Integration Requirements for Integration’s Sake? Identifying, Categorising..

Many businesses, large and small, have a huge source of great ideas that can help them improve, innovate, and grow, and yet so many of these companies never think of using this amazing corporate asset. What is this highly valuable asset? Its own people. Says Morgan Fraud, the author of The Thinking Corporation, “Given that we are all capable of contributing new ideas, the question becomes how do you successfully generate, capture, process and implement ideas?” Becoming an organization capable of answering this question can benefit in a number of ways:Several countries in Europe have recently adopted obligatory language and country-knowledge requirements for settlement, naturalisation and immigration. Integration tests, courses and contracts are only a few examples of the new ‘civic integration policies’ states are using to promote individual autonomy and common values for newcomers. Are these requirements in response to concrete problems of immigrant integration? Do they enable, or actually inhibit, integration? This paper examines the various pressures behind attaching mandatory integration requirements to status acquisition. To systematically examine these policies, I develop a civic integration index (CIVIX) to measure language, country-knowledge and value-commitment requirements across the EU-15. While there is a general shift toward civic requirements across Europe, evidence reveals important differences in the degree of policy change. Finally, I explore how new civic requirements complement or challenge existing citizenship practices, identifying where integration is facilitated and rewarded with citizenship. I also show where civic requirements fill strategic goals, mainly controlling the inflow and impact of immigration. The arguments made here support a critical rethinking of the conventional wisdom about national models of integration and a dynamic understanding of state citizenship strategies, where policies define not only the rules but also the content of national membership.