Skip to main content

The Transfer of Pre-departure Integration Requirements for Family Migrants Among Member States of the European Union


Over the last decade, six EU member states have introduced pre-departure integration requirements for family migrants. The Netherlands was the first to introduce such ‘civic integration abroad’ policies. Its example has been followed by Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and the UK. While it is well established in the literature that the European Union has played a crucial role in the proliferation of these and similar mandatory integration policies, the question why and how these policies have spread through Europe has not been subjected to analytical scrutiny. This paper shows that while the EU has functioned as a platform for the exchange of ideas, EU institutions such as the Commission have strived to obstruct this process. The only actors promoting the transfer of pre-departure integration measures were national governments. For these governments, representing such measures as a ‘common practice’ among member states was a strategy to build legitimacy for restrictive reform.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Saskia Bonjour.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bonjour, S. The Transfer of Pre-departure Integration Requirements for Family Migrants Among Member States of the European Union. CMS 2, 203–226 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: