PROSPECTS FOR INTEGRATION OF MIGRANTS FROM "THIRD COUNTRIES" AND THEIR LABOUR MARKET SITUATIONS: TOWARDS POLICIES AND ACTION
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Objectives

Many migrants from "third countries" are recruited to the European Union labour markets for unskilled labour. They contribute to the growth of the EU economy by filling in positions that are unattractive to the "native" workforce, responding to job demands where many are exposed to abuse, violations of contracts or exploitation in the informal market. Current integration policies declare integration as a two-way process that should equalize the migrants' opportunities with those of the "nationals." However, these policies often remain at the descriptive level, lacking mechanisms that would enable and accelerate integration.

The PRIMTS project responds to these challenges by considering precarious labour market positions of "third country nationals" and analyses these from the perspective of integration bills with the purpose to contribute to long-term benefits of "third country nationals," particularly male and female workers in lower sectors of economy. A further objective is to establish proposals for comparable flexible integration policies at the EU level tailored to specific needs of "third country nationals" who are faced with deskilling and hardship in the labour market. A central assumption is that integration policies should attend to the agency of the persons involved.

The project involves "third country nationals" as partners in communication, its main objective being to propose advanced policy mechanisms with positive effects on marginal situations of "third-country nationals". This is expected to result in implementation of more flexible policies, securer working environment and diminishing of discrimination towards migrants.

Approach and methodology

The analysis covers six EU member states: Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Slovenia.

The PRIMTS project employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Statistical analysis of migration flows of "third country nationals" and their situation on the labour market is accompanied by qualitative research.

Semi-structured depth narrative interviews will be conducted with "third country nationals" in the six countries. The interviews will enable the examination of migrants' access to the labour market, their situations on the labour market, as well as their relations with employers and other relevant parties. In this way, the narratives will show how migration, integration and labour market policies are implemented in practice, and how they affect migrant's lives.

In addition, focus groups will be facilitated that will allow a more detailed and structured debate about the most prominent issues raised by the interviewees in individual narratives. Focus group discussions will provide argumentation on the current state of affairs in migration and integration policies related to "third country nationals'" access to the labour market.

Project structure and time frame

PRIMTS started in December 2008 and will run until June 2010. The project work is divided in the following phases:

  1. Analysis of the data on employment and unemployment of "third country nationals," including information on demographic composition, research of sectors of their employment, and of geographical spread of migrants' labour. As a result, six state of the art country reports.
  2. Migration policy assessment at both national and EU level. As a result, six country reports on migration and integration policies that affect the situation of "third country nationals."
  3. Fieldwork phase comprising 16 semi-structured depth narrative interviews with "third country nationals" per country, focus groups with 6 to 10 "third country nationals" per country, and analysis of the interviews and the results of the focus groups. As a result, six country reports on the analysis of the interviews and focus groups, which will propose advanced integration mechanisms.
  4. A final comparative report of the research results, with a broader European perspective for a comparative analysis and recommendations.
  5. Organisation of a seminar for stakeholders and a press conference in each country in order to disseminate the project results.

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