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Measurement and indicators of,integration,Community Relations. Directorate of Social and Economic Affairs,Council of Europe Publishing. Introduction, Measuring social behaviour and social phenomena always is a very challenging task. This is especially true when it comes to evaluating the integration of migrants into. their host societies because it means in fact evaluating two social processes One. cannot look at the migrants alone but also has to take the members of the host. society into consideration, As with any undertaking in social sciences the evaluation or measurement of. integration has to begin with a definition of the basis terms In the papers submitted. by the experts as well as in the discussion during the meeting it became clear that. clear cut definition of, a who belongs to the target group of integration policies and. b what exactly is meant by the term integration, are of great importance Without common standards as to what is meant by migrant. and by integration all attempts to measure migrants integration in different. countries are likely to be of little meaning, Defining basic terms can at times be complicated but finding common definitions of. the crucial terms migrant and integration is made even more difficult because. national integration policies heavily influence the understanding of migrant and. integration, 1 Concepts of what integration means and is to achieve differ. These differences are reflected in the national policy goals and. range from next to assimilation to multiculturalism. 2 National integration policies define different target groups for. their integration measures Not everybody who has come from. abroad is a member of the target group e g not formally. recognized refugees not everybody who is part of the target. group has ever migrated from abroad e g the second. generation, In addition to this the national focal points for fields of integration differ according to. the situation of migrants in a given country This has a heavy bearing on the section. of indicators or integration The selection of indicators and the problems of. measuring social behaviour were dealt with in an in depth paper that the consultants. presented to the Specialist Group on February 21st 1995. From 4 to 6 October 1995 almost sixty experts from more than twenty different. countries were invited by the Council of Europe to gather in Strasbourg in order to. evaluate the prospects of better measuring migrants integration in Europe by using. indicators or integration Their task was not an easy one but despite the difficulties. described the participants of the meeting have come to a set of common. conclusions on indicators of migrants integration, These conclusions are on the one hand based on the sixteen different presentation. documented in this volume which deal with national concepts of integration as well. as with attempts to measure integration in various countries On the other hand they. also are the result of the many animated and knowledgeable discussions which. unfortunately cannot be included as well, The meeting in Strasbourg has shown how much there has already been done in the. field of identifying indicators of integration for measuring migrants integration. Although it has just as well proven the need for more steps to be taken it has been a. very pleasant and fruitful experience,1 Whose integration is to be examined. One of the major obstacles for finding common ground when discussing the. integration of migrants is to define the fundamental terms Neither integration. migrant or migration are clear cut terms, International migration though easily defined as the medium to long term movement. of persons from one country to another involving a change of residence describes a. large variety of phenomena making topologies or classifications necessary Some of. these classifications refer for instance to the migrant s economic or political. reasons to leave his country of origin Other attempts to categorize migratory. movements or migrating persons were made along the lines of regular versus. irregular voluntary versus forced or permanent versus short term migration. The term migrant too is a broad one Migrant workers family members asylum. seekers political refugees recognized as such after an administrative procedure as. well as other refugees accepted or tolerated without any formal procedure or. irregular illegal immigrants all fall into the category international migrants Other. definitions neglecting the requirement of a change of residence and thus a change. of the social environment also include persons participating in international student. exchanges seasonal workers or cross border commuters. Each discourse on migrants integration has to take this large spectrum into. consideration Furthermore it has to as a first step define exactly whose integration. will be examined In this context a first problem of criteria for inclusion or exclusion. arises Only the criterion of a change of residence and social environment thus. leaving tourists and commuters out of consideration may be suitable for. compromise But all other criteria are likely to cause dispute Does it make sense to. look exclusively at regular migrants because they from the government s point of. view deserve integration into the host society Would irregular migrants have to. be excluded because their reluctant host countries refuse to offer any integration. policy measures to them Or will they have to be included because they themselves. intend to stay for good How about recognized refugees Aren t they expected to. return to their home countries once the political conditions allow for repatriation. Even more difficult is the case of war refugees or refugees who aren t for what ever. reason recognized as such but who nevertheless are allowed to stay because. sending them back is considered inhuman or impossible. Defining the objects of integration measures and their analysis becomes even more. complicated when one takes into account that some countries with good reason to. do so extend their integration policies to persons who are not migrants in the original. sense of the word because they never moved from one country to another. Especially children and grandchildren of migrants fall into this category Even though. members of this group may have acquired the citizenship of their parents country of. immigration on request or when they were born they may nevertheless be. confronted with difficulties due to their ethnic origins The same is true for adult. foreigners who were naturalized They have obtained a new passport but they have. not changed their ethnic cultural or religious roots Neither did their naturalization. change their professional qualifications or their language skills Consequently they. still might labelled as ethic minorities be target persons for measures aimed at. improving their integration, Another problem of selection is caused by immigrants who come from foreign. countries but who either already possess the citizenship of their new home country or. acquire it more or less automatically upon arrival These immigrants certainly have a. legal advantage over other migrants but they nevertheless have to adapt to a society. they are not familiar with Thus they too belong to the target groups for integration. measures This is especially true for so called ethnic migrants who are descendants. of emigrants settling in Eastern Europe several generations ago Ethnic Germans or. ethnic Greeks coming from the former Soviet Union face considerable difficulties of. social economic and cultural adaption despite their cultural roots and their legal. 2 What is integration and who is to define it, A satisfying compromise when identifying target groups will be difficult to reach not. only because of the various types of migrants or because researchers individual. interests differ but also because of different concepts of integration as reflected in. the national integration policies The member states of the Council of Europe all. have their own migratory traditions and migration policies shaping a country s. fundamental assumptions on the integration of foreigners Some countries have long. standing immigration traditions France United Kingdom whereas others have only. just recently become countries of immigration Spain Italy A third group has few. problems with immigration but faces considerable difficulties with indigenous ethnic. minorities Romania Slovak Republic, And even although some groups of countries share common migratory histories. such as the countries recruiting guest workers in the 1960s all governments. pursue different approaches when designing their integration policies Among the. more experienced countries of immigration for example the Netherlands are. characterized by a very active integration and minorities policy whereas Germany s. approach is more restrictive when it comes to legal and political integration of. foreigners, The national policies often reflect different definitions of what is meant by. integration While the term itself means joining parts in to an entity its practical. interpretation and social connotation may vary considerably Assimilation as well as. multicultural society may be considered synonyms or descriptions of successful. integration Thus all forms of cultural or social behaviour ranging from completely. giving up one s background to preserving unaltered patterns of behaviour are. covered by the term of integration This problem of definition of course has a. bearing on measuring integration because the requirements for success in. assimilation are much more difficult to meet than requirements for multicultural co. existence in a society which remains indifferent about other people s rites or. This in turn is important when it comes to comparing the integration of migrants in. different states and societies Since different definitions of what integration means. form the basis of the national policies for improving migrants integration the. standard of when integration can be considered successful varies. It is because of these differences that the principal concepts of integration and the. different national policies resulting from these concepts need to be looked at more. closely because they form the background for evaluating migrants integration. 3 Dimensions of integration, But whatever definition or concept of integration applied one will agree that the. integration of migrants into their respective host societies has at least three basic. dimensions concerning the social economic and cultural role migrants play in their. new environment While these three dimensions will hardly be disputed by anybody. as important fields of integration a forth dimension namely the role migrants play in. political life very much depends on whether the host government allows political. participation or even grants voting rights The political dimension of integration is. often rejected as irrelevant by states disliking the idea of granting political rights to. migrants with a foreign passport, Despite these reservations the political participation of migrants should be taken into. consideration when assessing their integration because political life represents an. integral part of a person s life Besides political participation comprises more than. the right to vote or the right to be elected for political office It also includes the right. to express one s opinions and beliefs Political participation furthermore covers the. foundation of associations or the membership in political parties. Leaving it out of consideration would thus mean ignoring important facets of. migrants integration It occurs rather often that another important factor is not taken. into account when the integration of migrants is discussed the host society with its. value system as well as its prevailing attitudes concerning the presence of migrants. forming the background of migrants integration Integration is not a one way street. leaving the burden on the shoulders of the migrants alone It is a social process. involving both sides the migrants and their host society Opinions behavioral. patterns and attitudes in the host society can be decisive for the integration of. foreigners because they can strongly influence the migrants integration efforts. If for example the host society remains hostile towards persons coming from. abroad migrants are likely to live in their own neighbourhoods reducing their. contacts to the outside world to a minimum of unavoidable contacts In the end. migrants do not integrate but live in a parallel social system of their own If on the. other hand the host society is a very open one with permeable social stratifications. and a cultural life characterized by a large diversity migrants will find it easier to. integrate i e to find their place within such a society. 4 Indicators of integration, Since integration concerns complicated phenomena and refers to a very widespread. field one cannot restrict the evaluation of a progress or non progress in integration. to one single unit of measurement There is no such thing as one meter of. integration or two kilos of integration which would make comparisons over time. and or between two countries an easy task, As a way out one can only try to identify facts and phenomena giving an impression. of the current social economic cultural and political role migrants play in a given. society as well as at changes occurring over time These indicators of integration can. be selected from all four dimensions of integration But in addition to this the host. society as was already mentioned is very important as well because public. opinion though only measurable with a good deal of doubt left behind can for. example give a hint as to the willingness to accept immigrants. Sometimes violent attacks on foreigners are taken as an indicator of integration To. be sure they certainly are an indicator for the xenophobic tendencies of a certain. group of people But are these persons representative of the entire society Or aren t. they rather a small extremist fragment with opinions contrary to the mainstream. Although in theory identifying indicators of integration sounds simple this soon. proves to be a very difficult task This is partly due to a lack of relevant data. Statistics on migrants are only very rarely available in the form quality and. exactness desirable They are not up to date or simply do not exist because it would. be too difficult to gather the information One can for example only find out about. the migrants housing situation by carrying out an expensive survey among them. because the housing market is predominantly in private hands and information on the. nationality of the persons renting e g two bedroom flats simply is not being gathered. anywhere and thus is not accessible for researchers. But even if the necessary data are available one of the major problems when. evaluating migrants integration will remain the decision about the reference group or. reference data This question touches one of the core problems in the field of. indicators Indicators alone do not mean much In order to become meaningful they. have to be compared over time and more importantly to other sets of data. Although this is common practice the question has to be asked whether it is really. useful to compare the migrants characteristics to those of the indigenous population. Is the average of the non immigrant population really a good point of reference Or. does this sort of comparison neglect central characteristics of the migrants and other. important factors determining the indicator in question Just to give an example can. the high unemployment rate among migrants in many European countries really be. considered an indicator for a lack of integration Isn t it rather an indicator for a lack. of qualifications In other words is their unemployment due to few integration efforts. or to the poor skills they have, Especially when migrants are significantly different from the indigenous population. with regard to their education or their professional qualifications it seems rather. pointless to use the average of the non immigrant population as reference group in. order to assess economic success and integration, Finding a telling unit of measurement becomes even more difficult when one wants. to assess the degree of cultural integration Apart from language skills which are. relatively easy to evaluate it seems almost impossible to find indicators for cultural. integration everybody can agree with The problem starts with the term itself What. exactly is culture Religion Music Cooking It continues with the difficulties. which were already mentioned above What exactly is meant by cultural integration. Giving up one s folk songs or being tolerated the majority culture. The question of political integration is only slightly less complicated One frequently. used indicator in this context are naturalizations Sure enough they do indeed tell. something about an individual migrant s willingness to become an equal part of his. new home country And even the statistical basis is more or less a reliable one. because naturalization data are readily available But in reality statements. concerning the development of naturalization rates over time or comparisons of. naturalization rates in various countries are of limited use when serving as indicators. of integration Can a recent rise in naturalizations really be explained with a growing. inclination to integrate Or is it the result of the host country s decision to tolerate. dual citizenship when naturalizing foreigners as it was the case in the Netherlands. after 1992 In other words changing naturalization requirements can have an. influence on naturalization rates But does it influence the individual s degree of. integration Is it not possible that someone regards further step towards integration. superfluous once he has got the new passport in his hands. Other often used indicators of political integration also leave a good deal of doubt. behind Can the participation of migrants in clubs parties and associations with a. majority of non immigrants be considered a valid indicator of integration. Membership alone will hardly be sufficient because it can not altogether be excluded. that the purpose of participation is to promote the interests of the migrants rather. than pursuing the common goals of the association Thus reasons for membership. and activities within the association would have to be taken into consideration as well. leading of course to almost unsurmountable problems as regards data available or. to statements with a very limited meaning, When it comes to assessing the social integration of migrants the availability of data. is one of the major problems Almost all relevant data are the result of small scale. surveys if they exist at all Binational friendships housing or outer appearance. clothing hair styles are as difficult to evaluate as leisure activities or social status. within a certain group of persons Therefore statements concerning the migrants. social integration are often limited to speculations. 5 Measuring integration, Bearing these problems in mind it becomes rather doubtful whether the identification. of indicators and the measurement of integration based on these indicators can be a. fruitful undertaking at all It is questionable whether one can succeed in reliably. identifying a set of indicators really pointing at a progress in integration or the need. for further measures and covering all dimensions of integration at the same time in. order to supply a complete impression of the state of integration in a given country. It may be assumed that local projects aimed at improving the integration of migrants. living in a given community will very well lead to some statements actually allowing. for some indicator based measuring of integration This is due to the limited scope. and numerically relatively small target groups dealt with in these projects Local. projects can for example aim at improving the housing conditions of foreigners By. comparing the situation before starting the initiative to the situation afterwards the. researcher may conclude that the housing situation has improved and that. integration has advanced because migrants no longer live in ghettos but in mixed. immigrant non immigrant districts, But then again these statements can only refer to the housing situation They do not. give an overall impression of the cultural economic political or social integration of. the migrants concerned, Starting from this admittedly pessimistic point of view it soon appears extremely. difficult to see prospects for a nation wide measurement of the integration of all. migrants living in one country Using indicators for evaluating the situation of. migrants in various countries is even more difficult Will it be possible to find a. consensus on meaningful key indicators building the basis for common guidelines on. how to shape integration policies in the member states of the Council of Europe. Can the definition of alarm indicators e g a sharp decline in public opinion be a. Answering or even solving these questions was the crucial task of the conference in. October In order to achieve this goal it began with a set of introductions in the field. of concepts of integration and some remark on the problems of measuring integration. as well as difficulties concerning the availability of data After dealing with this. theoretical background the focus of the meeting turned to practical projects aimed at. evaluating the integration of migrants in various European countries A concluding. debate then assessed the chances for finding common ground on measuring. migrants integration,Dr Mandred Werth,Mr Willy Stevens. Ms Silke Delfs,Indicators of integration,Mary Coussey and Elisabeth Sem Christensen. 1 Assumptions, The basic assumption in a liberal democracy is that everyone who is legally settled. should have an equal chance to fully participate in the economic social and political. life of the country regardless of their race colour ethnic or national origins. Equality has been defined as the opportunity to have the same living standards as. everyone based on the same freedom of choice including the retention and. development of cultural and religious identity In the context of equal opportunity full. participation may not lead to the same results Integration was defined by the. Council of Europe as a common framework of legal rights active participation in. society on the basis of minimum standards of income education and. accommodation freedom of choice of religious and political beliefs cultural and. sexual affiliation within the framework of basic democratic rights and liberties 1 A. distinction has to be made between integration as defined above and assimilation. which requires ethnic minorities to adopt the pre dominant national culture. Equal opportunity policies are the means by which national and local governments. as well as individual organisations ensure that their practices and behaviour do not. act as barriers to the participation of minorities Where there are such barriers it is. necessary to establish the reasons for changing practices As in every area of social. policy it is necessary to have ways of evaluating the effectiveness of equal. opportunity policies, Evaluation can be done by using a range of qualitative and quantitative measures. which show over time the extent to which immigrants participate in economic life. and the extent of inter action with the receiving society The measures would vary. according to the activity for example whether the aim is proportionality of access or. relations between groups or the provision of special facilities and compensatory. 1 The Integration of Immigrants by Rainer Baub ck CDMG 94 25.
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