FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is new?

MIPEX 2015, what does it include?

The fourth edition of the Migrant Integration Policy Index is being developed within the project "Integration Policies: Who Benefits", co-funded by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. 

This 2015 MIPEX will include information on 38 countries: all EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.  

The project identifies and measures integration outcomes, integration policies, and other contextual factors that can impact policy effectiveness; describes the real and potential beneficiaries of policies; and collects and analyses high-quality evaluations of integration policy effects. It has a new policy strand on health, and for the first time it also measures integration outcomes and policy beneficiaries.  

Gradual publication of results. Why do this? 

To guarantee a widespread impact and dissemination of the results and the project itself, this MIPEX2015 edition will have a gradual launching of results, which includes: 1st a Policy Strand Launch, 2nd a Country by Country Launch and 3rd a Final Event in Brussels. 

The aim of this strategy is to disclose some information on the policy strands, without giving all the results away so to ensure a greater impact at the Final Event. Each launch will include new yet complementary information, and therefore the entire ranking will not be made public at the beginning to ensure in-depth focus of the results one country at a time. In the final presentation in Brussels, the rankings, the full website and the debates that have been generated in the previous months will be presented. 

The schedule for the presentation of results will be available from the 20th April on the new version of the MIPEX Website. 

Why is MIPEX interesting?

How could/should this tool be used? 

Policy makers, Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament, Non-governmental Organisations and journalists have used the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) extensively to inform and widen the debate and conversation with the public.

Since policies are one factor influencing integration, MIPEX can be used as a starting point to evaluate how policy changes can improve integration in practice.

Does MIPEX criticise particular countries?

MIPEX does not criticize any country; it creates fact-based, informed debate.  MIPEX compares how countries in Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific create the legal conditions for immigrants to participate in society. 

Policymakers and civil society organisations can use this tool to propose new policy changes that would better create equal opportunities. 

MIPEX helps to make integration policy changes based on evidence, not just discourse.

Why does it matter?

With the ongoing economic crisis, there are growing concerns of discrimination getting worse or policies promoting equality and diversity getting less importance and funding.  In particular immigration can be politicized in this delicate time and there is a risk of countries reverting integration policies. 

Immigrant are an important part of society, as of January 2013 there were 34.1 million immigrants (6.8% of the total population) in the EU27, of which two thirds (20.4 million) were citizens from outside the European Union (4.1%). And though some have naturalised (from 2003 to 2013 approximately 8.4 million people have become a citizen in the EU) most foreigners still face more difficulties and limitations to fully participating in their host countries than natives. For instance, in 2013, in the EU28 third country nationals had more than double (48.6%) the probabilities of natives (22.9%) of being at risk of poverty or social exclusion. There is, therefore, a need to understand how policies in each country are affecting immigrants, to see if they are helping or hindering their integration. 

Why compare countries? 

Policy is incredibly complex, with much of it dating back many years.  The countries evaluated in MIPEX are natural partners which can work together on shared issues. 

Migrant integration is an area:

(i)    Where there is a lot to learn and to share between countries (some countries have changed a lot in recent years e.g. nationality laws in Greece and Portugal)

(ii)    Where there's a strong case for collaboration.  Migration trends and EU laws impacts many of the countries studied and social integration in one country will affect that in another.

MIPEX highlights policies that score well and possible areas for improvement.

Are governments doing this kind of research?

Integration actors can struggle to find up-to-date, comprehensive research data and analysis on which to base policies, proposals for change and projects to achieve equality in their country. 

Instead they may find anecdotal, out-dated information and piecemeal statistics that are too disconnected from the real impact on people’s lives to assist in formulating improvements. 

MIPEX promotes transparency by increasing public knowledge and visibility of national policies, changes and international trends.It is not always easy for a government to assess the policies of its neighbours. The tool aims to take remove this obstacle and provide local and EU policy makers with:

(i)    Independent/objective results (with no political or national bias)

(ii)    Truly comparative results

(iii)    A complementary tool (not to replace, but to go alongside local data) 

Is MIPEX telling countries what policies to implement?

MIPEX simply brings the facts to this important area for its 38 countries.  It is not the purpose of this study to make decisions but to encourage and facilitate the debate. 

The study highlights policies that score well and possible areas for improvement.  It is for policymakers to decide what to do with this information. 

It also allows civil society and migrants to bring their expertise and experiences to the debate. Neither CIDOB nor the Migration Policy Group are arguing what policies should be adopted, indeed full open access to the results and data is provided so that each policy point can be explored and debated in each country. However, in the MIPEX 2015 edition, national partners have been encouraged to present policy recommendations that are included in each country profile. For this each partner has taken into consideration the MIPEX results as well as the current ongoing debates in their country.

Has MIPEX been useful?

The first edition of MIPEX was published in 2004, the second edition in 2007, and the third edition in 2010, leading to its use by governments, press, and civil society organisations.  See MIPEX History to find out more about the previous editions. And, see MIPEX in use  for more information about the different applications and uses MIPEX has had in different countries. 

How solid is this approach and methodology? 

How were the standards set?

MIPEX identifies the highest European and International standards aimed at achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all residents. The highest standards are drawn from Council of Europe Conventions, European Union Directives and international conventions (for more information see: Sources of MIPEX equality standards). Where there are only minimum standards, European-wide policy recommendations are used.

What is the potential for error/bias?

There is a process of rigorous expert selection in each country with at least 2 experts in each of 38 countries:

-    At least one independent expert completed the questionnaire

-    The questionnaire was then peer-reviewed by at least one different expert

The research partners then mediated the review and conducted data verification.

All data and findings are open access and will be available for downloading from the 30th of June. 

If you think you found an error we want to hear about it and we have a formal procedure.  To initiate this procedure, please contact us using the contact form. 

Who designed the questions?

The scientific partners for each strand reviewed the previous MIPEX III indicators to guarantee that they were clearly worded, policy-relevant, and sustainable for future updating.

The scientific partner on health designed an entirely new strand on the access to healthcare of immigrants.

With the final review of the indicators among the scientific partners, the Migration Policy Group approved the final list of 167 indicators.

How was the research designed?

The indicators were completed by the national experts and anonymously double-checked by peer reviewers. The new health strand was only completed for 2014.MPG’s and CIDOB’s team of experts checked both the experts’ and peer reviewers’ responses to guarantee that they properly understood the questions and answered them in a consistent manner as in other countries. In each country there were a handful of questions where expert and peer reviewer disagreed. The MPG central research team mediated an anonymous discussion between the two in order to obtain the correct response based on publicly-available data and legal texts. 

Country profile contributors were secured in most countries in order to provide additional contextual information. The aim was to better understand why policies changed and what evidence and evaluations were used to justify and implement policy changes. In most cases, the country profile contributor was selected from among the national experts and peer reviewers. Based on the results and the country profile contributions, the MPG team was able to write up national country profiles.

Are there any other studies of this kind?

MIPEX is unique. There is no other study that provides a comparable view. The MIPEX publication makes reference to other individual studies on the different areas if users want to read more in-depth.

How useful is this study?  

Good understanding of policies is needed before you can implement better policies because:

•    Understanding the legal framework is a key starting point

•    Without theoretical rights and opportunities, there's no chance migrants can 'live' these rights

•    MIPEX does include many questions or /indicators on implementation measures (e.g. what mechanisms are put in place to make sure anti-discrimination law is enforced)

•    Remember: this is a study; it provides material for informed debate.

Users can combine their practice and experience-based recommendations with the MIPEX research findings.

What is the scope? 

Does this provide a complete picture?

Integration policies are just one factor influencing how immigrants are faring in practice.  There are other factors of relevance, including the age/gender/country of origin of migrants, etc. Policies are an important factor in this.  

In previous editions the need to ask for more evaluations and evidence of how policies are concretely helping immigrants integrate was identified, therefore for the MIPEX2015 edition new information was included to measure integration outcomes and policy beneficiaries for the first time.  Concretely there is now also information on integration outcomes, integration policies, other contextual factors that can impact policy effectiveness; the real and the potential beneficiaries of policies; and high-quality evaluations of integration policy effects. 

What timeframe does MIPEX 2015 measure?

MIPEX2015 measures laws that were passed as of December 2014.  Some policies and some countries could have been altered since this time.

What will happen next?

Many stakeholders and governments are already using MIPEX. The project aims to update the data in the future.

Who is running the study? 

Who is running the study? Are they credible? 

The project is being managed by CIDOB, in partnership with the Migration Policy Group, with over 35 partners throughout the world.

It is a collaboration between CIDOB, MPG and the national partners with co-funding from the European Commission.

What's the role of CIDOB?

CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) is a think tank that focuses on international relations; in this project it aims to setup and stimulate debates among stakeholders across four continents. 

CIDOB has worked together with MPG in different aspects of the research process. It has been involved in the analysis of the outcomes and in the high-quality evaluations of integration policy effects. At the same time, it has reviewed the content for the country profiles and has been in charge of the editing. 

As co-leader of the project, it has brought the logistics and project management expertise for such a complex project, coordinating with more than 35 national partners in four continents. Lastly, CIDOB has been in charge of the communication and dissemination strategy and coordination of more than 25 national events. 

Our network across the 38 countries: provides a unique connection to civil society organisations, policy makers, think tanks, ministries and the public.

What's the role of the Migration Policy Group (MPG)?

The Migration Policy Group (MPG) is a think tank, which aims to inform the debate with comparable facts together with an international network of experts. MPG brings: the science and expertise, network of associations, foundations, think tanks working on integration, a track record of providing facts on migration to policy makers. MPG has been coordinating MIPEX since its first edition. 

In MIPEX2015 MPG has coordinated the project together with CIDOB, and has been in charge of the research desk. It has analysed the results sent by the national partners, and has written the country profiles. It has collected the data and analysed the results for the integration outcomes, for contextual factors that can impact policy effectiveness, and for the real and the potential beneficiaries of policies. Also it has contributed to the research on the high-quality evaluations of integration policy effects. MPG has also played a large role in the dissemination and communication strategy of this fourth edition of MIPEX. 

What's the difference between partners and experts?

National Partners are leading migration groups in each country, well networked with civil society that can bring the necessary stakeholders together on the project. They are playing an important role in bringing the facts to the table in each country involved and organising over 25 national events. 

Experts are individuals who are independent from government, highly recognized for their expertise on their countries’ integration laws and policies, and who are experienced in comparing their country in international research.

How is the project funded?

For EU members states (except Denmark) MIPEX2015 was co-funded by the European Community under the European Fund for Integration of Third-country Nationals.

The research for the health strand was co-funded by the International Organization for Migration IOM), and the DG SANTE (Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety) and CHAFEA (Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency) of the European Commission. 

For the other countries, funding was obtained on a case by case basis. 

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