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Integration of Third Country Nationals in Malta Institute of Criminology University of Malta Malta 2 nd Partners’ Meeting Trapani - 8 April 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Integration of Third Country Nationals in Malta Institute of Criminology University of Malta Malta 2 nd Partners’ Meeting Trapani - 8 April 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integration of Third Country Nationals in Malta Institute of Criminology University of Malta Malta 2 nd Partners’ Meeting Trapani - 8 April 2010

2 An historical overview Indian descent - 19 th century Arab-Muslim community - late 70s and 80s Russian - late 90s Ex-Yugoslavia - late 90s Bulgarian – late 90s Albanian - early and late 80s Schengen borderless area - 2007

3 TCNs entry requirements Purpose of visit Financially independent Valid entry or transit visa

4 Integration Policy Timeline 2005 National Reform Programme and Strategy for Growth and Jobs proposed short labour market integration course and reassessment of employment policies based on labour market needs for migrants Drafted pieces of legislation transposing EC Directives on long-term residents and family reunion 2006 Status of Long-term residents (Third Country Nationals) Regulations (LN 278 of 2006) 2007 Family Reunification Regulations (LN 150 of 2007) Organisation for Integration and Welfare of Asylum Seekers(OIWAS) Source: MIPEX 2007

5 Migrant Integration Policy Index - MIPEX In 2007, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group published a study (Migrant Integration Policy Index) of 25 EU Member States and 3 non- EU countries: Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Canada, Italy, Norway, UK, Spain, Slovenia, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Malta, Slovakia, Greece, Austria, Cyprus, and Latvia The Index covers six policy areas that leads to full citizenship:  long-term residence, labour market status, family reunion, political participation, access to nationality, and anti-discrimination The Index aims to improve migrant integration policies in Europe by:  providing objectives and comparable data for debate  measuring policies to integrate migrants in 25 EU Member States and 3 non-EU countries using over 130 policy indicators  to build a rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants’ opportunities to participate in our societies

6 Migrant Integration Policy Index - long-term residence Most migrants are eligible for long-term residence permits after five years, while refugees can apply immediately after the acquisition of a refugee status. Malta would reach best practice if, as in AT, DK, and the UK, applicants would not be disqualified for having left the country for more than 6 months Long-term residents are protected by legal guarantees and the right to appeal a decision to withdraw or refuse their permit. After Legal Notice 278, long-term residents in Malta enjoy the most favourable rights among MIPEX, together with GR, NO and PT

7 Migrant Integration Policy Index - access to nationality The 2000 Maltese Citizenship Act limits naturalisation to children and descendents of those who somehow are, were, or became Maltese citizens. Without that connection, migrants can only naturalise if the state decides they are eligible on humanitarian grounds Migrants and stateless people must have lived legally in Malta for five years The conditions for acquisition of Maltese citizenship are: an adequate knowledge of English or Maltese, a ‘good character', and a ‘would be suitable citizen of Malta' The high degree of discretion by the state means that naturalised citizens are insecure in their new nationality. Their application can be rejected or their nationality withdrawn on many grounds. The state may expel a naturalised migrant no matter how long they have held a Maltese passport, and even if left stateless The few who naturalise are allowed dual citizenship

8 Migrant Integration Policy Index - political participation Malta grants migrants political liberties that meet best practice shared by 21 other MIPEX countries However, electoral rights are critically limited: they would start to improve if Malta made a commitment to sign reciprocity agreements with the major countries of origin of its migrant population, which allow the right to vote and stand for local elections. So far this has only been possible in the UK Sometimes the state improvises consultations with representatives of associations that work with migrants. There are no official consultative bodies with migrant associations Implementation policies are critically weak, since migrant associations cannot get specific public funding at any level of governance

9 Migrant Integration Policy Index - family reunion Malta’s policies on family reunion score favourably:  Sponsors must wait two years or more but once eligible, they are allowed to reunite with family members  Conditions for acquisition, third best in the 28 MIPEX countries, would attain best practice if the procedure was not costly, and did not involve a ‘sufficient’ income condition  Security of status would also meet best practice if the state had to consider family circumstances before refusing an application or withdrawing a status  Malta would attain best practice if all family members were to live autonomously of their sponsor's status

10 Migrant Integration Policy Index - labour market access Only long-term residents are eligible for employment and self- employment like EU nationals Those who find work enjoy security and rights that score halfway to best practice Work permits are renewable but automatically lost if the job is lost The process needs to start all over again in case of a change in job Little is done to facilitate the recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside the EU Policy targets on labour market integration measures are critically weak in Malta, as in AT, CZ, and PL

11 Malta Integration Policy Index - anti-discrimination Migrants in Malta are explicitly exposed to racial discrimination The range of sanctions against deliberate discrimination is narrow Legal procedures are lengthy Complainants receive legal aid but are not protected against victimisation The state does not inform residents of their rights as victims Legislation and public bodies fail to enforce the law against discrimination Victims of race or religious discrimination cannot seek justice in many fields of life Malta scores 2nd worst among the 28 MIPEX countries

12 Malta Integration Policy Index - public perceptions Malta is one of only four countries where a minority thinks that ethnic diversity enriches the national culture (31.7%) Among the EU-27, the Maltese are consistently the least supportive of migrants' rights, whether polled about equal social rights, family reunion rights, or facilitated naturalisation Among the EU-25, the Maltese are the most supportive of a policy that deports all legally-established third-country nationals (35%), especially if they are unemployed (63.6%) Over two-thirds of Maltese believe ethnic discrimination is widespread The population is divided over whether the country should do more to combat discrimination against TCNs Only 18.7% of respondents know of a law punishing ethnic discrimination in the labour market (Special Eurobarometer survey on discrimination in the EU, 2006)

13 Comments and suggestions for our final report are welcome … Thank you

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