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Migrant integration is often discussed at the national level, but how effective are national policies at the sub-national (regional) level?

In this latest paper, David De Coninck PhD, Shauni Van Doren MSc, and MPG’s Head of Research, Giacomo Solano PhD, show how integration outcomes of migrants differ throughout EU regions, and how this is influenced by national-level integration policies.

Varying regional outcomes from national policies

Using newly available EU regional (NUTS-2) data from Eurostat and recent integration data from MIPEX, the paper illustrates how investment into integration policies for a certain period of time can lead to improved integration of migrants in the areas of economic activity and education. This is particularly true in urban regions with high economic competition and ethnic diverse populations.

The paper also shows that, in contrast, national integration policies are not always suitable for low-competitive and non-diverse, mostly, rural areas. National policies do not yield the same positive results for these regions as in urban areas when comparing integration outcomes for migrants.

Mutual learning between EU regions

This research has successfully identified four meaningful groups of EU regions, categorised on the basis of regional characteristics and integration outcomes of migrants. With an understanding of where their regions fit into these groupings, regional policy makers have the potential for international mutual learning, exchange and comparison.

Note: This paper combines the report and policy brief from the Urban Agenda for the EU Partnership on Inclusion for Migrants and Refugees:

“Exploiting EU integration indicators at infra-national level: How are national-level integration policies associated with integration outcomes?”

About the authors

David De Coninck PhD is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research at KU Leuven (Belgium). His research interests include public perceptions towards migrants/migration, media effects, and the role of integration policies. He holds a PhD in the Social Sciences from KU Leuven. 

Giacomo Solano PhD is Head of Research at the Migration Policy Group (MPG). His research interests include the comparative analysis of migration and integration statistics and policies (in particular, in the EU) and labour market integration of migrants (e.g., migrant entrepreneurship). He holds a PhD joint degree in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam and University of Milan-Bicocca. 

Shauni Van Doren is a PhD student at the Center for Care Research and Consultancy (LUCAS) at KU Leuven (Belgium). She is currently working on her thesis about assessing the care needs of adults living at home. She holds a MSc in Sociology from the University of Antwerp.

About the Migration Policy Group (MPG)

MPG is an independent think-and-do-tank based in Brussels. MPG’s purpose is rooted in its ability to inspire networks to provide evidence-based projects, research and campaigns in the areas of integration, migration and anti-discrimination.

Learn more about the Migration Policy Group.

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