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Title:What does it mean to belong? An analysis of migrant integration policies in Germany, Spain, and Hungary
Author(s):Robinson, Francesca P.
Advisor(s):Kourtikakis, Konstantinos
Contributor(s):Henry, Lucas
Department / Program:Liberal Arts & Sciences
Discipline:European Union Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):migrant integration
multi-level governance
European Union
Abstract:The number of migrants in the European Union (EU) has grown significantly since 2015. One of the main issues to consider is how these migrants are integrated into EU Member States. Although some EU policies are created at the supranational level, when it comes to issues like migration, states are allowed to exercise a generous amount of sovereignty. Although the EU does encourage migrant integration, the degree to which migrants are able to integrate socially, economically, and culturally into their host societies varies within and between Member States. This research project examines the causes of migrant integration and determines if and how the Europeanization of migration policies plays a role. The central questions guiding this thesis are: How does the Europeanization of migration policies affect the integration of migrants in EU Member States? Additionally, how do national level policies affect the integration of migrants in EU Member States? The literature on migrant integration suggests that the power of the EU is limited related to migration policy. Based on these themes of limited EU competences, I argue that national policy provisions will play a greater role in migrant integration than Europeanization. Using case studies in Germany, Spain, and Hungary, these research questions are answered through an examination of Europeanization and migrant integration data. Transposition deficit scores, which measure how countries adapt legislation to meet the standards outlined in EU directives, are used to determine the extent of Europeanization in EU Member States. Additionally, data from the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is used to conclude the degree of migrant integration in several policy areas at the national level, including health, education, and labor data. These policies and national legislation from each of these three nations help determine the main cause of migrant integration. Furthermore, this thesis project contributes to debates in the literature about European integration and migrant integration. My findings support the multi-level governance approach as supranational actors like EU institutions work with national actors like EU Member States and civil society institutions to create and implement policies at the EU and national levels. I found that while national actors do have a more important role in migrant integration, Europeanization may have a limited role in influencing common standards that Member States utilize when developing national policy provisions. Additionally, the multi-level governance approach better explains the different levels of governance that play roles in creating migration policies at the supranational, national, regional and local levels. The results of this study also show that policies developed at the national level do indeed contribute more to migrant integration than levels of Europeanization. These findings contribute to the literature on migration by supporting the argument that Member States have more control over migration policies than supranational actors.
Issue Date:2020-05-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Francesca P. Robinson
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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