The European benchmark for refugee integration 2019: A comparative analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU countries

    Alexander Wolffhardt
    Carmine Conte
    ‪Thomas Huddleston
    Institute of Public Affairs and Migration Policy Group
  • ISBN
    European Commission, Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

    The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) provides evidence on the quality of the frameworks in place to support the long-term integration of beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs) in receiving countries. The research helps governments, civil society and other stakeholders to identify gaps in the refugee integration policies of their country, take inspiration from other EU Member States and improve the integration framework. Based on defined indicators, its results can serve as a roadmap towards comprehensive refugee integration policies in each of the countries involved. The comparative results of NIEM’s second round of monitoring presented in this report are intended to inform NIEM’s outreach to authorities, civil society and experts and to stimulate debate on how to reform refugee integration based on evidence.

    Following the Baseline Report1 based on 2017 data, the Evaluation 1 Comprehensive Report analyses the situation as of 2019 and highlights key trends. Below, Part I of this report presents key results by way of an executive summary. Detailed results are presented in Part II in 12 chapters relating to the various dimensions of refugee integration analysed in the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism. Each of these chapters

    • presents the key data and developments in the 2017 to 2019 period as they are reflected in the scored outcome of research conducted in the 14 participating countries;
    • details the positive and negative developments in the countries compared, thus providing an insight into the dynamics of refugee integration policies in the assessment period;
    • identifies the best practices in refugee integration, as they become visible in NIEM’s indicators, benchmarked against the requirements of EU and international law; and
    • describes in detail numerous examples of good practices from the NIEM countries, often referring to measures and improvements recently introduced.

    The countries included in NIEM’s Evaluation 1 are Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. With the exception of Bulgaria, results can be compared with the previous NIEM Baseline research, thus allowing for a monitoring of recent changes. More detailed information on the situation in Bulgaria (which is newly included in NIEM’s comparative research) can be found in dedicated textboxes throughout this report.