The report, Political Participation of Third Country Nationals in Estonia, Latvia and Poland, was written by Marija Golubeva and published by the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, the national partner for the MIPEX project in Latvia.
This report presents the results of a study by three think-tanks based in ‘new’ EU member states on the opportunities and barriers to political participation of third country nationals (TCN) in their countries – Estonia, Latvia and Poland.
The purpose of the study is to establish, whether these three Member States are going in the direction indicated in the Common Basic Principles and the Stockholm Programme, fulfilling their promises on immigrant integration.
The study addresses the following aspects of political participation of immigrants:
- the existing forms of political participation for immigrants in the selected countries (legislation and practice);
- pro-active government policies, including the projects implemented via the European Fund for the integration of the Third Country Nationals.
The first part of the report analyses the legal framework for political participation of third country nationals in the 3 countries and measures the countries’ performance against the best practice in the EU according to the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX).
For the MIPEX on Estonia go to: www.mipex.eu/estonia
For the MIPEX results of Latvia go to: www.mipex.eu/latvia
and for the MIPEX appraisal of Poland go to: www.mipex.eu/poland
MIPEX indicators are designed to benchmark laws and policies regarding the integration of migrants in 31 countries in Europe and North America. The laws and policies are benchmarked against the highest scores in each respective area of policy and legislation.
The following indicators make up the MIPEX composite indicator on political participation:
- Electoral rights – right to vote in national, regional and local elections; right to stand in local elections;
- Political liberties – right to association; political parties; creating media;
- Consultative bodies – consultation at national level; regional level; capital city level; local city level;
- Implementation policies – information policy; public funding/ support for national immigrant bodies; for regional immigrant bodies; at local level in capital city; at local level in city.
The first part of the report also analyses the extent to which the countries in question used the funds available through the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (EIF) to foster the political participation of immigrants. The multi-annual programmes and annual action plans of the EIF are analysed from this perspective. The reason for choosing the programmes of EIF as the main area of proactive policies regarding the integration of immigrants implemented in the three countries is the fact that EIF remains the only significant source of funding for activities aimed at the integration of new immigrants in the countries in question. The first part of the report also includes analysis of the governing party positions regarding the political participation of immigrants.
The second part of the report presents the results of interviews with non-governmental organisations defining immigrants as (part of) their constituency, including immigrant associations but also policy-oriented organisations and service-oriented organisations working with issues of integration and having the issues of participation of immigrants in public life on their agenda. The opinion of representatives of such organisations was asked on two main issues: the impact of the actions implemented with the support of the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals on political participation of immigrants (both fostering participation through existing venues and creating new venues), and the barriers to better political participation of third-country nationals in each country.
The report was published as part of the project on Political participation in Central Europe. MPG’s Thomas Huddleston, also the MIPEX Central Research Coordinator, reviewed the comparative analysis.