NIEM baseline report : « The european benchmark for refugee integration : a comparative analysis of the national integration evaluation mechanism in 14 EU countries »

Source : NIEM for integration

Date : 19 juin 2019

Présentation :

«  To a large extent, the Geneva Convention and EU asylum rules are about integration. Often overlooked in public and policy debates, equal rights and targeted support for refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are the foundation of asylum in the EU. Europe’s main way to provide global durable solutions to refugees is through long-term integration.

However, Member State policies largely fail to deliver on this promise. Just in time for World Refugee Day 2019, the NIEM baseline study “The European benchmark for refugee integration : A comparative analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU countries” reveals often low standards and a lack of harmonisation on refugee integration across the EU. With this report, NIEM launches its regular evaluations of how governments respond to the challenge of long-term integration. NIEM’s comprehensive and reliable indicators collect and analyse data on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection. »

Sommaire et extraits :

Executive summary

Part I Evaluating refugee integration & results overview

1 Monitoring and improving refugee integration

  • 1.1 In need of targeted integration policies : Beneficiaries of international protection
  • 1.2 Assessing the quality of refugee integration policies
  • 1.3 Expanding evaluation across the EU at a time of increased arrivals

2 Indicator-based evaluation to inform policy debate

  • 2.1 Comprehensive indicators derived from EU and international standards
  • 2.2 From Analysis to action : fostering the comprehensive NIEM integration model
  • Stepstones of building a comprehensive integration policy
  • From results to impact : Alliances for better refugee integration

3 Results of the NIEM baseline research

  • 3.1 Baseline accomplishments, data situation and current limits for evaluation
  • 3.2 Key comparative results

Part II Results in the NIEM integration dimensions

4 Mainstreaming

  • 4.1 Overview of scored results
  • 4.2 NIEM indicators in the mainstreaming dimension
  • 4.3 Main results
  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

5 Residency

  • 5.1 Overview of scored results
  • 5.2 NIEM indicators in the residency dimension
  • 5.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework

Facilitated conditions for vulnerable persons applying for permanent/longterm residence

Czechia, Italy, Romania and Sweden are the only countries that recognise some facilitated conditions for acquiring permanent/long-term residence to vulnerable groups (such as unaccompanied minors, disabled persons, elderly persons, single parents, women and victims of torture, rape, other forms of trauma) among BIPs. To give a positive example, in Romania, unaccompanied minors are exempted from the residence, financial, health insurance, housing and language knowledge requirements. In Italy, there is a favourable rule concerning residency and the economic resources requirements, according to which, temporary shelter (for example provided by charity organisations) can be counted towards the economic resources necessary to apply for the residence permit.

  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

6 Family reunification

  • 6.1 Overview of scored results
  • 6.2 NIEM indicators in the family reunification dimension
  • 6.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework

Definition of family unit for family reunification

The legal framework concerning the categories of family members who are eligible to join the sponsor under family reunification is very patchy. However, the legal provisions are the same for both recognised refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (BSPs) in almost all countries, with the exception of Greece, which expressly excludes BSPs from family reunification rights.

Only Hungary and Slovenia include minor children, spouse/partner, dependents who are adult children or members of the ascending line (i.e. parents or grandparents) as well as other dependant relatives in a broad definition of family members. On the other hand, in Czechia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain, only minor children, the spouse/partner and dependents who are adult children or a member of the ascending line qualify for family reunification. Poland and Portugal further limit family reunification rights for members of the ascending line to parents of minor children. For instance, Portuguese law defines the concept of family as including “the spouse or partner ; minor children (including adopted) or disabled dependents of one of the spouses or partners ; if the beneficiary of international protection (BIP) is a minor, the ascendants in straight line and first degree or the adult responsible for the unaccompanied minor are also considered.’’ Restrictive legal provisions have been found in France, Latvia, the Netherlands and Sweden, where only minor children and the spouse/partner can apply for family reunification. In the Netherlands, family reunification with dependents who are adult children is only possible if there are “more than normal emotional ties” between the adult child and parents.

Family unity and legal status of family members (derivative status)

In cases where family members of a BIP do not individually qualify for protection, those persons may receive a comparable legal status and benefits under the principle of family unity. The majority of countries, including France, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden, recognise only “spouses or partners” and “minor children” as family members of a beneficiary of protection who can receive such derivative status. By contrast, Czechia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain extend the derivative status to close relatives who are wholly or mainly dependent on the beneficiary

  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

7 Citizenship

  • 7.1 Overview of scored results
  • 7.2 NIEM indicators in the citizenship dimension
  • 7.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework

Facilitated conditions for vulnerable persons applying for naturalisation

Lithuania stands out as the only country that provides for waived conditions to apply for naturalisation for vulnerable categories of individuals such as the elderly and persons with disabilities. Documentation is not required from persons who have reached 65 years of age, persons whose capacity for work has been rated at 0 to 55 percent, persons who have reached pensionable age or have been assessed in accordance with the procedures laid down by legal acts as having high or moderate special needs, as well as persons with serious chronic mental disorders. By contrast, in Czechia, France, Latvia, Romania and Sweden, the conditions are reduced for certain groups of beneficiaries of international protection, such as the elderly, disabled and unaccompanied minors. However, the majority of countries lack any special measures to facilitate the application for naturalisation for vulnerable groups and apply the same conditions as for other beneficiaries of international protection.

  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

8 Housing

  • 8.1 Overview of scored results
  • 8.2 NIEM indicators in the housing dimension
  • 8.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

Access to housing for vulnerable persons

Housing policy and services must take into account vulnerable groups in most of the assessed countries, although there are differences in the scope of group defined as eligible for either facilitated access to mainstream housing benefits (Czechia, France, Poland, Portugal, Sweden) or targeted support, such as special homes or special counselling services (Czechia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden). Some countries, such as the Netherlands, extend this support to only a few groups (typically, unaccompanied minors and victims of violence and abuse). Other countries have more comprehensive approaches, also providing support to, for example, the elderly, families with children (Italy, Sweden) or designate BIPs as a whole as a vulnerable group (Poland, Lithuania ; in the future, also Romania)

  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

9 Employment

  • 9.1 Overview of scored results
  • 9.2 NIEM indicators in the employment dimension
  • 9.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

Access to employment for groups of special concern

Targeted support for persons belonging to a vulnerable group in seeking employment is largely absent across the assessed countries. If at all, mainly unaccompanied minors (of working age), the elderly, disabled and victims of violence and abuse are identified as special needs groups in mainstream employment policies (as is the case for one or more of these groups in Italy, Poland and Spain). Dutch policies explicitly avoid the definition of “target groups”. Sweden has a targeted employment support programme for BIPs that is specifically adapted for these groups (with the exception of the elderly) as part of its introduction and establishment policy. In Italy, disabled BIPs can access special job seekers’ lists and unaccompanied minors who are 15 years old can access targeted apprenticeship contracts.

  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

10 Vocational training and employment-related education

  • 10.1 Overview of scored results
  • 10.2 NIEM indicators in the vocational training dimension
  • 10.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the policy framework
  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

11 Health

  • 11.1 Overview of scored results
  • 11.2 NIEM indicators in the health dimension
  • 11.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the policy framework
  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

12 Social Security

  • 12.1 Overview of scored results
  • 12.2 NIEM indicators in the social security dimension
  • 12.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the policy framework
  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

13 Education

  • 13.1 Overview of scored results
  • 13.2 NIEM indicators in the education dimension
  • 13.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

Access to education for groups of special concern

Legal provisions to ensure access to education for vulnerable groups are rather rare, with many countries only having some policies and practices in place. Only Italy and Latvia have targeted education programmes for unaccompanied minors that are founded in law, with Swedish and Greek legislations at least identifying unaccompanied minors as a group which needs special attention. School-age victims of violence, torture, abuse and other forms of trauma must legally be able to benefit from targeted education programmes in Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. In Sweden, although there is no law in place, a support system exists for migrant newcomers up until secondary education. Mostly through the Swedish National Agency for Education, the state contributes with pedagogical support, advice, additional funding for schools and guidelines for, e.g., disabled pupils

  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration

14 Language learning and social orientation

  • 14.1 Overview of scored results
  • 14.2 NIEM indicators in the language learning and social orientation dimension
  • 14.3 Main results
  • Step : Setting the Legal Framework
  • Step : Building the Policy Framework

Provision of social orientation for groups of special concern

Groups of special concern, such as unaccompanied minors, parents with children, women, the elderly, victims of violence and torture, illiterate or semiliterate persons, need specific information tailored to their needs, although only Spain and Sweden provide tailored social orientation courses, taking into account all these groups. Portugal and Romania have a few needs-adapted courses, with Romania’s offer being provided by specialised NGOs and usually taking into account the situation of parents with children, women and the elderly. Portugal provides targeted social orientation for unaccompanied minors. On the other hand, Czechia, France, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia do not provide any social orientation courses that are adapted to these groups’ specific needs and concerns.
15 Building bridges

  • 15.1 Overview of scored results
  • 15.2 NIEM indicators in the bridge building dimension
  • 15.3 Main results
  • Step : Building the Policy Framework
  • Step : Implementation & Collaboration


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