Access to citizenship and its impact on immigrant integration (ACIT) was financed by European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals (administered by DG Home Affairs). The main goals of the research project were to explore the links between acquisition of nationality and the integration processes and to encourage effective measures for facilitating immigrants’ access to citizenship in the EU. In its 18-month programme, ACIT developed four sets of citizenship indicators on:
- Citizenship laws
- The implementation of citizenship laws
- Rates of citizenship acquisition
- The impact of rates of citizenship acquisition on integration
- The research will take place in all 27 EU Member States and accession candidate and EEA countries (Croatia, Iceland, FYROM Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey)
ACIT has dedicated pages on our partner’s website, where you can download all reports and play with the data.
10 EU Member States (Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom) were selected for in-depth case studies because of their large immigrant and foreign populations, diverse citizenship laws and high or low acquisition rates.
National stakeholder dialogues were organised by subcontracted NGO/think-tank partners in these 10 countries (in Vienna, Tallinn, Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona, London).
ACIT collected and compareed available national and international evidence on how acquiring citizenship enhances immigrants’ participation in society and the democratic process. It analysed indicators to reveal the hidden links between citizenship and integration policies within EU competence, including anti-discrimination, family reunion and long-term residence.
ACIT made a first-ever impact assessment of citizenship law in each country and across Europe. The findings revealed the effects of recent reforms and compared the impact of legal rules with that of societal factors such as origin, residence duration, gender, age and social status. Research results were disseminated in 10 national handbooks, 4 comparative reports based on the indicators and a final European-level report.
ACIT also highlighted changes in citizenship laws and implementation that have improved integration in practice and it provided policy recommendations to reinforce EU indicators on active citizenship and to develop an EU module on “Citizenship and Integration.” Academic researchers, government and civil society can obtain data, comparative analyses and practical guidelines on how to evaluate policy outcomes, set targets and good governance standards, and assess the prospective impact of policy changes.
ACIT contributed to more effective policies and practices for integration and citizenship acquisition by creating authoritative, comprehensive and easy-to-use databases which will foster European information exchange and cooperation. The project was conducted in partnership with the European University Institute’s EU Democracy Observatory on Citizenship (EUDO) and was sponsored by the European Integration Fund.