Monitoring the impact of doing nothing: New trends in immigrant integration policy

‘Mainstreaming’ has recently been considered as a possible new strategy for advancing immigrant integration in Europe. However, policy documents and current academic
literature have hardly conceptualized what we label as ‘ethnic equality mainstreaming’. In this article, we lean on the widely available research on gender mainstreaming, to
provide such a conceptualization of ethnic equality mainstreaming. Once conceptualized,we verify whether there is indeed a trend towards mainstreaming in Western
Europe’s old immigration countries. Our results show that there is no straightforward trend towards ethnic equality mainstreaming in these countries. However, the indicators
that served to detect the existence of ethnic equality mainstreaming allowed us to uncover a new double and paradoxical trend in immigrant integration policies.
This ‘new style’ immigrant integration policy can be depicted as follows: increasing ‘colourblindization’, in combination with ‘ethnic monitoring’. In other words, states
increasingly monitor the impact of ‘doing nothing’.