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2015/2016 Activities Report

mpg_ar_2015-2016_final-pdf-adobe-acrobat-pro-dcSince 1995, MPG has acted as a leading independent ‘think-and-do tank’ resulting in lasting change at European, national and increasingly local level, notably. MPG’s highly engaged and multilingual team manages what is arguably the largest and most durable networks of civil society and experts on immigrant integration and anti-discrimination at national and local level in Europe. MPG applies the highest standards of research and stakeholder consultation to come up with innovative solutions and user-friendly tools.

MPG has provided comparative evidence, tools, inspiration, dialogue and networks that policymakers and stakeholders have used extensively to create more ambitious and effective anti-discrimination laws, integration policies and legal immigration channels. At EU level, MPG’s work directly led to the adoption and implementation of anti-discrimination law on age, disability, race/ethnicity, religion/belief and sexual orientation (i.e. the 2000 Racial and Employment Equality Directives) and contributed greatly to the adoption and use of EU standards on integration. At national level, MPG’s work is directly responsible for the adoption and improvement of national anti-discrimination laws in all EU Member States and accession countries as well as the design of new policies and reforms in various areas, particularly in new and recent destinations in Central and Southern Europe. At local level, MPG’s tools and expertise are used by leading local actors to improve and open up their services to a diverse public.

After 20 years in existence, 2015 was a turning point for MPG during these troubled times for European policymakers as its new leadership team developed new solutions to make integration and anti-discrimination a top priority.

Our flagship initiatives—the European Equality Law Network, the European Website on Integration and the Migrant Integration Policy Index—allowed MPG to rapidly respond to new needs and policy debates. In addition, the Migration News Sheet – the best summary of European migration news since 1985 – was renewed in 2016, thanks to the support of UNHCR, IOM and its loyal subscribers. These projects provide the latest and best evidence on the development and effectiveness of legal migration, integration and anti-discrimination policies across all EU Member States and beyond.

New initiatives were developed to grasp gaps in policy-oriented research and to move practitioners from discussion into action.

In response to Europe’s refugee governance crisis, MPG launched its 6-year refugee integration evaluation tool in 16 EU Member States, led by the Polish Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) and two new MPG senior staff. This project has been extended the project to Turkey to provide the 1st-ever refugee integration monitoring in the country, in cooperation with IGAM, a strong new leader within Turkish civil society.

Building on our pilot work on equality data, MPG and Human European Consultancy won and started the EC Equality Data Collection tender to gather data on the laws, availability and use of equality data on all discrimination grounds in all EU Member States, update the 2006 European Handbook on Equality Data and put forward recommendations to the EU on future actions. MPG also started an EU funded joint project on monitoring and combating hate speech, with the development of a specific application and training tools such as manuals and online courses.

Moving from knowledge to action, MPG has started to work with a diversity of partners to develop innovative pilots on immigrant entrepreneurs (DELI), public procurement (BUYDIS) and the education of migrant and refugee pupils (SIRIUS). On 1 January 2016, after several years of preparation, MPG started to roll out promotional citizenship campaigns to get more EU and non-EU citizens to become politically active, voters and citizens in Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In mid-2016, SIRIUS received the necessary support to get on its way to become an independent legal entity with its own membership.

MPG is solicited now more than ever as the Eurobarometer confirms that immigration has become the number one priority for the European public both at national and at EU level. MPG’s growing senior staff are regularly meeting with the European institutions, national government officials, foundations and EU/national NGOs. The increasing refugee arrivals and fears of radicalisation, terrorism and social mistrust are making governments and the public aware of the needs within their own societies and the inadequacies of their current policies to provide legal immigration channels, long-term integration investments for refugees and the 2nd generation and effective protections against discrimination both for immigrants and for other groups victimised by discrimination, hate and violence. This awareness has never been so widespread across all corners of Europe and so high on the political agenda. MPG’s evidence base and strategic advice have never been more relevant to promote policy reform and implementation at EU, national and local level.