Restrictive migrant integration ranks Malta low in index

Malta ranked 33 out of 38 in MIPEX index on migration integration

Malta remains an ‘unfavourable’ place for migrant integration
Malta remains an ‘unfavourable’ place for migrant integration

Restrictive integration policies in Malta has made it a “slightly unfavourable” country for migrants’ integration, after the MIPEX 2015 index ranked it 33rd out of 38 countries

“Over the last seven years integration in Malta has become increasingly restrictive, whilst public attitude towards migrants and integration remains a critical barrier to effective integration. The national integration strategy being developed is an opportunity to tackle these issues and to significantly improve Malta’s track record on migrant integration,” The People for Change Foundation national partner for the Migration Policy Group and the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs – which assessed the index – said.

Malta scored at 40% on MIPEX, making it ‘slightly unfavourable’ for integration. 168 policy indicators, covering eight policy areas are used to assess the rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants’ opportunities to participate in society.

This year’s study found access to education for migrant children was guaranteed but insufficient support as provided for teachers and students, as well as promoting and supporting higher education and the recognition of qualifications.

Other positive developments included the opening of the possibility of acquiring long-term residence for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection although the new integration test requirements have made long-term residence more difficult to acquire for all migrants.

Family reunification remains difficult for all third country nationals in Malta. Despite weaknesses, anti-discrimination legislation remains Malta’s strongest dimension on migrant integration. 

People for Change recommended that more political will and public support for integration was necessary, by informing public discourse, and producing annual assessments of integration on the basis of specific indicators.

It also recommended the following:

  • Obtain clear integration goals and commitments in all relevant areas through the new integration strategy
  • Address specific needs of vulnerable groups to access and complete integration and residence policies
  • Increase number of applications and recognition for non-EU qualifications and experience
  • Increase civic and political participation and visibility of non-EU citizens through greater support
  • Increase immigrants’ and mainstream service providers’ awareness of immigrants’ rights to access services and discrimination remedies

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