The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) compares laws and government policies toward immigrants. MIPEX collects data in 56 countries across six continents. Policymakers, NGOs, researchers, and European and international institutions use the data. They do this not only to assess and compare national integration policies but also to improve equality standards.

Good integration policies are the key

A country’s integration policy affects how well immigrants and the host population interact and think about each other. If the government does not set a good example, it can have a negative impact on society. Based on 130 independent scientific studies, MIPEX came to this conclusion. 

MIPEX measures eight areas of integration policy

Labor Market MobilityLong-term residence
EducationAccess to citizenship
Family reunificationHealth
Political participationAnti-discrimination

Sweden, Finland and Portugal score with integrated integration policy 

Among the top 5 of the 56 MIPEX countries, the average score is 75/100. They take a comprehensive approach to integration that fully guarantees equal rights, opportunities and safety for immigrants. Policies in these countries generally encourage the host population to see immigrants as their equals, neighbours and potential citizens. Despite notable progress in recent years, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are not among the top 10. At the top of the rankings, Sweden is truly a model for the entire world. However, the country has recently introduced restrictions on family reunification and health policies. Therefore, this has led to a 1-point drop in its MIPEX score even when the average score of other MIPEX countries has increased by +2 points between 2014 and 2019.

Top 10
Sweden (86)USA (73)
Finland (85)Belgium (69)
Portugal (81)Australia (65)
Canada (80)Brazil (64)
New Zealand (77)Ireland (64)

Note: the top 10 consists of 5 countries that meet the average score; the other countries have a low average score

How is the Netherlands doing?

The Netherlands has a score of 57 on the 100-point MIPEX scale. MIPEX describes the Dutch approach to integration as temporary integration. In a country that achieves a 50 out of 100, a migrant risks encountering as many obstacles to integration as opportunities. For example, the Netherlands scores low on family reunification because there are requirements for integration that most other countries don’t require. 

Over the past five years, immigrant policies in the Netherlands have changed very little, and as a result, the score has not changed since 2014. In 2019, the central government launched the program “Further integration in the labour market”, aiming to promote the labour market for immigrant youth (especially 2nd generation immigrants). As of December 2019, access to care for adult asylum seekers during the first two months of reception is limited to only medically necessary care. Migrants enjoy more opportunities than obstacles in their integration. However, they do not want the long-term security of settling permanently in the Netherlands, investing in their integration and participating as full citizens. 

On the ball

France scores slightly below the Netherlands with 56 out of 100 points. Migrants can enjoy their fundamental rights and receive equal opportunity support, but they do not have the long-term security to settle permanently in the country, consider the future, and participate in public life as full citizens. The French population continues to view immigrants primarily as foreigners. Italy (58), Germany (58), and the United Kingdom (56) also have temporary integration policies.

Internationally, the “top 10” MIPEX countries treat immigrants as equals, neighbours and potential citizens. They invest in integration as a two-way process for society. So the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom need to step up to the plate.

Resource:

Sweden, Finland and Portugal are models of refugee integration, according to a global index: https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/29055/la-suede-la-finlande-et-le-portugal-sont-des-modeles-dintegration-des-refugies-selon-un-index-mondial

Netherlands MIPEX 2020: https://www.mipex.eu/netherlands