Immigration Control in Disguise?

Civic Integration Policies and Immigrant Admission

Open access


There has been a rapid diffusion of civic integration policies (CIPs) in Europe since the 21st century. The spread of CIPs has, however, been uneven across Europe, with some countries adopting civic integration strategies with tougher integration requirements, whereas others keeping more of a multicultural approach. The implementation of CIPs has mainly been motivated based on concerns about immigrant integration. As discussed in this article, however, an implied function of this policy framework is that immigrants who do not meet the conditions will face difficulties acquiring residence. This article develops and conducts a preliminary test of the argument that CIPs affect migration flows. The assumption is that CIPs provide states with tools to control and limit the inflow of immigration by a certain category of entry. The analysis lends support to the idea that there are connections between the extensions of CIPs and reductions in family immigration and labour immigration among European countries, which indicates that push for internal inclusion seems to come along with barriers of exclusion.

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