EU Policy on Immigration and Integration
Multiculturalism or Assimilation
Keywords:Multiculturalism, assimilation, civic integration, Action Plan on the integration of third-country nationals, Integration policies, Immigrants, Third-country nationals (TCNs), European Union, Post-multiculturalism period
During the last decades, there has been an intense political contest about the mode of integration of third country nationals in the European Union (EU) and its member states. There is an ambiguity whether the union is first and foremost the champion of diversity and multicultural policies, or if it has returned to assimilative-oriented policies in the emerging modern form of civic integration policies. The backdrop is the growing assimilative practices and policies throughout the union. This paper will explore the existence of both assimilative-oriented/civic integration tendencies and tendencies of multiculturalism in recent immigration and integration policies of the EU by analysing the Commission’s Action Plan on the integration of third-country nationals from 2016. Special focus will be on finding out whether the Action Plan supports the hypothesis that the EU has entered into a distinct post-multiculturalism period. The conclusion of the article supports this hypothesis convincingly, showing that the plan contains evenly matched representations of both multicultural and assimilative-oriented/civic integration policies. Moreover, this article discovers clear representations of the intercultural policy paradigm, in addition to a heavy focus on economic instrumentalism and employment in the Action Plan´s integration policies.
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