Immigrant integration in Europe in a time of austerity

Immigrant integration in Europe in a time of austerity

Effects of the global recession on immigrant integration programmes

Attitudes and changes to migrant integration policies are differing substantially from country to country, in light of worldwide economic recession, and also in reaction to 2009 elections across Europe. Some countries are trying to mitigate the impacts of the recession on vulnerable migrants by enhancing their integration policies.  In other countries, integration measures have been cut just at a time when immigrants are most vulnerable, possibly tied into a political shifts in attitudes towards migrants. For instance, language ability requirements for migrants are being made a priority in some countries which at the same time are cutting funding to language education courses.

This report examines effects of the global financial downturn on immigrant integration funding. In particular, it looks at the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The author gives an overview of the impact of the recession on each country, how migrant policies might be changing and how integration services are being affected.

The author also highlights factors that might be influencing divergent attitudes to migrant integration -  including the philosophy that some countries have a deep-rooted belief that immigrants play an important role in European society, how emdedded migrant integration is in policymaking, and how possible immigration fatique might be affecting integration measures in some countries.