In the last decade, the study of migration policy has increasingly made use of synthetic measures, such as indicators and indexes, to compare and evaluate states’ responses to international migration. But major research gaps exist in the assessment of integration policies targeting beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs). Comprehensive, comparative data on the subject are also lacking. How can we measure and compare BIPs integration policies? And how can we evaluate their effectiveness in meeting BIPs’ integration needs? To answer these questions, this article uses the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM), which provides a set of 173 indicators to evaluate BIP integration systems in EU member states. Following a review of the literature in the field, this paper describes NIEM’s methodology and then presents the key findings in the 2019 data for 14 EU countries. The conclusions reflect on the main contributions and limitations of the study.
- National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) provides an indicator-based assessment tool of national systems for refugee integration that, by identifying strengths and weaknesses across policy dimensions and phases, facilitates mutual learning and exchange of best practices between countries.
- According to NIEM results, EU countries are better at establishing legal frameworks than actively taking steps to develop and implement policies, indicating a widespread passive approach to refugee integration.
- To ensure successful refugee integration, the most pressing issue concerns the implementation of targeted measures that meet refugees’ needs, especially as regards socioeconomic dimensions (e.g. education, employment, health, hosing) and the most vulnerable groups.
- EU countries should adopt mechanisms to mainstream the integration of refugees across various policy areas, foster their long-term inclusion and promote multilevel and multistakeholder collaboration with local and regional authorities, social partners and civil society.
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