European Common Basic Principles of Integration



European Common Basic Principles of Integration

In October 1999, at the European Council meeting in Tampere (Finland), the leaders of the European Union called for a common immigration policy which would include more dynamic policies to ensure the integration of third-country nationals residing in the European Union. The Hague Programme adopted by the European Council on 4-5 November 2004 underlined the need for greater co-ordination of national integration policies and EU initiatives in this field. It further stated that a framework, based on common basic principles, should form the foundation for future initiatives in the EU. The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council of 19 November 2004 adopted the Common Basic Principles (CBPs) (COM(2005)0389 FINAL) and these underline the importance of a holistic approach to integration. These eleven principles set out below are being adopted in one form or another by all the Member States.

1. Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of Member States.

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2. Integration implies respect for the basic values of the European Union.

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3. Employment is a key part of the integration process and is central to the participation of immigrants, to the contributions immigrants make to the host society, and to making such contributions visible.

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4. Basic knowledge of the host society's language, history, and institutions is indispensable to integration; enabling immigrants to acquire this basic knowledge is essential to successful integration.

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5. Efforts in education are critical to preparing immigrants, and particularly their descendants, to be more successful and more active participants in society.

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6. Access for immigrants to institutions, as well as to public and private goods and services, on a basis equal to national citizens and in a non-discriminatory way is a critical foundation for better integration.

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7. Frequent interaction between immigrants and Member State citizens is a fundamental mechanism for integration. Shared forums, inter-cultural dialogue, education about immigrants and immigrant cultures, and stimulating living conditions in urban environments enhance the interactions between immigrants and Member State citizens.

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8. The practice of diverse cultures and religions is guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and must be safeguarded, unless practices conflict with other inviolable European rights or with national law.

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9. The participation of immigrants in the democratic process and in the formulation of integration policies and measures, especially at the local level, supports their integration.

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10. Mainstreaming integration policies and measures in all relevant policy portfolios and levels of government and public services is an important consideration in public-policy formation and implementation.

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11. Developing clear goals, indicators and evaluation mechanisms are necessary to adjust policy, evaluate progress on integration and to make the exchange of information more effective.

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The Office of the Minister for Integration (OMI)* took these principles into account when developing its policy statement on integration strategy and diversity management called Migration Nation.


*NOTE: The Office of the Minister for Integration is now the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality.




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