Skip to main content Revising integration legislation

The revision of integration acts was underway in several countries throughout 2020. A new Integration Act was adopted in Norway and entered into force in January 2021. The changes put more emphasis on training participants in the introduction programme (mostly refugees) on the skills required by Norwegian employers or needed to qualify for further education. The new legislation made the mapping of skills and career guidance mandatory before beginning the introduction programme and changed the provision of language support from required hours to a required level. The previous standard 2-year programme was replaced by a wider range of programmes from 3 months to 3 years.1072 

The re-shaping of the Spanish reception system (see Section 4.7) had a major impact on the integration process of beneficiaries. The new instructions from the State Secretary for Migration underlined that only recognised beneficiaries of international protection who have already been within the reception system, who are resettled refugees or family members of these categories have access to second-line reception and integration support. Fundación Cepaim noted in assessing the potential impact of the instructions for the future that this risks leaving out people who had enough financial means when they entered the country but their economic situation deteriorated afterwards, or people who did not know about or could not enter the first-line reception system.1073 

The reform of the Integration Act is foreseen in Luxembourg and the Minister for Families and Integration launched a public consultation.1074 The consultation was assessed to be a large success, with 58 opinions published.1075 The process continued at the beginning of 2021 with the organisation of focus group discussions.

The entry into force of the new Dutch Civic Integration Act was postponed to 1 January 2022 partially due to the pandemic. According to the new act, municipalities would take over the supervision of newcomers and their integration.1076 

The Flemish government in Belgium adopted a new integration path for newcomers which includes four components (language learning, economic autonomy, social orientation and sponsorship by a Flemish ‘buddy’) and will conclude with an exam. Participants will have to pay EUR 90 twice and must register with the Flemish public employment service. Changes are planned to enter into force in 2022, if the Belgian Council of State approves the legislation.1077 

In 2019, the Finnish Integration Expertise Centre of the Ministry of Employment published its comprehensive integration review of the previous 4 years,1078 which was followed in the beginning of 2020 by the launching of the Integration Indicators Database to monitor the implementation of the policy.1079 The government’s integration report for 2020 was postponed until 2021 and the draft was presented for public consultation in February 2021.1080 This document aims to present ideas for the reform of integration policy and was developed by the Ministry of Employment and Economy, in cooperation with other key stakeholders.1081 The government is expected to present the report and the reform initiatives to the parliament in spring 2021.

New methodological norms were published in Romania for the implementation of the 2019 amendments of the Integration Act. The amendments clarify issues around language training, cultural orientation, the scope and components of the governmental integration programme for refugees and underlines the importance of horizontal cooperation among the different ministries and governmental agencies.1082 



[1072] Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2021, January 27). Ny lov om integrering [New legislation on integration].; Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2020, December 3). Ny lov om integrering: En reform for flyktninger og norsk integreringspolitikk [New legislation on integration: Reform of refugees and Norwegian integration policy].; Ministry of Education and Research | Kunnskapsdepartementet. (2020, October 7). Styrkar norskopplæringa for å betre integreringa [The Norwegian business training is a training to improve integration].; Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2020, September 9). Ny integreringslov - endringer i NIR [New integration law — amendments to the NIR].
[1073] Foundation Cepaim | Fundación Cepaim. (2021). Input to the EASO Asylum Report 2021.
[1074] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, October 27). Luxembourg: Consultation pour une relance de l'intégration.
[1075] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, December 28). Large succès pour la consultation sur une nouvelle loi d'intégration [Great success in consultation on a new integration law].
[1076] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, December 8). The Netherlands: New Civic Integration Act delayed until 1 January 2022.
[1077] Flemish Government | Vlaamse Regering. (July 2020). Hertekening inburgeringstraject [Revising the civic integration pathway].
[1078] Ministry of Employment and the Economy | työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö. (2020, January 21). Kotoutumisen kokonaiskatsaus 2019. Tutkimusartikkeleita kotoutumisesta [Overview of integration 2019. Research articles on integration.].
[1079] Ministry of Employment and the Economy | Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö. (2020, January 21). Kotoutumisen kokonaiskatsaus 2019. Tutkimusartikkeleita kotoutumisesta [Overview of integration 2019. Research articles on integration.].
[1080] European Web Site on Integration. (2021, February 2). Finland: Call for comments on promotion of integration reform.
[1081] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, December 17). Finland: Government report on integration reform postponed to 2021.
[1082] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, November 12). Romania: Methodological norms of the Migrants' Integration Act.