Presentation on theme: "Migrant Integration Prepared by TNS Qual+ 13 th July 2011 This survey was conducted by TNS opinion & social at the request of the Directorate-General Home."— Presentation transcript:
Migrant Integration Prepared by TNS Qual+ 13 th July 2011 This survey was conducted by TNS opinion & social at the request of the Directorate-General Home Affairs. It was coordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication (Research and Speechwriting Unit). This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission. The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.
Background Over the last few decades international migration has influenced the public policy agenda across Europe and the wider world. Legal migration and integration of third-country nationals are part of an important debate today across the European Union. All Member States are now confronted with integration challenges. Research objectives TNS Qual+ was commissioned to conduct research to understand: –How nationals perceive non-EU migrants and the extent to which they have contact –Nationals and non-EU migrants views about: How government could improve integration What communities and individuals could do to improve integration Approaches to integration that work
Research Approach More than 500 EU citizens and 200 Non-EU migrants participated in this Eurobarometer. Research comprised of: Two focus groups each with a minimum of ten members of the general public (a younger and an older group of participants) across all Member States (Survey 1). In 14 Member States selected on the basis of the numbers of non-EU migrants entering and the feasibility of conducting the research (AT, BE, CZ, DK, DE, EL, ES, FR, IT, PL, PL, SE, NL, UK) an additional focus group with a minimum of ten participants was conducted. This focus group was composed of both first and second generation migrants (Survey 2). In the same 14 Member States six in-depth interviews (Survey 3) were conducted with migrants who were either young (18-30 years) and with lower levels of education or older (25-45 years) with higher levels of education. Fieldwork was completed March/ April 2011 in all 27 Member States
Personal experience of both the general public and migrants The general public and migrants are most likely to come into contact with each other at work, followed by school (through their children) The general public feel that the main barriers to interaction are language and a lack of desire to interact on the part of migrants. Migrants feel that a combination of cultural differences, stereotyping and a lack of understanding from the general public all limit interaction. It is widely accepted among the general public that migrants come looking for better economic opportunities. However, there is a genuine fear amongst some members of the general public that migrants are taking employment opportunities from local people. Consequently, some people feel threatened by migrants and there is a tendency for them to be more resistant to interaction and integration. Across all Member States participants from the general public express both positive and negative perceptions of migrants. For some general public participants there is considerable confusion and a lack of understanding about what constitutes a regular and an irregular migrant. For many general public participants there is a strong association with migrants and criminal activities (such as acquiring visas illegally, evading tax, involvement in corrupt business activities and so on). Both general public and migrants expressed the view that the media is responsible for creating and reinforcing negative stereotypes of migrants.
Obstacles to contact amongst general public Difficulties communicating as a result of migrants poorer language skills Perception that some migrants are unwilling to integrate Difficulties understanding cultural differences including values and religion The language, especially in the case of Chinese people. Their kids go to school and learn the language, but Chinese people who work in stores only know numbers in Spanish. (Spain, General public, man, 18-35 years old) Obstacles to contact amongst migrants Easier to spend time with other migrants Difficult to make friends Perceived stereotyping by the general public Cultural differences and mutual misunderstandings The Dutch neighbours have a fence in their garden. You can call it privacy, but I feel this really strongly as a social distance - in Turkey these fences are non- existent. (The Netherlands, Turkish, ID interviews, first generation)
Overall attitudes to migrant population amongst general public Mixed views expressed, often negative but based mainly on preconceptions and not experience Positive views of migrants: –Seen as hard working –Add to cultural diversity –Help economy Negative views expressed: –Take jobs from locals –Evade tax, drain on social welfare –Associations with crime –Unwilling to integrate (ghettos, acceptance of local culture) It is an enrichment from every point of view, whether it is cultural or linguistic. If I want to remain only with my own people then I shouldnt go on holiday either, or listen to foreign music. (Germany, General public, female, 45-70) If there were work for everyone it would be perhaps easier to welcome them and to feel better disposed towards them, but the way things are it is difficult (Italy, General public, female, 45-70) It would be better if the immigrants from outside the EU would live here and there in various neighbourhoods, not so that everybody packs in the same area. (Finland, General public, male, 18-35)
Perception of economic impact amongst general public There are mixed opinions about the impact of migrants on the economy among the general public. Negative views: –Where there is high unemployment, some considered that local people should have work –Migrants seen as taking jobs from locals Positive views slightly outweigh negative views: –Do jobs local people unwilling to do –Replace those who have emigrated –Can create economic growth –Fill specific gaps in workforce You do get a lot of [UK Nationals] people who are looking for jobs and have got the skills, but theyll go with someone whos a little bit cheaper (UK, General public, female, 18-35). It is quite important since there are not enough Finnish people to be willing to work in low-wage jobs. So the people coming outside EU are going to fill that gap. (Finland, General public, male, 18-35) It is important in a way, because we have a lot of emigrants. We need to fill the jobs that were left behind somehow. [Romania, general public, female, 18-35]
Perception of economic impact amongst migrants Majority view is that they do jobs local people are not interested in doing: –Type of work not of interest to locals –Wages seen as too low for locals Consider they contribute to the economy in many ways –Working for lower salaries than local people –Paying taxes –Spending money –Filling otherwise vacant positions –Bringing new knowledge/ perspectives –Starting new businesses I work and I pay the taxes, I am the same as all the others (Italy, 1 st generation, 28, Moroccan) With the ageing of the population, and the Belgian trend of having less children… The contribution of the immigration is that it will save the labour force (Belgium, 1st generation, Congo) We run restaurants or shops, it is rare for us to rely on others (Italy, 1 st generation, 28, low level education, Chinese) Both groups mainly envisage migrants are working in particular sectors especially health care, social care, construction, and agriculture.
There is agreement amongst both the general public and migrants that non-EU migrants can contribute positively to the national culture, both socially in terms of values by stimulating an appreciation for family and more openness among people, and culturally in terms of cuisine and art. The general public feel that for society to function successfully, migrants need to be integrated. The main obstacles to integration are felt to be: language and a perceived lack of willingness on the part of migrants to want to integrate (e.g. ghettos) Migrants also feel that integration is important, and part of creating a new life in the new country they have moved to. The main barriers to integration from migrants perspective are language, cultural and religious differences and the negative attitude of the general public towards them. Migrants also noted that segregation and the unwilling attitude to integrate among some migrants also has a detrimental effect. General consensus that fluency in the local language is the most important factor in facilitating integration. For the general public, employment is second most important factor while for migrants legal status is more important. For migrants legal status provides equality, freedom from exploitation and access to the same rights as local people. It also provides security and peace of mind allowing migrants to plan for the future.
Views about responsibilities for integration Overall, the general public are negative about the impact of government on migrant integration. Criticism centres on too many migrants being allowed into the country, concerns about abuse of social benefits, and poor support to help migrants integrate. Migrants were also negative about governments and mainly criticised the bureaucracy and inequality associated with government procedures and processes that they have to deal with. Both general public and migrants identified the importance of taking personal responsibility for facilitating integration. The general public identified many actions that they could do themselves to improve integration within their neighbourhood / community concerned with demonstrating understanding and offering practical assistance. Many participants identified a change in the attitude of the general public as the cornerstone to improving integration. Migrants also identified changing their own attitude as being something they could do, to improve integration in their neighbourhood / community, such as increased communication, getting involved more, and learning more about the country. However, there was a perception among many migrants that the responsibility for improving integration lies with the general public rather than themselves.
General public: Helping migrants understand Many members of the general public considered they could have a role in helping and encouraging migrants on the key issue of language Other suggestions included showing migrants round the local area / giving directions / information / advice / guidelines, specifically about: –Talking about their way of life, religion –Sharing cultures through joint social activities Explaining / teaching migrants about local culture / customs Helping with administration I believe that these people are waiting for it, because they come to us, they must feel insecure, so it would be good if we came out with the initiative. (Poland, General Public, female, 18-35) Go and knock on their door instead of calling the police, explain a bit about the way we live and do what you can to make everything go well (France, General public, male, 40-70) Help with dealing with public authorities. That is the most difficult. (Slovakia, General public, more respondents, 18-35, 45-70)
Non-EU migrants: Integrating as a community Migrants felt that they could improve integration by : –trying harder to communicate with local people –getting more involved in the neighbourhood –learning more about the local culture and sharing their own –helping new migrants through their own knowledge and experience If you want to meet people, you need to go out and be where they are and talk to them. If youre not outgoing, then how do you expect anyone to notice you? You have to show some initiative yourself. (Denmark, 1 st generation, male, 21, American, low level education) Im quite a proficient Internet user and a lot of things can be done online, but recent immigrants are not aware of that, thats why I often help them, give them information (Italy, Non-EU migrant 1 st generation, 29, Moroccan)
Both the general public and migrants agree that the most important factors to consider for citizenship are: –Having lived legally for at least five years in the country –Being able to speak the national language/s –Committing formally to respect the national cultural values and laws Migrants also feel that having family in the country should play a role, whereas the general public are less agreed on this criterion. However, obtaining citizenship is not perceived as critical for integration by either the general public or migrants. No, I do not want the Greek citizenship. I know that the law says if you become Greek then, you can go to your home-country as a tourist and that for only 3 months, 90 days. How do I know what will happen tomorrow; if you must go to your home-country though; I will change back my citizenship; I cannot have a dual citizenship. If my mom gets very sick and tell me tomorrow that she needs my help, I could go to my home for just 90 days? (Greece, Non-EU migrant IDI, high education, Ukrainian, female) There is no difference whether the person is a citizen or is not. If he officially works and pays taxes, so where is that difference? He has to think himself whether he wants to have that citizenship. (Latvia, general public, female, 45-70)
There was discussion around improving integration in four areas: in private companies, in the public sector, at school and more generally by improving public understanding. Private companies Strong views from both groups that employment should be based on merit. There is widespread resistance to idea of positive discrimination. However some acceptance of need for quotas and some financial (tax) incentives. Public sector Both the general public and migrants feel that in order to improve integration in the public sector the government should ensure equality in terms of access and recruitment. However some members of the general public are resistant to allowing equal access to jobs in the public sector as they are of the view that to occupy these positions, individuals need extensive knowledge of the local language and culture, which they doubted migrants either had or could realistically achieve. A company should simply employ the person best fit for the job (Austria, Non-EU migrant group, second generation, Turk) If the person passes the exams [in Luxembourgish, French, English and German], I have no problem with the fact that the State hires non- Luxembourgers. (General public, female, 18-35)
Improving integration Education A range of possible strategies to increase integration in schools was proposed by both groups. Both felt that activities which promote multicultural exchange are important. Migrants placed a stronger emphasis on language skills at school (both local language and their own mother tongue) as the key for improved integration. Improving public understanding Both general public and migrants considered the media (and particularly TV) had the most potential to change public views. Both groups were of the views that it was the responsibility of the media to redress the negative portrayal of migrants and present a more balanced view. One could offer courses at the school in which both German and Turkish parents would do something together with their children. When the children see that the parents show mutual respect for, and understand, one other the children will automatically do the same. (Germany, Non-EU migrant IDI, 29, low level education, Turkish) Government should provide programmes on TV, showing to the Portuguese that Portugal need the migrants to work. (Portugal, Non- EU migrant group, Cape Verdean)