Czechia scores 50/100, in line with the average score of MIPEX country. Czech integration policies create as many obstacles as opportunities for integration. Czechia promotes a comprehensive approach to integration, but only goes halfway to actually guarantee equal rights, opportunities and security for immigrants. Czechia is starting to address these three critical dimensions, much like the ‘Top Ten’ MIPEX countries, but its policies still involve many more obstacles and less targeted support. Over the last five years, Czechia has increased its support for equal opportunities, but done little to improve access to rights and long-term settlement for immigrants.
Czechia needs to invest more on those two dimensions, as they are weaker than in the average MIPEX country. Without greater support on all three dimensions, immigrants will remain invisible in public life and the Czech public will also continue to see immigrants more as threats than as opportunities. These weaknesses make immigrants and locals less likely to develop relationships and a common sense of belonging, trust and civic participation.
Internationally, the ‘Top Ten’ MIPEX countries treat immigrants as equals, neighbours and potential citizens, and invest in integration as a two-way process for society. Under these inclusive policies, both immigrants and the public are more likely to interact together and think of each other as equals.
Czechia is a regional leader. While Czechia’s integration policies are average for Europe, they are more advanced than in the other Central and Eastern Europe, such as the other Visegrad countries. For example, compared to Slovakia, Czechia has stronger policies in all policy areas except permanent residence and anti-discrimination. Czechia’s policies are similar to policies in Estonia or Malta. In contrast, policies are more advanced in neighbouring Germany.
- Labour market mobility. Halfway favourable: Migrant workers may get trapped in lower-quality precarious jobs because, while they have opportunities to work, they face obstacles to access support and targeted trainings to improve their skills and careers.
- Family reunification. Slightly favourable: Separated families have right to reunite, if they can meet tougher requirements introduced in 2013.
- Education. Slightly favourable: Czechia leads Central Europe by improving its support to teachers and immigrant pupils since 2015, but more focus is needed on access, segregation and intercultural education.
- Health. Slightly favourable: Czechia leads Central Europe by taking the 1st steps to improve health information for migrants, but this support is ad hoc and access is limited
- Political participation. Unfavourable: A major area of weakness across Central Europe, immigrant groups in Czechia receive some funding, but limited opportunities to be informed, consulted or active in public life.
- Permanent residence. Halfway favourable: Non-EU residents can settle long-term, but would benefit from more flexible requirements and more secure status.
- Access to nationality. Slightly unfavourable: A major area of weakness across Central Europe, since 2013, restrictive requirements bar many immigrants and Czech-born children from acquiring dual nationality and common sense of belonging.
- Anti-discrimination. Slightly favourable: Potential victims of discrimination have limited awareness and trust of Czechia’s below-average 2009 Law, which is relatively young and weak, with gaps in law and weak equality body and policies.