Doing More With Less: A New Toolkit for Integration Policy
The arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants in Europe during 2015-2016 catapulted integration policymakers from the periphery to the centre of debates shaping the European continent but gave them few tools to support their change in status. Integration officials have been under minute and constant media scrutiny since 2015 and face the daunting challenge of convincing often sceptical colleagues and the public that vulnerable people—many needing help with housing and job training, while experiencing mental and physical health problems—are worth greater investment, the authors suggest. Still now, policies in this area are most often tailored to helping migrants get into the workforce rather than addressing more complex needs such as social integration, cultural accommodation and community building. MPI Europe researchers discussed these issues with integration policymakers from around Europe, and clear messages emerged: finding reliable evidence on what works was intensely difficult, managing relationships at all levels of government and with outside partners was draining and planning for the future amidst constant firefighting was impossible. The report argues that innovative tools—already tried and tested in other policy areas—would allow integration policymakers to do more within tight budgets.