In the EU Action Plan for Integration and Inclusion (2021-2027), the European Commission acknowledges how “Integration happens in every village, city and region where migrants live, work and go to school or to a sports club [and] the local level plays a key role in welcoming and guiding newcomers when they first arrive in their new country” (EU Commission, 2020, 7). Despite this realisation that integration happens on a sub-national level, historically national-level policies have been the main focus. However, in a new policy brief by the Migration Policy Group (MPG), as part of the Regions for Migrants and Refugees Integration (REGIN) Project, the spotlight has been placed upon regional-level migrant integration policies, revealing gaps and variations between regions across the EU.
Key findings and policy recommendations
The policy brief reveals how, in terms of migrant integration and inclusion policies on a regional level, the most favourable conditions can be found in relation to the areas of health and education, while employment, housing and vocational training emerge as dimensions with less favourable conditions.
Additionally, in terms of governance, although outcomes seem to improve with the involvement of external stakeholders, such as migrant-led associations, NGOs and employers, such involvement is not systematic and only occurs sporadically at the regional level.
Highlighting the EU Action Plan (2021-2027) as an opportunity to address such gaps, the brief outlines several policy recommendations, including:
- Increasing the support provided to local authorities for the inclusion and integration of migrants;
- Ensuring regular and systematic consultation of migrants and NGOs in the policy decision-making process;
- Improving the evaluation and monitoring of integration and inclusion policy implementation on a regional level.
Read the full report here.
About the REGIN Project
The REGIN Project was created to mainstream migrant and refugee integration within social cohesion policies at regional level, by building a common framework to facilitate, guide and improve the performance of regions through innovative tools.
It aims to shed light on migrant integration governance at a regional level within the EU by providing evidence-based comparative research on integration governance and policies in 25 European regions from 7 EU member states.
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.