The Centrality of Employment in Immigrant Integration in Europe
The two sides of the debate on immigration and integration in Europe share an underlying assumption that the problem is cultural, while disagreeing on whether it is the result of too much or too little respect for cultural differences.
The author of this report, part of a Transatlantic Council on Migration series on national identity in the age of migration, contends that both get the issue wrong, calling attention to the inability of policies to ensure immigrants acquire and retain work. Employment, not culture, must be the basis for immigration policy in Europe, the author suggests.
The failure of European immigration policies has been their inability to ensure that immigrants acquire and retain work. Unemployment rates are far higher for immigrant groups than for natives. What distinguishes Europe from the classic receiving countries of Canada and the United States is not poor language skills or poor earnings among the first generation, but rather their ongoing existence in the second and even third generations. At the same time, immigrants themselves will have to embrace training and educational opportunities, and will have to believe that educational success is the basis of their future.
II. The Role of Islam
III. It’s the Economy
IV. Where to Go from Here
C. Economic Growth