Skip to main content Evaluation of integration plans and integration support

Evidence-based policy-making for the revision and adaptation of integration strategies largely depends on the evaluation of previous initiatives. Different actors, national authorities, academia, think tanks and civil society organisations have undertaken a growing number of evaluations on the results of various integration programmes and their different components.

The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism published its first evaluation report comparing refugee integration legislation, policies and practices across 14 EU Member States, following the publication of the baseline report in 2019. The report underlined that only a few significant changes happened and conditions were rarely favourable to support the integration of beneficiaries of international protection.1096 Summary reports were published for France,1097 Latvia,1098 Lithuania,1099 Romania,1100 Slovenia,1101 Spain1102 and Sweden.1103 The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), which measures the integration of migrants in general, was updated for 30 countries in 2020.1104 

The RESPOND project published an overview report1105 and country reports of integration trends and challenges in Austria,1106 Germany,1107 Greece,1108 Iraq, Italy,1109 Poland,1110 Sweden,1111 Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The Austrian Expert Council for Integration released the 10th edition of its annual Integration Report, including changes, trends and the current state of integration-related fields, such as education, employment, social affairs and health, and cultural aspects.1112  

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) commissioned the evaluation of the language programme reform which took place in 2017 and re-focused language instruction on employment.1113 The report acknowledged that the reform’s aims were achieved and expenses had significantly dropped. However, it also noted some of the unintentional side effects, such as administrative burdens, increased drop-out rates and price competition, making it more difficult to maintain quality education.1114 The Rockwool Foundation looked into the impact of the reduction of refugees’ social benefits, which was introduced in 2015. The report observes only a small effect on finding a job and only for men, and notes that there was no impact on women’s employment, while at the same time petty crime (such as shoplifting) rates went slightly up for women.1115 In addition, Danish integration experts observed many inequalities in the integration process of refugee women.1116 

In Finland, a survey was carried out on integration services and concluded that 72% of respondents felt they acquired sufficient language skills and understanding of Finland as part of the process.1117 

The Directorate for Integration and Diversity in Norway, in cooperation with municipalities, carried out for the first time a national survey on the user experiences of participants in the introduction programme.1118 In addition, the directorate published a report on municipality expenditure on supporting the integration of refugees. It noted that municipalities managed to adapt their capacity and expenses to fluctuations in arrivals, but it seemed to be challenging for some areas to retain Norwegian language courses throughout the whole year when there are relatively few participants.1119 

Statistics Sweden analysed the moving patterns of newly-arrived beneficiaries of international protection and found that after 3 years around two-thirds had remained in the same municipality where they were originally allocated, but those who arrived in larger cities were more likely to stay there, while persons in small towns close to larger cities typically moved away.1120 

UNHCR Malta launched a survey to explore how it can improve its communication with applicants, beneficiaries of international protection and stateless persons.1121 The Slovak Department of Migration and Integration of the Migration Office of the Ministry of the Interior organised informal meetings with refugees in September 2020 in Bratislava and Košice to discuss various challenges in integration.

The German Integration Barometer, which measures attitudes towards integration, found that men without a migratory background had a slightly more positive attitude towards social coexistence. The survey also provided a glance at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and underlined that trust in national authorities and institutions, and especially in schools and police, was at a high level, but migrants still tended to feel discriminated more often and trust these authorities less.1122 
Various initiatives analysed public attitudes towards applicants and beneficiaries of international protection, for example in Bulgaria,1123 Norway1124 and Slovakia.1125 Many reports assessed the impact of COVID-19 on beneficiaries on international protection, for example in Cyprus,1126 Denmark,1127 Poland,1128 Slovenia1129 and Sweden.1130 



[1096] National Integration Evaluation Mechanism. (2020). The European benchmark for refugee integration: A comparative analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU countries - Summary report.; National Integration Evaluation Mechanism. (2020). The European benchmark for refugee integration: A comparative analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU countries - Comparative report.
[1097] France Terre d'Asile. (2020). Rapport National - NIEM: Une Politique d'Intégration des Réfugiés Refondée? [National Report - NIEM: A Policy for the Integration of Refugees Reshaped?].
[1098] Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS. (June 2020). NIEM Evaluation 1: Towards or against systemic support for integration? Case of Latvia.
[1099] Diversity Development Group. (2020). Pabėgėlių Integracija Europoje – Atsakingas Požiūris: Nacionalinio Integracijos Vertinimo Mechanizmo (NIEM) [Integration of Refugees in Europe - A Responsible Approach: National Report on the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM)].
[1100] Centrul pentru Inovare Publică. (2019). Raport de Evaluare a Sistemului Național de Integrare a Benficiarilor de Protecție Internațională [Evaluation Report on the National System for the Integration of Beneficiaries for International Protection].
[1101] The Peace Institute. (2020). National Integration Evaluation Mechanism Slovenia - Report for Year 2018.
[1102] Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. (2020). Sobre los Solicitantes y Beneficiarios de Protección Internacional - Informe Nacional Para Espana, NIEM 2020 [On the Applicants and Beneficiaries of International Protection - National Report for Spain, NIEM 2020].
[1103] Malmo University | Malmö Universitet. (2020). Measuring Refugee Integration Policies in Sweden: Results from the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM).
[1104] Migrant Integration Policy Index. (2020). MIPEX 2020.
[1105] RESPOND Project. (2020, November 12). Integration Policies,Trends, Problems and Challenges: An Integrated Report of 9 Country Cases.
[1106] RESPOND Project. (2020, June 17). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Austria Country Report.
[1107] RESPOND Project. (2020, June 4). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Germany Country Report.
[1108] RESPOND Project. (2020, June 10). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Greece Country Report.
[1109] RESPOND Project. (2020, June 15). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Italy Country Report.
[1110] RESPOND Project. (2020, August 31). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Poland Country Report.
[1111] RESPOND Project. (2020, July 20). Integration Policies, Practices & Experiences: Sweden Country Report.
[1112] Expert Council on Integration | Expertenrat für Integration. (2020). Integrationsbericht 2020 [Integration Report 2020].
[1113] Ministry of Immigration and Integration | Udlændinge- og Integrationsministeriet. (June 2020). Danskuddannelsesreformen er nu evalueret [The Danish education reform has now been evaluated].
[1114] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, April 28). Evaluering af Danskuddannelsesreformen 2017 [Evaluation of the reform on Danish language education].
[1115] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, May 10). The effect of welfare benefit reductions on the integration of refugees.
[1116] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, December 18). Denmark: Lack of gender equality in asylum and integration processes.
[1117] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, October 6). ”Kaikki toimi kohdallani” Selvitys kotoutumispalveluita koskevista näkemyksistä [Everything worked for me: A survey of views on integration services in Finland].
[1118] Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2020, November 30). Nasjonal brukerundersøkelse for deltakere i introduksjonsprogram [National user study for participants in the introduction programme].
[1119] Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2020, August 24). Kommunenes utgifter til bosetting og integrering av flyktninger i 2019 [Local government expenditure on settlement and integration of refugees in 2019].
[1120] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, October 15). Så flyttar nyanlända flyktingar under de första åren i Sverige [Sweden: Two-thirds of newly arrived migrants stay in receiving municipality].
[1121] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, September 9). UNHCR Malta launches survey to improve communication with refugee community.
[1122] The Expert Council on Integration and Migration | Sachverständigenrat für Integration und Migration. (December 2020). Coming together while keeping a distance. The SVR’s 2020 Integration Barometer.
[1123] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, November 11). Public attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria 2019-2020.
[1124] Directorate of Integration and Diversity | Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet. (2020, November 30). Nasjonal brukerundersøkelse for deltakere i introduksjonsprogram [National user study for participants in the introduction programme].
[1125] European Web Site on Integration. (2021, January 1). Re-examining public opinion preferences for migrant categorizations: “Refugees” are evaluated more negatively than “migrants” and “foreigners” related to participants’ direct, extended, and mass-mediated intergroup contact experience.
[1126] European Web Site on Integration. (2021, February 5). The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Cyprus.
[1127] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, November 20). Denmark: How has COVID-19 affected migrants?
[1128] National Integration Evaluation Mechanism. (2020). COVID-19 pandemic and the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Poland: overview of challenges based on the case of Warsaw and Warsaw metropolitan area.
[1129] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, November 15). Slovenia: Infographics: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and preventive measures on the lives of refugees.
[1130] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, June 16). Sweden: COVID-19 crisis will lead to the lowest employment rate of immigrants in two decades.