French classes to migrants and refugees in France. Credits: European Commission

French classes to migrants and refugees in France. Credits: European Commission

Evaluations by government and independent academics have confirmed that pre-entry language tests and requirements have only marginal effects on language learning and integration, as MPG summarised in its 2011 literature review. The effects on language learning are marginal and often disappear by the time spouses get their visa, move to the country, and enroll in an in-country language course, where language teachers have said that they cannot tell the difference between immigrants who passed a pre-entry test and those who did not. The tests also seem to have little-to-no-effect on the education, labour market integration, or incidence of forced marriages among reuniting spouses. Instead, the introduction of pre-entry tests and other recent integration requirements has clearly had a disproportionate effect on limiting the number of family reunifications, as demonstrated by national statistics and by MPG’s comparative analysis.

Instead of pre-entry tests, high-quality and accessible information sessions and language courses, such as those by the Goethe Institute, British Council, or Alliance Francaise, have been found to improve spouses’ motivation and preparation for their life in their new country of residence. Unfortunately, these courses are often unavailable, inaccessible, low-quality, or expensive in many countries and circumstances. As a result, language courses abroad prior to migration are often much less effective than courses in country after migration. In Germany’s case, spouses who cannot pass the pre-entry test cannot then move to Germany, where they would have learned German rather well through the government’s obligatory German courses. Indeed, Germany’s in-country language courses have been well-evaluated as effective for learning German (Special Feature on Language Courses from European Website on Integration).

Administrative change in Italian citizenship law

The internal office of the Italian Ministry of the Interior has announced that it is working on an administrative reform that opens the provisions of ius soli to the Italian-born children of beneficiaries of international protection. This would give them equivalent rights to the children of stateless people as per Law 91 of 1992 which says that “Italian citizenship is bestowed to the child born in the Italian national territory when his/her parents are unknown, stateless or they do not transmit their citizenship to the child in accordance with their nationality’s legislation” (Italian Consulate). This means that children born in Italy to refugees who have been granted asylum could become Italian citizens once this change is put into place.

l'italia sono anch'ioAlthough the numbers that will be affected by this change seem to be minimal (there is mention of about 200 cases), these provisions are a favourable model for extending ius soli to all other legally resident children born in the country, as exists in most other EU15 countries. As the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) explains, young people born and raised in Italy can only declare themselves Italian after the age of 18 presuming they are legally registered and have uninterrupted residence. This means that they face inevitable administrative problems. Knowing no other country but Italy as their own, Italian-born students are removed from classes according to new 30% non-citizens’ quota. Their residence is easily interrupted by spending too long with family abroad.

Further information on access to citizenship and the modes of acquisition of citizenship in Italy are highlighted on the EUDO Citizenship website and the Handbook for Italy which were developed as part of the Access to Citizenship and its impact on integration (ACIT) project.

CITI-sOne of MPG’s interested partners on citizenship campaigns, Rete G2, welcomes this new interpretation of the Italian citizenship law by the Ministry of Interior and makes a strong call to the Chamber of Deputies to implement, by the end of 2014, a comprehensive reform of the citizenship law by recognizing the right to citizenship of those born in Italy to foreign parents or who have migrated to Italy as a child. In May 2014, the Commission on Constitutional Affairs at the Chamber of Deputies resumed the debate on the reform of the citizenship law. G2 have been campaigning for a change in this law for quite some time through its Italia Sono Anch’io campaign. This is one example that MPG is using to develop a common model for citizenship and voter mobilisation campaigns across Europe. Having consulted European and US practitioners on the issues of naturalization, political mobilization and electoral participation, MPG is developing a best practice model that can be used and adapted by practitioners across Europe as they develop their own campaigns. The objective is to:

  • facilitate campaigns that directly support immigrants in becoming citizens, assist with voter registration and increase election turnouts;
  • address the lack of comprehensive approaches to citizenship acquisition on a national level;
  • lay the foundations for future campaigns on a national level;
  • raise awareness about immigrant disenfranchisement as a major democratic deficit in Europe;
  • in the long run, increase the political participation of immigrant citizens


Are you looking for past news and events related to the Migrant Integration Policy Index?

News and events prior to 2012 are available in our archive.