What do we know about the integration and inclusion of ethnic and migrant minorities?

July 5, 2021 10:30 am

Over the last 30 years, Europe has become an important destination for people seeking to improve their life conditions or to escape from famine, persecution, or war. For example, in 2019, almost 3 million people migrated to the EU from non-EU countries and, in 2020, 23 million (5.1%) of the 447.3 million people living in the EU were non-EU citizens1.

European societies have also historically been socially heterogeneous, having been formed by a range of groups with linguistic, religious, national, or racial elements of diversity. Moreover, through multiple processes of nation-building, some of these groups have become dominant and identified with the nation-state, while others have become minorities.

As ethnic and migrant minority (EMM) populations are and have been an integral part of Europe, there has been a growing demand, particularly from EU institutions and member states, for informative and reliable indicators of integration and inclusion of EMMs. While this demand has inspired new research to be produced on EMMs’ integration and inclusion, their data have not always been easy to locate or access. The International Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities’ Survey Data Network (ETHMIGSURVEYDATA), which was launched in 2017, is a direct response to this data challenge, as it brings together relevant expertise and stakeholders from various disciplines to improve access, usability, and dissemination of quantitative survey data on the economic, social and political integration and inclusion of EMMs. Until ETHMIGSURVEYDATA formally concludes in October 2021, the network will continue to coordinate existing and future research efforts by scholars and research-oriented organisations that produce and analyse data on EMMs’ integration and inclusion.

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Researchers across Europe, both from academia and from a range of governmental and civil society organisations, have produced a wealth of quantitative survey data on the integration and inclusion of ethnic and migrant minorities. However, oftentimes those surveys remain hidden in someone’s computer file and may be lost forever. COST Action ETHMIGSURVEYDATA aims at making the most out of the existing data by promoting Open Data access. Our work also aims at fostering comparative analyses, as research frequently focuses only on a given country or area.” says Prof Laura Morales, who chairs the Action.  

In spring 2020, ETHMIGSURVEYDATA, in partnership with the Social Sciences & Open Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) and Making Ethnic and Migrant Minority Survey Data FAIR (FAIRETHMIGQUANT) projects, launched the EMM (Ethnic and Migrant Minority) Survey Registry: a free online tool for discovering and learning about existing quantitative surveys undertaken with EMM (sub)populations in Europe and beyond. This tool is publicly available for use, is fully functional, and displays metadata for over 1200 surveys from 25 different countries.

The EMM Survey Registry is one of the main outputs generated by ETHMIGSURVEYDATA. It is also a result of the collective efforts by the national delegations of the countries participating in ETHMIGSURVEYDATA, who have contributed to the comprehensive compilation of the metadata for surveys targeting EMM respondents since January 2000 in their respective countries. With the successful launch of the EMM Survey Registry, the teams are now working to expand its metadata offerings by curating a special COVID-19 collection. Specifically, they are calling all data producers who are currently developing or have already completed a COVID-19 survey that includes EMM respondents (a sample of at least 250 individuals) to contribute metadata about their survey directly to the EMM Survey Registry (see this infosheet).

Since its launch in 2017, ETHMIGSURVEYDATA has created a strong and diverse network of research and policy-oriented professionals passionate about quantitative survey research on EMMs’ integration and inclusion. To date, its membership includes over 200 members from 35 countries, as well as the participation of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), the European Asylum Support Office, and the EC – Joint Research Centre. The researchers in this COST Action are also working on additional tools that will form part of its Survey Data Hub, among which a Question Data Bank of EMM Survey Questions, and a Data Playground where users will be able to obtain descriptive analyses online.

In its final months, ETHMIGSURVEYDATA is showcasing and highlighting the contributions it has made to quantitative survey research on EMMs’ integration and inclusion, particularly through the organization of a number of webinar series targeted at European-wide audiences: the Policy Dialogue Webinar series

Coming up
>> Call for applications: Virtual Networking Mobility grants with EthmigSurveyData (July-September 2021)
>> SSHOC Webinar – Showcase your survey for free on the EMM (Ethnic and Migrant Minority) Survey Registry! (20 September 2021, 14h-15h CET)
>> Surveys to Ethnic and Migrant Minorities across Europe. Identifying Knowledge Strengths and Gaps Using Survey Metadata – Version 2 (Fall 2021)

Further reading 

Additional information 
View the Action website
View the network website

Eurostat (March 2021): Migration and migrant population statistics

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