Immigrants and Civic Integration in Western Europe

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In Belonging? Diversity, Recognition and Shared Citizenship in Canada, leading scholars from Canada, Europe and the United States explore two broad policy agendas: first the multicultural agenda, which focuses on recognizing cultural differences, helping minorities express their distinct identities and practices, and building more inclusive conceptions of citizenship; and the second, the integration agenda, which seeks to bring minorities into the mainstream, strengthen the sense of mutual support and solidarity, and reinforce the bonds of a common community.
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   T ERRORINTHENAMEOF I SLAM , WHICHISNOWBEINGRAMMEDINTOTHEHEARTOF Europe by the children of postcolonial immigrants, has pushed the problemof failing immigrant integration, particularly with respect to Muslims, to the topof the political agenda (Khalaf 2005; Leiken 2005). But isn’t the linkage betweenterror and integration — the dominant, reflex-like response to the July 2005 sui-cide bombing of the London Underground — misleading? Consider the “sheernormality of the young men involved, with British citizenship, born in Yorkshireinto lower middle-class families from south Asia” (Peel 2005). Which integrationpolicy could have helped to prevent evil from such quarters? If Islamic funda-mentalism is indeed, as a noted French Islam specialist holds, an “expression of a cultural crisis in the age of globalization,” then this is surely too grand a targetfor any state policy, whatever the domain (Roy 2005, 3).However misleading the connection between terror and failing immigrantintegration may be, there is a widespread sense across Europe that some 40 yearsafter the onset of the great post-Second World War migration, the state policiesset up to accommodate this migration were insufficient, or even harmful. Even instates long believed to adhere to articulate and coherent national models of immi-grant integration, such as the multicultural Netherlands and assimilationistFrance, this sense of failure is strong. In the Netherlands, a parliamentary inquiryinto government policy toward ethnic minorities between 1970 and 2000 cameto the devastating conclusion that if some migrants in the Netherlands succeeded,then they did so in spite of, rather than thanks to, government policy(“Parliamentary Report” 2004). In France, a similar review of the French postwarimmigration experience conducted by the Cour des Comptes noted that the statehad always been fixated on refining instruments of immigration control and that Christian Joppke Immigrants and Civic Integration in Western Europe 1  integration policy remained “badly defined in its objectives and principles,”“incoherent,” “contradictory” and “insufficient” (2004, 9-10).I argue in this chapter that the key features of the policy solutions offeredin response to the integration crisis are the weakening of national distinctive-ness and a convergence with respect to the forms and contents of integrationpolicy. The notion of national models no longer makes sense, if it ever did. GaryFreeman rightly notes that the concept of “national models of incorpora-tion…lend[s] too much dignity to the patchwork of institutions, laws, andpractices that constitute incorporation frameworks in the West” (2003, 3). TheFrench self-critique through the Cour des Comptes powerfully affirmsFreeman’s view. Not plagued by such doubts, much of the scholarly literature neverthelesscontinues to draw a distinction, within a liberal-democratic spectrum, betweendifference-friendly multiculturalism and universalist assimilationism; it also iden-tifies segregationism in some guest-worker-receiving countries, which is seen asbeyond the liberal-democratic pale. 1 A review of recent policy trends in threecountries — the Netherlands, France and Germany — that are commonly takenas representatives of these approaches (multiculturalism, assimilationism and seg-regationism, respectively) will attest to the implausibility of such classification. InFrance, it has been de rigueur  since the early 1990s to reject any presumption of cultural assimilation. The most recent report by the Haut Conseil à l’Intégration(HCI), chaired by philosopher Blandine Kriegel, invokes the Rawls-Habermasiandistinction between political and ethical integration to beef up this stance:“[D]ans les républiques démocratiques, l’État n’a pas vocation à imposer desvaleurs car il laisse aux citoyens la liberté de les choisir” (2003, 84). 2 InteriorMinister Nicolas Sarkozy further illustrates this position: “L’intégration, c’est: ‘Jet’accueille dans le creuset républicain comme tu est.’ L’assimilation, c’est: ‘Je tefais disparaître’” (Barbier and Conan 2004). 3  This is the general creed of liberaldemocracy, from Canada to France. At the same time, the proverbially difference-friendly, multicultural Netherlands is urging migrants to accept Dutch norms andvalues in the context of a policy of civic integration that is only an inch (but stillan inch!) away from the cultural assimilationism once attributed to the French.And the pariah among migrant-receiving states in the West, segregationistGermany, has recently liberalized its nationality law in a big way, thus includingits huge migrant population among its citizenry; and it has adopted (or is about Christian Joppke2 Belonging? Diversity, Recognition andShared Citizenship in Canada  to adopt) the same civic integration and anti-discrimination policies and laws thatare currently taking hold in the rest of Europe. Hence, with respect to the notionof national models, it is apposite to speak of a transformation of immigrant inte-gration in western Europe. Forces ofTransformation  T HEFORCESOFTRANSFORMATIONAREESSENTIALLYTWO : ANEWCONTEXTANDMIND -set conducive to immigration; and Europeanization. With respect to thefirst, there is a growing awareness that far from being a unique historical episode,immigration is a permanent, even desirable feature of European societies fordemographic and economic reasons. This constitutes a fundamental change of position. Well into the early 1990s — the last and perhaps most drastic expres-sion being French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua’s martial quest for “zero immi-gration” — European states sternly rejected new labour migration. The migrationthat still happened, such as family and refugee migration, was grudgingly ac-cepted for constitutional reasons, but it was certainly not wanted. Exemplified bythe “firm but fair” logo that has informed the British approach to immigrationsince the late 1960s, closure to the outside was often taken as a precondition forbeing inclusive and accommodating to the migrants that were already inside. Thiscondition for “fair” integration is no longer valid. Perhaps even more than theeconomic case for choosing “the best and brightest” in globalizing education andlabour markets, the demographic case for new-seed immigration is now over-whelming, especially in Europe. In the late nineteenth century, European demographic decline was alreadyworrying demographers and political elites (see Barraclough 1967), but thealarming difference is that relative decline has since turned into absolute decline.A century ago, the countries that constitute today’s European Union still ac-counted for 14 percent of the world’s population; that figure is down to 6 percenttoday, and it is expected to decrease to 4 percent by 2050. “There has not beensuch a sustained reduction in the European population since the Black Death of the 14 th century,” writes noted British historian Niall Ferguson (2004). Thisaugurs badly for the EU’s ambitious goal to become “the most competitive and Immigrants and Civic Integration in Western Europe 3  dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.” 4 We are only beginning tounderstand the bleak implications of shrinking and aging populations forEurope’s economies and welfare states, but the case for new migration has alreadybeen understood and accepted by left and right alike. Accordingly, the recentlyissued declaration of the European Council (the intergovernmental steering bodyof the European Union) on immigrant integration policy opens with the state-ment, “Immigration is a permanent feature of European society. If the flow of immigrants…is orderly and well-managed, Member States reap many benefits”(Council of the European Union 2004, 15). This new context and mindset have important implications for integrationpolicy. First, immigrant integration is elevated from a fringe problem to becomea central challenge to the entire society. For the first time, European states arebeginning to see the need for a “global and coherent policy of immigrant inte-gration,” as the French Cour des Comptes puts it (2004, 17). There is also aclearer distinction being made between different phases of the integration processand an understanding that these require different policy responses. The most per-tinent distinction here is between newcomers, who are targeted by new policiesof civic integration, and the second- or third-generation offspring of migrants,whose equal participation in society is to be encouraged by anti-discriminationlaws and policies. The second force driving the transformation of immigrant integration isthe process of Europeanization. The shift from one-time to recurrent immigrationcould in principle still be handled in nationally distinct ways; it points to a sharedproblem, but it does not prescribe a response. Only Europeanization explainswhy there is convergence in the new integration policies. Europe is burying thenational models of old in two ways: through legal mandate and through culturalstandardization. With respect to legal mandate, the entire migration function isslowly but steadily coming under the purview of European Community (EC) law. The development of a joint EU immigration policy has been on the agenda sincethe 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, and with respect to family migration and asylumthere are now EC directives that legally bind the member states. In terms of pri-orities clearly subordinate to migration control, immigrant integration is never-theless increasingly coming into the ambit of EC law. Milestones in this area arethe 2000 race directive, which obliges member states to pass anti-discriminationlaws by 2003, and the 2003 directive on third-state permanent legal residents, Christian Joppke4 Belonging? Diversity, Recognition andShared Citizenship in Canada
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