E.g., 04/25/2024
E.g., 04/25/2024
Doing More with Less: A New Toolkit for Integration Policy

The sharp spike in refugee and other migrant arrivals in Europe during the 2015–16 crisis elevated immigration issues to the top of the priority list for policymakers across the European Union. Several years on, all eyes have turned to how well these newcomers are settling into Member State societies. But while integration policy now has a much higher profile, budget increases have not always kept pace with the growing scale and complexity of integration needs. Hardening attitudes toward immigration, reflected in rising support for anti-immigrant populist parties, have also constrained political and public support for investments in initiatives that benefit newcomers.

Against this backdrop, integration policymakers are searching for new tools to help ensure that immigrants are able to enter European labor markets and build ties in their new societies. This report draws on insights shared by policymakers during an MPI Europe roundtable on the future of integration governance. After taking stock of the current approach to integration policy employed by many European countries, it highlights promising tools, processes, and strategies from other policy areas that could help integration policymakers craft effective interventions.

Among these new tools are innovative financing models such as social impact bonds that can be used to fund less popular programs, strategies for redesigning public services to meet the needs of diverse user populations (immigrant and native born alike), and foresight methods that can help policymakers plan for challenges around the corner. And because integration cuts across policy areas—from education and labor to housing and welfare—building the skills to manage complex, multilayered partnerships between actors across government, and from the private sector and civil society, is a must.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Why Integration Policymaking Needs an Update

The Changing Role of Integration Policymakers

III. New Tools

A. Designing Low-Cost Interventions Based on "Behavioral Insights"

B. Funding the Unpopular: Innovative Financing Models

C. Designing Services around User Needs

D. Planning for Future Challenges: Foresight Methods

E. Assessing the Social Returns on Investments: Cost-Benefit Analysis

F. Understanding What Works: An Evidence Revolution in Integration Policy?

IV. Managing Complex Partnerships in a New Migration Landscape

A. Managing Partnerships with Nongovernmental Actors

B. Supporting Coordination Structures to Build a "Whole-of-Government" Approach: The Next Phase of Mainstreaming

V. Conclusions