Integration, integration, integration…


Time to think about integration policy as a priority for migrants!

⚒ The very large and sudden inflow of asylum seekers at the time when most European countries were still grappling with the impact of the Great Recession has fuelled public concerns as to whether governments can manage such large flows and whether they can effectively integrate those migrants who will stay. Public opinion often calls for more selective
and restrictive admission of future migrants, if not for the closing of borders. Past integration outcomes have indeed often left something to be desired.

⚒ The OECD-EU report, Indicators of Immigrants Integration: Settling In (2015), showed very clearly that all too often life chances of people are determined by their country of origin rather than their abilities and ambitions. The unemployment gap between native-born people and immigrants has widened in many countries since 2007 and is nowalmost 5 percentage points in Europe

⚒ The recent initiative of the European commission, “Employers Together for Integration”, is building on this positive dynamic.

⚒ Integration is not only a domestic question. There is a strong case for international co-operation in this area:

⚒ The economic, political and social costs associated with the lack of integration in one country may have negative spill-overs for others.

⚒ In a context of increasing diversity, the development of inclusive, cohesive and harmonious societies will have a positive impact on international relations.

⚒ Better integration outcomes are essential for the migration-development nexus – unless migrants’ skills are well used in their host countries, they will not be able to contribute to the development of their origin countries.

⚒ At this critical juncture, it is not only time for concrete actions on supporting the integration of migrants and their children into our labour markets and societies. Now is the time to think about integration policy as a priority not just within countries, but also at global level.

© photocredit


OECD: The International Migration Outlook 2017 :
The key policy challenge for domestic migration policy and beyond

Main trends

Permanent migration flows in the OECD area have increased for the third year in a row, according to preliminary 2016 data. Around 5 million people migrated permanently to OECD countries in 2016, well above the previous peak level, observed in 2007 before the economic crisis.

Humanitarian migration was the main driver behind this rise in 2015/16, accounting for 1.5 million people between January 2015 and December 2016. In 2015, family migration and free movement within the European Union each accounted for about one-third of all permanent migration to OECD countries. The five main countries of origin in 2015 were China, Syria, Romania, Poland and India. Among new migrants to OECD countries, 29% came from another OECD country.

Temporary migration has also increased in the OECD. In 2015, international intra-firm mobility increased by more than 10% and the secondment of workers within the European Union rose by 3%. International recruitment of seasonal workers increased in many
countries, particularly sharply in Poland.

In 2016, as in 2015, OECD countries registered more than 1.6 million new asylum requests. Of these, almost three-quarters were registered in European OECD countries.

Syrians made more than 20% of applications in the OECD area, while Afghans made 13%. Germany registered 720 000 formal asylum applications in 2016 and, of all OECD countries, received the most applications in proportion to its population (0.9%).

In response to the growing demand for international protection, many OECD countries have increased their resettlement programmes. The conditions offered to those with protection status outside the 1951 UNHCR convention, however, have become less favourable in several countries. Many countries are also implementing stricter border controls and stricter verification of entries and stays. At the same time, OECD countries are continuing to review and improve their policies for attracting high-skilled foreign workers, entrepreneurs and investors, offering them more channels for entry and better conditions for residence.

In 2016, the employment rate of the OECD’s migrant population remained relatively stable at 67.4% – a 1 percentage point increase compared to the previous year. The unemployment rate of the foreign-born, however, remain higher than those of their nativeborn peers, notably in Europe.

Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis, much effort has gone into designing appropriate policy responses to facilitate the integration of recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers into the labour market. Many OECD countries have diversified their integration offers to provide tailor-made measures and to align them with labour market needs. At the same time, there has been an emphasis on early interventions, such as upfront skills assessments, and on speeding up the integration process, including by curtailing the duration of programmes. Several countries have made participation in integration programmes compulsory.

Family migration

Family migration, which encompasses four main subcategories (family formation, accompanying family, family reunification and international adoption), has been the main channel of permanent migration to the OECD area in recent years. Compared to other groups of migrants, adult family migrants integrate slowly in the labour market of their host country.

Family migration includes a large variety of migrants from new-borns to the very aged, persons of every skill level and from all countries of origin. This diversity distinguishes family migration from other migration channels. It is a complex phenomenon addressed by a range of different family migration rules and provisions in OECD countries.

An expansion of rights over past decades has been accompanied by increasing conditions on eligibility and on the residence permits granted to family migrants. The management of family migration is becoming more complex as it struggles to reconcile separate priorities and competing policy objectives. While family migration should be managed, a number of constraints limit the scope for such management.There are four key challenges for current family migration policies:

* how to better anticipate the levels of family migration flows;

* how to balance rules for family migration against the need for countries

* to remain attractive to targeted labour migrants; howto use conditions for family migrants

* to accelerate their integration; and how to deal with family reunification rights for unaccompanied minors.

Main findings
Migration is at its highest since 2007

Permanent migration flows to OECD countries reached 4.7 million entries in 2015 (+7% compared with 2014), and should total around 5 million entries in 2016, according to preliminary data.

In 2016, OECD countries registered over 1.6 million asylum applications, as in 2015. Around 1.5 million people were granted international protection during these two years.

In 2015, over 1.5 million study permits were delivered to tertiary students in the OECD area.

The foreign-born population in OECD countries stood at 124 million people in 2015.

The labour market integration of immigrants is slowly recovering

More than two in three immigrants in the OECD are employed. On average, the unemployment rate of foreign-born workers reached 8.3% in 2016 and 12.4% in European OECD countries; this is 1.8 and 4.3 percentage points higher, respectively, than the rate of native-born workers.

Migrants are overly represented in jobs involving routine tasks, rendering them more at risk for job loss as automation progresses. In European OECD countries, 47% of foreignborn workers are working in occupations that primarily involve routine tasks.

Family migration

More than 1.6 million family migrants received a residence permit in the OECD area in 2015, representing almost 40% of the total permanent migration inflow.

Family reunification comes with a delay compared to economic migration categories, but also responds to policy changes regarding conditions, processing times, and rules for other migration channels.

Family formation is an important and increasing driver of family migration. In many OECD countries, more than 10% of marriages occur between a citizen and a foreigner.

Compared to other groups of migrants, adult family migrants seem to integrate more slowly in the labour market of the host country. In Europe, they achieve employment levels similar on average to those of other migration categories and natives only after 20 years of stay.

Family migration of the spouses and children of foreigners is subject to income or housing requirements in most OECD countries. Such restrictions are less common for citizens’ foreign spouses and children. Language and integration requirements have also been added by a number of OECD countries in the past decade, with little evidence of an effect on employment outcomes. [Full Report]



En 2015, environ 423 000 autorisations de séjour ont été délivrées en Turquie, contre 380 000 en 2014. En outre, près de 900 000 Syriens ont été admis enTurquie au titre du dispositif de protection temporaire en 2015 (contre près d’1 million en 2014).

En 2015, les principaux pays d’origine des titulaires d’une autorisation de séjour étaient l’Iraq, la Syrie et l’Azerbaïdjan (environ 33 000 autorisations chacun), suivis de la Russie et du Turkménistan (environ 22 000 autorisations chacun). Par rapport à 2014, il y a eu une augmentation particulièrement notable du nombre d’autorisations délivrées aux immigrés d’Azerbaïdjan, du Turkménistan et de Russie, tandis que le nombre de ressortissants irakiens et surtout afghans a diminué.

Environ la moitié des autorisations de séjour délivrées en 2015 étaient des autorisations de séjour de courte durée, une catégorie englobant de nombreux cas différents. La deuxième catégorie principale (73 000 autorisations) était celle des autorisations accordées pour des raisons familiales. En outre, 68 000 autorisations ont été délivrées à des fins de poursuite d’études, et 64 500 pour des raisons professionnelles. Environ 27 % des permis de travail délivrés en 2015 étaient destinés à des emplois à domicile et à des emplois dans le secteur de l’hôtellerie et de la restauration.

Selon les statistiques fournies par le Conseil turc de l’enseignement supérieur, on comptait 90 500 étudiants en mobilité internationale en Turquie en 2015/16, contre 72 200 l’année précédente et 48 200 en 2013/14. En 2016, les étudiants en mobilité internationale étaient essentiellement originaires d’Azerbaïdjan (13 000), duTurkménistan (10 400), de Syrie (9 900), d’Iran (5 800) et d’Afghanistan (4 500).

L’émigration de main-d’oeuvre régulée ne cesse de diminuer ces dernières années, passant d’une moyenne annuelle de près de 60 000 travailleurs au cours des dix dernières années à environ 32 000 travailleurs en 2015. En 2015, les principales destinations de ces travailleurs turcs étaient l’Iraq (17 %), la Russie (14 %), l’Algérie (13 %), ainsi que le Turkménistan et l’Arabie Saoudite (9 % chacun).

En février 2017, 2.9 millions de ressortissants syriens (dont 45 % de mineurs) bénéficiaient d’une protection temporaire en Turquie. Environ 260 000 d’entre eux résidaient dans des camps de réfugiés situés principalement à proximité de la frontière syrienne et administrés par l’AFAD, le pôle de gestion des catastrophes et des urgences du gouvernement turc. En dehors des camps, les réfugiés syriens représentent désormais près de 10 % de la population de plusieurs villes frontalières. Les plus grandes régions métropolitaines, notamment Istanbul et Ankara, ainsi que la côte égéenne, attirent également de
nombreux réfugiés à la recherche d’un emploi.

L’accès au marché du travail est un véritable problème pour les réfugiés syriens et beaucoup acceptent des emplois informels. Avant janvier 2016, les réfugiés ne pouvaient demander un permis de travail que s’ils étaient titulaires d’une autorisation de séjour, ce qui était le cas pour une infime minorité d’entre eux. En vertu de la réglementation actuelle, les réfugiés syriens peuvent demander un permis de travail six mois après leur enregistrement au titre du dispositif de protection temporaire. Le permis de travail en question n’est valable que dans la localité où ils sont enregistrés ; or, la plupart des réfugiés syriens sont enregistrés dans des zones frontalières offrant peu de possibilités d’emploi. Pour obtenir un emploi formel dans une autre localité, les réfugiés doivent donc s’enregistrer et obtenir un permis de travail dans cette autre localité. En raison de ces contraintes, moins de 14 000 permis de travail avaient été délivrés à des Syriens fin 2016. Les travailleurs saisonniers syriens du secteur de l’agriculture demeurent exemptés de l’obligation d’un permis de travail.

En mars 2016, la Turquie et l’Union européenne sont parvenues à un accord selon lequel tous les migrants sans papiers qui arrivent en Grèce doivent être renvoyés en Turquie, en échange de la réinstallation dans l’Union européenne d’un nombre équivalent de Syriens enregistrés en Turquie. Cet accord précisait également que l’Union européenne aiderait à financer à hauteur de 3 milliards EUR le soutien et les efforts d’aide de laTurquie destinés aux migrants syriens. En outre, les citoyens turcs devaient être exemptés de l’obligation de visa avant fin juin 2016. Les passages frontaliers irréguliers entre la Turquie et la Grèce ont diminué.

Une nouvelle loi relative aux migrations de travail, promulguée en août 2016, instaure une approche sélective de l’immigration de travail. Elle a créé un organe spécialement dédié à l’encadrement de la politique nationale en matière de migration de travail et a ouvert la voie à l’adoption d’un système à points en ce qui concerne l’évaluation des demandes de permis de travail. Elle a également instauré la « carte turquoise » pour les étrangers qui devraient contribuer de manière significative à l’économie (en matière d’emploi ou d’investissement) ou à la recherche scientifique du pays. À l’issue d’une période de transition de trois ans, cette carte accordera à l’étranger qui en est titulaire un droit de travail permanent en Turquie ainsi qu’une autorisation de séjour à son conjoint et à ses enfants à charge. Les étrangers bénéficiant d’une protection temporaire sont exclus de ce régime. La carte turquoise sera mise en place en 2017. [Rapport Complet]


EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: Significant Progress in Implementation Achieved

Brussels, 28 June 2017 – European Commission reports on progress of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey: a further €714 million in humanitarian assistance committed and €50 million more contracted in skills training.

Today, at the seventh Steering Committee meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees the European Commission reported on the progress achieved on the disbursement of the allocated support, which continues at an accelerated pace. Of the overall €3 billion budget for 2016-2017, €2.9 billion has been allocated to date. Contracts have been signed for 48 projects worth over €1.6 billion, out of which €811 million has already been disbursed.

Most recent developments include the signature of a €50 million contract for socio-economic support which aims to improve the employability of Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey through language and other skills training. In addition, the Commission published the Humanitarian Implementation Plan for Turkey for 2017 on 3 May. This sets out the priorities for another €714 million of funding for refugees which should be contracted by the end of 2017.

Under the humanitarian assistance strand, the Emergency Social Safety Net programme continues to further accelerate with more than 680,000 refugees supported through the programme so far. The EU aims to reach 1.3 million refugees by the end of the year. The Conditional Cash Transfer for Education contract was signed with UNICEF in March, and is making steady progress with the aim to enrol 230,000 students by the end of 2017.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “The EU Facility for Refugees continues to make a difference in the daily lives of many refugees. The latest contract signature of €50 million gives Syrian refugees and host communities the opportunity to boost their skills and thus succeed on the labour market, including through Turkish language courses. I remain fully committed to helping Turkey improve the living conditions of the refugees in the country and I look forward to visiting some of our refugee support projects next week when I travel to Turkey.”

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “The EU Facility for Refugees is today making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people and families. We have already reached over 680,000 people through the Emergency Social Safety Net and the additional funding committed in May will enable us to reach 1.3 Million refugees by the end of the year. In addition, the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme has already reached the families of 56,000 refugee children. This is the EU’s largest humanitarian aid operation ever. We have stayed true to our commitments. Together with our partners and the Turkish government, we continue working hard to provide vulnerable refugees in Turkey with aid, a sense of dignity, and hope.”


The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey. Its Steering Committee brings together the European Commission, representatives of EU Member States, representatives of Turkey and the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee’s rapporteur for Turkey Ms Kati Piri.

Its budget of €3 billion for 2016-2017 is made up of €1 billion from the EU budget, and €2 billion from the EU Member States.

The Facility provides a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU. The [FR]Sixth Report on the Progress made in the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement was published on 13 June 2017. [DE]


For More Information:

§ EU-Turkey Cooperation: A €3 billion Refugee Facility for Turkey

§ FACTSHEET: The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey

§ FACTSHEET: Turkey: Refugee crisis

§ Sixth Report on the Progress made in the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement

§ Implementing the EU-Turkey Statement – Questions and Answers

§ First Annual Report for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

§ Facility for Refugees in Turkey – Commission Reports on Progress in Sixth Steering Committee

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