Five EU countries among the best in migrant integration

When immigrants arrive in a new country, the integration processes they face are often varied and complex. A report known as Migration Integration Policies Index has just published its annual results for 52 countries.

Five countries of the European Union have reached the top 10 positions in the index. They are Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland and Portugal. All with a score higher than 64 points out of a hundred, among the top ten also are: Canada, New Zealand, United States, Australia and Brazil

“Integration policies are slowly improving over time. Since 2014, the average country has risen two points on our 100-point scale. EU countries have risen one point, both in Western and Central Europe,” he said. Explained Thomas Huddleston, Research Director of the Migration Policy Group

The index defines the country’s integration systems as “Integral”, “Equality on paper” but without real equality of opportunities, “Temporary”, where migrants face obstacles to settle in the long term, and “Immigration without integration”, where people don’t connect with society.

Last month, the European Commission launched an action plan to help EU member states implement their own integration policies more strongly.

“It is integration and inclusion that can help us fight against xenophobia, exclusion, radicalization and the narratives of us against them. We need to build mutual respect and foster a sense of belonging of migrants,” he defended in the press conference the vice-president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas.

But some MEPs on the right of the political spectrum worry that Europe is not upholding its own traditional values.

“You can’t talk about the EU, you can’t talk about Western values, without recognizing the important role of Judeo-Christian values. And I think we must emphasize this to help these people who come here to better integrate,” he said. explained CRE MEP Cristian Terhes.

The pandemic has also increased the importance of integration policies, according to the team that prepared the study. “Immigrants in countries with more inclusive policies end up obtaining more equitable health outcomes. For this reason, I think this serves as an alarm for the future. Because if we want to get out of COVID, we are going to need inclusive health policies,” Huddleston detailed .

With an average score per country of 50 out of 100 on the Index, migrants in the countries analyzed generally face as many obstacles as there are opportunities to integrate.