Module II. The European Multinational and Multicultural Identity: assets and tensions, immigration and integration policies

3.3. Integration

3.3.1. What is integration?

The Commission recognizes that there is already a strong need to do more about the integration of migrants into our so­cieties and that, with the expected further influx, the integration efforts need to be stepped up.   In a world which is highly interde­pendent, the main challenge for the international policy arena is to find ways for migration to bring added value to mi­grants, EU Member States and the coun­tries of origin concerned. Maximising these potential benefits would reduce the potential risks.

There is a wide variety of interpretations of integration:

  • Multi-cultural – respect and protection of cultural diversities (Canada, Sweden). This model is now somewhat tarnished in the light of experience, because it is said to create parallel societies.
  • Assimilationist or universalist model - equality and assimilation into the dominant culture (France).
  • Separation or exclusionist – restricted immigration policy with limited access to citizenship (Germany- at least until recently - and Switzerland).8
L’employeur et l’employé sont liés par un lien moral Giving up own cultural identity  
Desire for maintainig contact with majority group INTEGRATION ASSIMILATION
Avoiding contact with majority group SEPARATION MARGINALIZATION

4 strategies of adaptation (Berry, 1992, 1994)

Activity 12

  • If you were to design an integration course, what elements would be there?
  • To get inspired, read the conclusions of chapter 2 in  the European Handbook for Integration.
  • Orvisit the following site:,visas_x_consular_services/
    It explains all about the Dutch civic integration examination: this s a test that an applicant must take at the Dutch embassy or consulate in his/her country of residence before travelling to the Netherlands The civic integration examination is an oral test given in Dutch. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge of Dutch society and their command of the Dutch language. Anyone who prepares properly should be able to pass the examination.

8 Lewis, Richard. New Europeans, New Identities – Reflections on Europe’s Dilemma, working paper for The Institute for European Studies (VUB). Brussels, 2008. P.19

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