1 25 January 2017 The integration of immigrants and legal paths to mobility to the EU: Some surprising (and encouraging) facts Elspeth Guild, Sergio Carrera and Ngo Chun Luk The integration of immigrants is an issue that has been of concern to a large number of EU member states and the European institutions themselves. In particular, the challenge of how to quantify or measure immigrant integration has been especially complicated. In the past, there was not a lot of evidence documenting the integration of immigrants one way or the other in their new country of residence, but thanks to recent data reported by the EU s statistical agency Eurostat, we can now compare the experience of first- and second-generation immigrants with that of native-born EU citizens. Education and employment of second generation immigrants On the basis of data obtained from the EU Labour Force Survey from 2014, 1 Eurostat published an analysis of the educational attainment and employment of second generation immigrants in the EU, from which we can extrapolate how well or badly these individuals are being integrated in their newly adopted societies. 2 1 See Eurostat, EU labour force survey, Statistics Explained, See specifically the 2014 ad-hoc module of the EU LFS on Migration and labour market. 2 Eurostat (2016), Second generation immigrants in the EU generally very well integrated into the labour market, Eurostat News Release 213/2016, Eurostat, Luxembourg, 28 October ( Note that, according to Eurostat, three EU Member States did not participate in the 2014 EU LFS: Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands; see Eurostat (2015), The labour market situation of migrants and their immediate descendants: Evaluation of the 2014 labour force survey ad hoc module, Eurostat, Luxembourg, December, p. 7 Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS. Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of Justice and Home Affairs Programme, CEPS. Ngo Chun Luk is TRANSMIC Research Assistant. CEPS Commentaries offer concise, policy-oriented insights into topical issues in European affairs. As an institution, CEPS takes no official position on questions of EU policy. The views expressed are attributable only to the authors in a personal capacity and not to any institution with which they are associated. Available for free downloading from the CEPS website ( CEPS 2017 CEPS Place du Congrès 1 B-1000 Brussels Tel: (32.2)
2 2 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK In 2014, 82.4% of the EU population aged were native-born with native backgrounds, % were first generation immigrants 4 and 6.1% were considered as second generation immigrants. 5 Among the immigrants in the latter classification, 4.4% had at least one parent born outside the EU and 1.7% had both parents born outside the EU. 6 In absolute terms, the largest numbers of second generation immigrants in the EU are resident in France (30.7%), the United Kingdom (20.5%), Germany (15.7%), Italy (5.1%) and Belgium (4.3%) (see Figure 1). The highest proportion of second generation immigrants in the EU lives in Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, France, Slovenia, Belgium, Sweden and Croatia, ranging from 21.4% in Estonia to 10.3% in Croatia (see Figure 2). One might not immediately see the connections or links between these countries as regard migration, their characteristics being quite distinct. For Germany, no micro data are available on the country of birth of the parents of persons born outside of Germany; see Eurostat (2015), Migration and labour market (lfso_14), Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS), Eurostat, Luxembourg ( metadata/en/lfso_14_esms.htm). 3 Eurostat defines native-born persons with native background as persons who were born in the EU Member State of their residence, and both of whose parents were also born in the same EU Member State. 4 Eurostat defines first generation immigrants as persons who were born outside of their EU Member State of residence. 5 Eurostat defines second generation immigrants as persons who were born in the EU Member State of their residence, and both of whose parents were born outside of this EU Member State of residence. The EU LFS 2014 module on Migration and labour market further makes a distinction between second generation immigrants of mixed (i.e. at least one parent born in the same Member State of residence), and foreign (i.e. both parents born outside of the Member State of residence) backgrounds. 6 Eurostat (2016), Second generation immigrants in the EU generally very well integrated into the labour market, op. cit., p. 1.
3 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 3 Belgium 4.3% Italy 5.1% Germany 15.7% Figure 1. Second generation immigrants living in the EU by member state, 2014 Sweden 3.7% United Kingdom 20.5% Spain 3.3% Poland 2.9% Austria 2.8% Czech Republic France 30.7% 1.7% Croatia 1.6% Portugal 1.4% Latvia 1.3% Estonia 1.0% Slovenia 0.8% Greece 0.7% Lithuania 0.6% Hungary 0.5% Slovakia 0.4% Finland 0.4% Luxembourg 0.3% Cyprus 0.1% Bulgaria 0.1% Romania 0.1% Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Population by sex, age, migration status, country of birth and country of birth of parents (lfso_14pcobp) dataset. Other 2.5% Malta 0.1% Figure 2. Second generation immigrants as a share of total population, by member state, % 25.00% 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00% 21.4% 19.1% 16.2% 14.3% 11.2% 11.0% 10.6% 10.3% 9.2%9.2% 5.5%5.3% 4.6%3.7% 3.4%3.3% 2.4% 2.1%2.0%1.9%1.9%1.8%1.5% 0.3%0.1% Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Population by sex, age, migration status, country of birth and country of birth of parents (lfso_14pcobp) dataset.
4 4 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK What do the Eurostat statistics tell us about educational attainment and employment of second generation immigrants? Looking only at the age group 25-54, 37.5% of second generation immigrants had tertiary educational attainment (completion of tertiary studies), compared with 30.9% in the so-called native population (see Figure 3). For second generation immigrants with an EU background, this proportion is even higher. 7 Figure 3. Tertiary educational attainment of persons aged in the EU by migration status, % 37.5% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 30.7% 30.9% First generation immigrants Second generation immigrants Native-born with native background Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Educational attainment level (ISCED11) distribution by sex, age, migration status and educational attainment level of parents (ISCED11F) (lfso_14beduc) dataset. The data further indicate that second generation immigrants in the EU have a higher employment rate (~79%) than the native-born population with native background (78.6%), as shown in Figure 4. In terms of the employment rate, the difference between second generation immigrants with an EU background and native-born with native backgrounds is even higher. 8 7 According to Eurostat, 38.5% of second generation immigrants with an EU background have tertiary educational attainment; see Eurostat (2016), Second generation immigrants in the EU generally very well integrated into the labour market, op. cit., p According to Eurostat, the proportion of second-generation immigrants with a mixed background employed in the EU is around 81.1%; see Eurostat (2016), Second generation immigrants in the EU generally very well integrated into the labour market, op. cit., p. 4.
5 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 5 Figure 4. Employment rate of persons aged in the EU by migration status, % 78% 76% 74% 79% 78.6% 72% 70% 69.3% 68% 66% 64% First generation immigrants Second generation immigrants Native-born with native background Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Employment rate by sex, age, migration status, citizenship and educational attainment level (lfso_14lempr) dataset. A closer look at the data shows some important differences among the member states in terms of educational attainment and employment rate of second generation immigrants. The highest tertiary educational attainment among second generation immigrants compared to nativeborn with native background is in Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Hungary, the UK and Italy. The lowest are found in Belgium, Luxembourg, Latvia and the Czech Republic, as shown in Figure 5.
6 6 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK Figure 5. Difference in tertiary educational attainment between second generation immigrants and native-born with native background by EU member state, 2014 (as %-points difference) Croatia, -0.2 Slovakia, -0.3 Sweden, -2.5 Estonia, -3.3 Poland, -3.6 Germany, -4.1 Finland, -5.2 Czech Republic, -5.3 Latvia, -5.5 Luxembourg, -7.2 Belgium, Portugal, 22.2 Cyprus, 17.6 Malta, 14.7 Hungary, 10.7 United Kingdom, 9.4 Italy, 7.6 France, 4.2 Spain, 3.4 Slovenia, 1.3 Austria, 0.7 Greece, 0.6 Lithuania, Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Educational attainment level (ISCED11) distribution by sex, age, migration status and educational attainment level of parents (ISCED11F) (lfso_14beduc) dataset. In terms of employment rate, the largest difference in favour of second generation immigrants compared to native-born with native background was in Bulgaria (9.3% points). Second generation immigrants also have a higher employment rate than native-born with native background in Luxembourg, Portugal and Hungary. In Belgium, Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Slovenia, Austria and Germany, second generation immigrants had a lower employment rate at least 5% points lower than their counterparts with a native background (see Figure 6).
7 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 7 Figure 6. Difference in employment rate between second generation immigrants and native-born with native background in EU member states, 2014 (as %-points difference) Croatia, Belgium, Finland, -0.1 Poland, -0.5 United Kingdom, -1.6 Italy, -1.9 Sweden, -2.1 Cyprus, -2.1 Slovakia, -2.5 France, -3.7 Estonia, -3.7 Greece, -4.3 Lithuania, -4.5 Spain, -4.7 Czech Republic, -4.8 Germany, -5.1 Austria, -5.2 Slovenia, -5.4 Malta, -5.5 Latvia, -5.6 Luxembourg, 2 Portugal, 0.5 Hungary, Bulgaria, 9.3 Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s Employment rate by sex, age, migration status, citizenship and educational attainment level (lfso_14lempr) dataset. So do we need to worry so much about how to integrate immigrant populations in our societies and whether our educational systems and labour markets actually do a good job for us in this regard? It seems that we should have more confidence in our public services and labour markets to assist second generation immigrants achieve their potential than some of our press would lead us to believe.
8 8 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK First residence permits in the EU EUROSTAT has also recently published a brief analysis of its data on the issue of first residence permits by the member states. 9 What story do these statistics tell us about legal mobility paths to the EU? In 2015, EU member states issued a total of 2.6 million first residence permits, up 12.1% from the previous year. 10 According to EUROSTAT the reason for the increase was mainly a result of more residence permits being issued for employment reasons (up 23.5% from the previous year). 11 The main reason for the issue of a first residence permit in the EU remains family reunification, at 28.9% of all the first residence permits issued. This is followed closely by employment, at 27.2%. 12 EUROSTAT tells us that one in four of all first residence permits in 2015 was issued by the UK (24.3%) the largest single source of new permits. Second comes Poland, which issued one in five (20.8%) of all first permits. It is of course the small member states that issued the most residence permits relative to their population, headed by Malta (23.1 first residence permits per thousand population) and Cyprus (18.4). 13 The United Kingdom and Poland were also the two member states that have issued the largest number of first residence permits for reasons of remunerated activities (hereinafter: employment reasons), followed by France, Sweden and Germany (see Figure 7). 14 In proportion to the resident population, the top five member states issuing first residence permits for employment reasons in 2015 were Malta (6.2 per thousand population), Cyprus (4.0), Sweden (4.0), Poland (3.3) and the UK (3.0) Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, Eurostat News Releases 211/2016, Eurostat, Luxembourg, 27 October, / / BP-EN.pdf/ca706fa0-14fc-4b71-a2e2-46b2b933f8f8. 10 Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, op. cit., p Ibid. 12 Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, op. cit., p Ibid. 14 See also Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, op. cit., p Authors own calculation based on data from the following datasets of Eurostat: First permits by reason, age, sex and citizenship (migr_resfas) and Population change Demographic balance and crude rates at national level (demo_gind).
9 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 9 Figure 7. Number of first residence permits issued for employment reasons in EU member states, , , , ,000 50,000 0 Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset. The largest single nationality granted first residence permits in the EU were the Ukrainians (~500,000), with almost one in five first residence permits issued to them. This is closely followed by US nationals (~262,000), Chinese (~167,000), Indians (~136,000), Syrians (~104,000), Moroccans (~96,000) and Belarusians (~82,000) (see Figure 8).
10 10 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK Figure 8. Top-10 nationalities granted first residence permits in the EU, 2015 Ukraine 19.2% Others 41.1% United States 10.0% China 6.4% Brazil 2.2% Turkey 2.2% Russia 2.8% Belarus 3.1% Morocco 3.7% Syria 4.0% India 5.2% Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset. The reasons for issuing first residence permits in the EU to these top ten beneficiary citizenships is noteworthy (see Figure 9). More than three-quarters (~376,000) of the first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2015 were for employment reasons. US nationals were primarily issued first residence permits in the EU for education and other reasons. Moroccans were largely issued first residence permits for family reasons (70.5%), while the Chinese were predominantly issued first residence permits for education reasons (61.2%). The majority of first residence permits issued to Syrians and Belarusians in 2015 were for other reasons (63.5% and 84.4%, respectively) See Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, op. cit., p. 3.
11 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 11 Figure 9. Top-10 nationalities granted first residence permits in the EU, by reason, 2015 Ukraine United States China India Syria Morocco Belarus Russia Turkey Brazil 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Education reasons Family reasons Employment reasons Other reasons Note: A similar figure to this one can be found in Eurostat (2016), EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015, op. cit., p. 3. Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset. A few member states represent the main source of first residence permits issued to these top ten nationalities (see Table 1). In 2015, Poland issued the majority of first residence permits to Ukrainians (86.0%) and Belarusians (91.9%), while the United Kingdom issued the most first residence permits to US (76.8%), Chinese (48.3%), and Indian nationals (52.9%). Moroccans were issued first residence permits in 2015 primarily by Spain (38.7%) and France (27.6%), while Germany was responsible for the most first residence permits issued to Turkish nationals (32.0%). First residence permits to Syrians in 2015 primarily originated from Germany (25.3%) and Sweden (28.2%). Russian and Brazilian issued first residence permits in the EU were more dispersed, with no EU Member State having issued more than 20% of first residence permits to these citizens.
12 12 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK Table 1. Top-10 nationalities granted first residence permits by EU member state, 2015 Ukraine United States China India Syria Morocco Belarus Russia Turkey Brazil Total 499, , , , ,134 96,099 82,024 73,528 58,131 57,027 Austria 1,383 1,289 1, , ,802 3, Belgium 677 2,417 1,700 2,805 4,001 5, ,078 1,990 1,167 Bulgaria 1, ,782 2, Cyprus ,289 1, , Czech Republic 23,207 4,195 1,255 1, ,148 11,289 1, Germany 5,667 7,333 8,164 9,597 26,383 4,356 1,050 9,054 18,599 3,323 Denmark 2,297 4,157 2,727 3,785 12, Estonia 1, Spain 3,809 7,383 12,581 3, , , ,887 Finland 1, ,737 1, , France 1,863 7,019 15,005 4,588 2,528 26, ,901 5,916 5,915 United 3, ,040 80,724 71,651 4,355 1, ,002 6,069 10,519 Kingdom Greece , Croatia Hungary 1,686 1,679 4, , Ireland 351 2,690 2,291 2, ,955 Italy 7,850 8,714 14,722 11, , ,816 1,913 4,107 Lithuania 1, , Luxembourg Latvia 1, , Malta Netherlands 1,129 5,747 6,193 6,942 8,766 1, ,764 3,661 1,972 Poland 430, ,526 2, ,394 3,932 4, Portugal 1, ,459 1, ,232 Romania , Sweden 1,186 2,637 4,580 6,508 29, ,342 1,941 1,028 Slovenia Slovakia 3, Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset.
13 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 13 Ukrainians represent the largest group of first residence permits issued for employment reasons, accounting for over half of the first residence permits for employment reasons issued in the EU in The next largest group of beneficiaries by nationality, namely Indian (7.4%), US (5.4%), Chinese (2.6%), and Australians (2.3%), represents less than a quarter of the total number of first residence permits issued for employment reasons in 2015 (see Figure 10). Figure 10. Top-20 nationalities granted first residence permits for employment reasons in the EU, 2015 Other nationalities 13.0% India 7.4% United States 5.4% China 2.6% Australia 2.3% Russia 1.9% Philippines 1.7% Morocco 1.5% Canada 1.4% Moldova 1.3% Brazil 1.1% Japan 1.0% Thailand 0.9% Serbia 0.9% Pakistan 0.9% Belarus 0.8% Ukraine 53.1% Turkey 0.7% South Korea 0.6% Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.8% New Zealand 0.8% Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset. First residence permits issued by Poland to Ukrainian nationals in 2015 were primarily of a short-term (shorter than 12 months, see Figure 11) and temporary nature (mostly seasonal work, see Figure 12).
14 14 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK 300, , , , ,000 50,000 Figure 11. First residence permits issued by Poland to Ukrainians by length and reasons, From 3 to 5 months From 6 to 11 months 12 months or over Educational reasons Family reasons Employment reasons Other reasons Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resfirst) dataset. Figure 12. First residence permits issued by Poland to Ukrainians for employment by employment reasons, 2015 Other employment activities 11.51% EU Blue Card holders 0.07% Seasonal work 88.35% Highly skilled workers 0.06% Researchers 0.01% Source: Authors own elaboration based on Eurostat s First permits issued for remunerated activities by reason, length of validity and citizenship (migr_resocc) dataset.
15 THE INTEGRATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND LEGAL PATHS TO MOBILITY TO THE EU 15 The substantial number of Ukrainians residing and working in Poland on short-term, temporary permits contrasts sharply with the number of (Ukrainian) asylum seekers receiving protection in Poland. Previous research has shown that only two Ukrainians had been granted refugee status by mid-november 2015, with another 24 Ukrainians receiving subsidiary protection. 17 This low reception rate of asylum seekers in Poland notwithstanding, the Polish government has repeatedly qualified the large number of Ukrainians granted residence in Poland as refugees (despite their de jure status as immigrants). 18 Szczepanik and Tylec (2016) further speculate that a potential reason for this disparity between the number of Ukrainians in Poland classified as immigrants as opposed to refugees may be the combination of strict Polish refugee law (asylum seekers have to prove lack of the possibility of safely relocating and settling in any other part of their country of origin ), and more liberal regulations for obtaining temporary or permanent residence permits (by Ukrainians). 19 Conclusion All too often the media and political sources present the integration of migrants as a huge, sometimes even insurmountable challenge to societies in the EU. The data on both first and second generation migrants collected by Eurostat and analysed here show clearly that this image is incorrect. In fact, if educational attainment and employment are important indicators of integration, second generation migrants are better integrated into our societies than the native born with native background (in the language of Eurostat). Clearly, migrants to the EU appear highly motivated to ensure that their children succeed in education and employment and enjoy the best conditions of integration in their new home country. This is not the image of a reluctant migrant holding onto outdated norms of a far-away country and distant time, which is often presented as the norm. Nor is it an image of failure and disappointment, but rather one evidencing success and great promise. The EU appears fully able to provide an environment favourable to successful migrant integration, and its migrants strive hard and succeed in becoming part of mainstream education and employment in their new home countries. Another common fallacy in the discussions about migration in the EU is that the Central and Eastern European member states are the most reluctant to receive migrants. The evidence is 17 M. Szczepanik and E. Tylec (2016), Ukrainian asylum seekers and a Polish immigration paradox, Forced Migration Review 51, p See EurActiv (2016), Ukraine rejects Polish million refugees claim, EurActive.com, 21 January ( A. Chapman (2016), Poland quibbles over who s a refugee and who s a migrant, Politico Europe, 22 January ( M. Sieradzka (2016), Szydlo exaggerated on refugees from Ukraine in Poland, Deutsche Welle, 28 February ( 19 Szczepanik & Tylec (2016), op. cit., pp
16 16 GUILD, CARRERA & LUK to the contrary at least as regards Poland, which issues by far the largest number of first residence permits for employment purposes of all member states. In terms of countries of origin of migrants receiving first residence permits in the EU, Ukrainians appear by far first in the list, followed by US nationals, Chinese and Indians. No doubt the turmoil in Ukraine is a central reason for the arrival of substantial numbers of these nationals in the EU. The arrival of US, Chinese and Indian nationals in the EU is a reflection of the size of those three countries and their importance as trading partners with the EU. EU member states issue more than 2.5 million first residence permits to migrants every year and for good reason these migrants benefit European societies and economies.
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