Comparing integration policies and monitoring systems for the integration, social participation and citizenship of immigrants and ethnic minorities in 17 European countries
In this book we investigate the prevailing views on integration in 17 European countries, how those views are translated into national policy, and what efforts countries are making to monitor the integration processes of migrants and track them over time. The book describes the degree to which migrants participate in their 'new' country and what precisely should be understood by the term 'participation'. Because while the aim is to streamline integration policy in Europe and to base it more on common principles, ultimately integration remains primarily the responsibility of individual European countries. The EU has no competence for harmonising legislation on integration. Although the EU has formulated official definitions and descriptions of important concepts, such as the definition of what a migrant is and what the key aspects of integration are, this does not mean that countries always feel bound to apply those definitions in their specific national circumstances. Political reality and social sensitivities often lead countries to their own choices, definitions and interpretation of concepts.
The migration history of European countries is diverse; for some countries it is a new phenomenon, while for others - for example those with a colonial past - it is something they have been familiar with for many years. The inward and outward migration flows differ considerably across countries; migratory motives also differ, and the population profile varies. These are some of the factors which explain why integration policy and the way in which that policy is evaluated and monitored currently present a very diverse picture across Europe.