E.g., 07/23/2019
E.g., 07/23/2019

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion

March 2014

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion

Immigrant integration policies that are designed for migrants to Europe, particularly newcomers, are important, but they can be insufficient over the long run to realize the full economic potential and societal participation of immigrants and citizens with an immigrant background. 

For this reason, several European governments have increasingly turned to the strategy of "mainstreaming" integration—an effort to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population—in order to address areas where traditional immigrant integration polices have fallen short.

This MPI Europe report assesses the degree to which four European countries—relative veterans regarding the reception and integration of immigrants—have mainstreamed integration priorities across general policy areas such as education, employment, and social cohesion. The report shows how approaches to mainstreaming in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom reflect each country’s distinct ethnic profile, diversity, and social traditions. It also offers suggestions for future policy development. 

A deeper understanding of mainstreamed policy innovations for immigrants is important to Europe's immigrant integration efforts, since intended beneficiaries of traditional integration policy (immigrants and their descendants) are no longer a discrete and easily identifiable population—and in some localities they are not even minorities. The second and third generation face some (but not all) of the challenges of their parents, especially in relation to educational and employment success, but many of these challenges are not unique to those with an immigrant background. At a time when public budgets are tightening, governments are articulating new strategies to ensure that the needs of all vulnerable groups are met more effectively through mainstream policy change.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

A. Why Now?

B. Parameters and Caveats

C. A Note on Data

II. Variations in National Context: Basic Approaches to Immigrant Integration Policies and Priorities

A. The Policy Context in Each Case-Study Country 

B. Framing and Priorities

III. Mainstreaming Integration Policy—Why and How?

A. Mainstreaming through Discourse

B. Mainstreaming through Government Coordination

C. Mainstreaming through Policy Measures

IV. Mainstreaming and Youth Policy

A. Improving Educational Outcomes

B. Improving Employment Rates

C. Increasing Participation in the Local Community

D. Preventing Delinquency

V. Designing a Mainstreamed Approach

A. The Risks and Opportunities of Mainstreaming

B. Policy Considerations