A Suggestion for Turkey: Treat your immigrants like your emigrants abroad

ozge1Written by Özge Bilgili, MIPEX Evaluation Assistant and Visiting Research Fellow, CIDOB

Turkey’s migrant integration policies have recently been evaluated, and the results are not so bright. To improve policies on migrant integration, policy makers need to look back to the country´s emigration history and its diaspora engagement policies. Most certainly, such a reflection can inspire more inclusive and cohesive policies to create a much more welcoming and righteous environment for Turkey´s immigrants.

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Voting rights for long-term residents in the Czech Republic?

Progolosoval_Anton_Unitsyn_flickrWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

The Czech Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier expressed his desire to open a debate on the voting rights to immigrants through amendments to election laws. According to him, “immigrants’ participation in the decision-making process in their place of residence would contribute to their integration”. His ambition is to enfranchise long-term residents in the Czech Republic and grant them voting rights at least at local level. 

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The first European country to take away the right to vote from immigrants?

BallotBox_Crossed_FutUndBeidl_FickrWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

A new immigration bill was submitted to the Greek parliament for debate on 14th February. The bill that will be voted in the upcoming weeks, aims to simplify the residence permit application process and facilitate labour market access for migrants. The same document, however, abolishes the right to vote for immigrants.  According to the Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis, the proposed provisions are enforcing a recent decision by the Council of State. It stipulates that the 2010 citizenship law granting greater voting rights to immigrants is unconstitutional. MIPEX argues that the new restrictive criteria will undermine the conditions for integration in Greece, undoing most of its major advancements on integration since 2007.

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New Korean language pre-entry requirement – an obstacle or a facilitator to family reunion?

DalWang92_Korean_Family_Lock_FlickrWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

On 5th of February the South Korean Ministry of Justice announced that it will introduce a Korean language proficiency and income requirement for family reunion. According to a Ministry official, the reason behind this planned amendment is “preventing situations where people abuse marriage to South Koreans as a way of getting into the country”. MIPEX argues that this type of Korean language pre-entry requirement is more likely to be an obstacle to family reunion than a facilitator, setting slightly unfavourable conditions for spouses to learn Korean language. Continue reading

Misguided: Despite new guidelines, Irish family reunion policy still far below standards in EU and other English-speaking countries, where Irish emigrants benefit from their generous policy

4718225577_a134568702_bWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Hilkka Becker, Immigrant Council of Ireland, MIPEX national partner for Ireland


New Guidelines on Non-EEA Family Reunification were published by the Irish Government on the 31 of December 2013.  According to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, the guidelines “set out a comprehensive statement of Irish national immigration policy in the area of family reunification.” Our MIPEX partner, the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), evaluated the document as “a positive first step” in developing a policy in this area but one that “leaves several important issues unresolved and will not bring clarity to many Irish citizens and legal migrants who have been separated from their loved ones.”

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The German reform on dual nationality – an incomplete reform?

Written by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

The German government coalition reached an agreement on dual nationality reform. However, a thorough look at this reform reveals that it does not address the issue in a coherent fashion. Dual nationality will still remain an obstacle to the naturalisation of immigrants who meet all of the other demanding legal requirements to become German citizens.

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What housing rights & responsibilities will improve integration?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Non-EU nationals more often live in insecure and overcrowded housing, face greater housing costs, and receive fewer benefits. Often they do not have the same rights as nationals. They may be exposed to discrimination based on their nationality or religion. Often only non-EU long-term residents and families can obtain equal housing rights. Access to these statuses are increasingly restricted in Northwest Europe for migrants who use their right to welfare. Family reunion is limited to those who can meet vague or demanding housing requirements. Continue reading

A restrictive liberalisation? Czechs follow EU trends on citizenship

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Based on EUDO-Citizenship commentary by Andrea Barsova

This October, the Czech government’s new citizenship bill received both praise and criticism from NGOs for following two contradictory trends in Europe’s new and old countries of immigration. While the acceptance of dual nationality and entitlements for the children of foreigners remove two major obstacles to citizenship, the new conditions for naturalisation are more restrictive than in most EU countries.

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