Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in
the European trend towards
integration requirements?
.
Dr. Ilke Adam (Post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for European
Studies, VUB (main affiliation)
Lecturer, UniversitéLibre de Bruxelles (Political Science Department)
Belgium as (a) deviant cases
European trend of integration requests towards
migrants at all stages of their immigrant journey
-access to the territory
-access to legal & secure status
-access to nationality
2
Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Belgium as (a) deviant caseS
-”regions” are competent for integration policy
-federal state is competent for
-“immigration” & asylum policy (access to
territory, residence status, removal)
- formal access to citizenship (access to
nationality, social rights)
-access to political rights (right to vote and
be elected)
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Why is Belgium (a) deviant
case(s)?
-access to nationality: no integration request
-access to residence status: no integration request
-access to the territory: no integration request
Does this mean that there are no integration requests at
all ?
YES indeed: in Brussels and Wallonia
NO: Flanders follows the trend with compulsory civic
integration courses for immigrants
BUT: not linked to access to residence or nationality
WHY? Federal competence, needs agreement with fr.
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Why no easy federal compromise on
tighter integration requests?
Different politicization in Fla/francophone Belgium: pro
versus anti-immigrant politicization
- Flanders: extreme right party: voters position on
immigrants/integration have become determining
element for explaining voting behaviour in Flanders,
more then in francophone Belgium: anti-immigrant
politicization
-francophone Belgium: importance of the electorate
with immigrant background for largest party particularly
in Brussels (PS) + no competition at the right of the
political spectrum (no professional extreme right party)
: pro-immigrant politicization
5
Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
The removal of integration requests
for nationality in 2000
Liberalization of nationality law in 2000:
-naturalization (favour) after 3 years of residence
-obtaining nationality by mere declaration (right): 7
years of residence
-no integration or language requirements
How to explain this liberalization?
Link to the access to political rights issue: voting rights for
non-EU nationals (Rea, 2000; Foblets&Yanasmayan,
2010).
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Flemish civic integration policies
• Flanders as an INTEC mainstream: compulsory courses
• Flanders as an INTEC outsider:
-no test
-free of charge
-no link to residence permit (but fine)
-also compulsory for Belgians from foreign origin
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Flemish civic integration policies
Citizenship trajectories include:
-Dutch as a second language course
-Social orientation course (practical knowledge, norms and
values, institutions, history, … teached in several
languages)
-Vocational guidance
-Individual counseling during the program
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
‘No’ Walloon civic integration
policy
• No structured regional offer of civic integration
trajectories
• Local and sub-regional but non coordinated initiatives
• Voices arise for a structured regional offer, no call for
mandatory trajectories
•  absence of politicization : Immigration/integration is
considered as a problem of Flanders (extreme right) &
Brussels (high numbers), and not of the Walloon region
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Brussels: 2 different policies
• Two competent institutions, with each a different
policy:
-Flemish Community: offers the same citizenship
trajectories in Brussels, but not compulsory
-French Community Commission of the Brussels Capital
Regions (legislative power): no structured offer of
citizenship trajectories but finances local initiatives
which promote the ‘reception and the guidance of
newcomers’
1
Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
What does the Belgian anomaly learns
us?
1. The importance of anti-immigrant politicization in
explaining the set up of compulsory civic integration
courses
2. Institutional (and not always ideological) reasons can
be at the origin of less stringent integration
requirements
3. The comparison between francophone & Flemish
integration policies shows a difference between an
interventionist versus a laissez-faire (assimilationist)
integration policy (Adam, 2010).
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
Thanks for your attention!
Dr. Ilke Adam
Institute for European Studies – VrijeUniversiteitBrussel
[email protected]
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Belgium as (a) deviant case(s) in the European trend towards integration
requirements?
Ilke Adam –Which integration policies for migrants? – 28 & 29.10. 2010
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Are there national models of immigrant integration?