Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

References

  1. Austrian Lower House (2011). Protokoll 103. Sitzung des Nationalrates, 29 April 2011 (http://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXIV/NRSITZ/NRSITZ_00103/).

  2. Austrian Ministry of the Interior (2012). Family reunification. (http://www.bmi.gv.at/cms/BMI_Niederlassung/english/files/Family_Reunification_2012_02_07.pdf).

  3. Böcker, A. & Strik, T. (2011). Language and Knowledge Tests for Permanent Residence Rights: Help or Hindrance for Integration? European Journal of Migration and Law 13(2): 157–184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Block, L. (2012). Regulating Social Membership and Family Ties. Policy Frames on Spousal Migration in Germany. PhD Thesis. Florence, European University Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Block, L. & Bonjour, S. (2013). Fortress Europe or Europe of Rights? The Europeanisation of family migration policies in France, Germany and the Netherlands. European Journal of Migration and Law 15(2): 203–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bonjour, S. (2010). Between Integration Provision and Selection Mechanism. Party Politics, Judicial Constraints, and the Making of French and Dutch Policies of Civic Integration Abroad. European Journal of Migration and Law, 12(3): 299–318.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bonjour, S. & Vink, M. (2013). When Europeanization backfires. The normalization of European migration politics. Acta Politica 48(4):389–407.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bonjour, S. & Kraler, A. (forthcoming). Introduction: Family migration as an integration issue? Policy perspectives and academic insights. Journal of Family Issues.

  9. Borevi, K. (forthcoming). Family Migration Policies and Politics: Understanding the Swedish Exception. Journal of Family Issues.

  10. Carrera, S. (2006). A Comparison of Integration Programmes in the EU. Trends and Weaknesses. Challenge Papers. Brussels: CEPS (http://www.ceps.eu/book/comparison-integration-programmes-eu-trends-and-weaknesses).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Carrera, S. & Wiesbrock, A. (2009). Civic Integration of Third-Country Nationals. Nationalism versus Europeanisation in the Common EU Immigration Policy. Brussels: CEPS (http://www.ceps.be/book/civic-integration-third-country-nationals-nationalism-versus-europeanisation-common-eu-immigrat).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Council of the European Union (2007). Council Decision of 25 June 2007 establishing the European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals. Council Decision 2007/435/EC (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:168:0018:0036:EN:PDF).

  13. Delpeuch, T. (2008). L’analyse des transferts internationaux de politiques publiques: un état de l’art. Questions de Recherche No 27. Paris: Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Sciences Po. (http://www.sciencespo.fr/ceri/sites/sciencespo.fr.ceri/f1les/qdr27.pdf)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Dolowitz, D. P. & Marsh, D. (2000). Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making. Governance 13(1): 5–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. De Ruiter, R. (2010). Variations on a Theme. Governing the Knowledge-Based Society in the EU through Methods of Open Coordination in Education and R&D. Journal of European Integration 32(2): 157–173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Dutch Lower House (2000). TK 1999–2000 Plenary 18 and 20 April 2000, pp. 4713–4714, 4748. (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten)

  17. Dutch Lower House (2004a). TK 2003–2004 29700 Nr. 3 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  18. Dutch Lower House (2004b). TK 2003–2004 27083 Nr. 44 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  19. Dutch Lower House (2005). TK 2005–2006 30308 Nr. 7 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  20. Dutch Lower House (2006). TK 2005–2006 29700 Plenary p. 60–3897, 16 March 2006 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  21. Dutch Lower House (2008a). TK 2008–2009 Appendix to Proceedings Nr 845 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  22. Dutch Lower House (2008b). TK 2007–2008 29700 Nr. 54 (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/zoeken/parlementaire_documenten).

  23. Ersbøll, E. (2010). On Trial in Denmark. In: R. van Oers, E. Ersbøll & T. Kostakopoulou (eds.), A Re-Definition of Belonging? Language and Integration Tests in Europe. Leiden: Brill, pp.107–152.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Ersbøll, E. & Gravesen, L.K. (2010). Country Report Denmark. INTEC Report. Nijmegen: Centre for Migration Law (http://www.ru.nl/law/cmr/projects/intec/).

    Google Scholar 

  25. European Commission (2008). Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of directive 2003/86/ec on the right to family reunification. COM (2008) 610 final (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0610:FIN:EN:PDF).

  26. European Commission (2011). Written Declaration submitted on 4 May 2011 to the EU Court of Justice in the case C-155/11. Document nr. Sj.g.(2011)540657.

  27. European Commission (2013). DG Home Affairs, Immigration and Integration Infringements (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-is-new/eu-law-and-monitoring/infringe-ments_by_policy_immigration_and_integration_en.htm).

  28. European Council (2008). European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. Council document 13440/08 (http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st13/st13440.en08.pdf).

  29. Eurostat (2011a). 6.5% of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4% are born abroad. Statistics in focus 34 (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=KS-SF-11-034).

  30. Eurostat (2011b). Indicators of Immigrant Integration. A Pilot Study. Eurostat Methodologies and Working Papers (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-RA-11-009/EN/KS-RA-11-009-EN.PDF).

  31. French Lower House (2006). Rapport d’information Nº 3502 sur les politiques d’intégration des migrants dans l’Union européenne, 6 December 2006 (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/12/europe/rap-info/i3502.asp).

  32. French Lower House (2007a). Projet de Loi No 57 relatif à la maitrise de l’immigration, à l’intégration et à l’asile, 4 July 2007 (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/projets/pl0057.asp).

  33. French Lower House (2007b). Plenary 18 September 2007 (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/dossiers/immigration_integration_asile.asp).

  34. French Upper House (2007). Plenary 2 October 2007 (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/dossiers/immigration_integration_asile.asp).

  35. German Lower House (2007). 40. Sitzung Innenausschuss Nº 16/40, 21 May 2007 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt)

  36. German Lower House (2008). Druksache16/10732, 29 October 2008 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  37. German Lower House (2009a). Drucksache 16/12979, 8 May 2009 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  38. German Lower House (2009b). Drucksache 11/11997, 16 February 2009 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  39. German Lower House (2009c). Plenarprotokoll 16/209, 6 March 2009 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  40. German Lower House (2010). Drucksache 17/1572, 4 May 2010 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  41. German Lower House (2011). Drucksache 17/5732, 5 May 2011 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  42. German Lower House (2013). Drucksache 17/14337, 5 July 2013 (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21.web/bt).

  43. Goodman, S.W. (2010). Integration Requirements for Integration’s Sake? Identifying, Categorising and Comparing Civic Integration Policies. Journal of ethnic and migration studies 36(5) 753–772.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Goodman, S.W. (2011). Controlling Immigration through Language and Country Knowledge Requirements. West European Politics 34(2): 235–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Groenendijk, K. (2004). Legal Concepts of Integration in EU Migration Law. European Journal of Migration and Law 6(2): 111–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Groenendijk, K. (2011). Pre-departure Integration Strategies in the European Union: Integration or Immigration Policy? European Journal of Migration and Law 13(1): 1–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Guild, E., Groenendjk, K. & Carrera, S. (2009). Understanding the Contest of Community: Illiberal Practices in the EU? In: E. Guild, K. Groenendijk, S. Carrera (eds.), Illiberal Liberal States. Immigration, Citizenship and Integration in the EU. London: Ashgate, pp. 1–25.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Holzinger, K. & Knill, C. (2005). Causes and conditions of cross-national policy convergence. Journal of European Public Policy 12(5): 775–796.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Jacobs, D. (2011). The impact of substate nationalism and ‘horizontal’ Europeanization on migration policy: the case of family reunification in Belgium. Paper presented at the Council for European Studies Conference, Barcelona, 21 June 2011.

  50. Jacobs, D. & Rea, A. (2007). The End of National Models? Integration Courses and Citizenship Trajectories in Europe. International Journal on Multicultural Societies 9(2): 264–283.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Joppke, C. (2007). Beyond National Models: Civic Integration Policies for Immigrants in Western Europe. West European politics 30(1): 1–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Pascouau, Y. (2010). Country Report France. INTEC Report. Nijmegen: Centre for Migration Law (http://www.ru.nl/law/cmr/projects/intec/).

    Google Scholar 

  53. Radaelli, C. M. (2000). Policy Transfer in the European Union: Institutional Isomorphism as a Source of Legitimacy. Governance 13(1): 25–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Radaelli, C. M. (2003). The Europeanization of Public Policy. In: K. Featherstone, C. Radaelli, M. (eds.), The Politics of Europeanization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 27–56.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  55. Sarkozy, N. (2007). Déclaration sur le bilan de la politique de l’immigration et de l’aide au développement, Marseille, 5 March 2007 (http://discours.vie-publique.fr/notices/073000867.html)

  56. Scholten, P.W.A., Entzinger, H., Kofman, E., Hollomey, D. & Lechner, C. (2012). Integration from abroad? Perception and impacts of pre-entry tests for third-country nationals. PROSINT Comparative Reports WP4 (http://research.icmpd.org/fileadmin/Research-Website/Project_material/PROSINT/Reports/WP4_CompRep_Final_submitted.pdf).

  57. Seveker, M. & Walter, A. (2010). Country Report Germany. INTEC Report. Nijmegen: Centre for Migration Law (http://www.ru.nl/law/cmr/projects/intec/).

    Google Scholar 

  58. Strik, T. (2011). Besluitvorming over asiel- en migratierichtljnen. De wisselwerking tussen nationaal en Europees niveau. Den Haag: Boom Uitgevers.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Telö, M. (2002). Governance and Government in the European Union: the Open Method of Coordination. In: M. J. Rodriguez (ed.), The New Knowledge Economy in Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 242–271.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Trubek, D. M., Cottrel, P. & Nance, M. (2005). “Soft Law”, “Hard Law”, and European Integration: Toward a Theory of Hybridity. Paper published online at http://law.wisc.edu/facstaff/trubek/hybriditypaperapril2005.pdf.

  61. UK Border Agency (2009). Earning the Right to Stay: A New Points Test for Citizenship. London: UKBA (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090713010115/http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/consultations/221878/earning-the-right-to-stay/earning-the-right-to-stay/earned-citizenship-consultation?view=Binary).

    Google Scholar 

  62. UK House of Lords (2010). Lords Hansard 25 October 2010, Column 1095 (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/lords/).

  63. Van Oers, R., Ersbøll, E. & Kostakopoulou, T. (eds.) (2010). A Re-definition of Belonging? Language and Integration Tests in Europe. Leiden: Brill.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

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). https://doi.org/10.5117/CMS2014.2.BONJ

Download citation

Keywords

  • pre-departure integration requirements
  • civic integration policy
  • policy transfer
  • Europeanization
  • family migration policy