Prezentācijas sagatavota projekta „Imigrantu intereses pārstāvošo NVO kapacitātes stiprināšana” ietvaros. Projektu finansē Eiropas Trešo valstu valstspiederīgo integrācijas fonds. Projekta finansēšanas avoti - Fonds 75% un valsts budžeta līdzekļi 25%.
Plašāk par projektu: http://www.providus.lv/public/27717.html
Spain’s Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants Joaquín Arango Complutense University of Madrid Riga, June 2012 The conference takes place in the framework of the Project „Capacity building of NGOs representing third country nationals” that is financed by the European Fund for Third Country nationals (with 75% of funding coming from the Fund, and 25% from Latvian state budget).
Immigration in Spain in a nutshell• A still young country of immigration• A very rapid increase between 2000 and 2009• A sizeable immigrant population (over 6 m. foreign- born, 13% of total population)• From four continents and dozens of countries• Overwhelming preponderance of labor migration• Increasing family migration, little asylum
Foreign Population, Municipal Registers, by Region of Origin, 1998-2011
An immigrant-friendly country (in the European context)• Immigration has met with a generally calm, quiet reception• Rather liberal immigration policies• A low level of politicization• Practical absence of populist, xenophobic right-wing parties• A strong commitment to integration at all levels• A vigorous ‘third sector’• Migrants have a large endowment of rights• Good scores in MIPEX
The Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants• It is the official consultative body of immigrant population representatives at the national level• It was established in 1994 in the then Ministry of Social Affairs, as a piece of the first national Integration Plan• It is legally defined as tripartite and balanced• Functions of consultation, information and advice (widened in 2006, including mandatory consultation)
Composition• 30 members, plus a President and a secretary• 10 members from immigrant and refugees associations• 10 members from major NGOs (6), employers’ federations (2) and trade unions (2)• 10 from public administrations (6 appointed by ministries of the national government, 2 from the regions, 2 from municipalities)• Members are appointed for three years• 2 Vice-Presidents
Composition• A Steering Committee takes care of ordinary matters and prepares the plenary sessions• Four Working Groups, dealing respectively with: a) legal matters, EU and international affairs; b) employment and vocational training; c) education and advocacy; d) integration, participation and interculturality• Funding and administrative support is provided by the Ministry (including two full-time civil servants)
Selection and appointment• The ten members from immigrant and refugees associations should adequately represent the diversity of the immigrant population in the country• Appointed by the Ministry among the entities which respond to a public call and after a selection process based on the following strict criteria: a) statutory objectives; b) a sizable presence in the whole country; c) experience with projects in matters of integration; d) efficacy and evidence of good management; e) adequate structure and management capacity• Same for NGO’s representatives
Major capacities• Mandatory consultation on any bill, decree, order, or norm that has to do with immigration, integration or related matters• Putting forth, or channeling, proposals and recommendations• Producing reports and assessments for all sorts of proposals and plans concerning integration• Producing a yearly report on the state of social integration• Receiving information on all of the above
Influence• Difficult to assess• It is a respected body• Public authorities are not required to respond to its recommendations or appeals, but they usually listen to them and take them into consideration• The Forum provides a valuable framework and space for frequent and close interaction and cooperation among public authorities, immigrant associations and NGOs
Influence• Its influence is diffuse rather than highly focused on specific issues or events• But, as an example, it was very influential in facilitating the participation non-EU nationals in the 2011 local elections, both by promoting solutions to remove administrative obstacles and by spreading information• It is the foremost reference, as well as an asset, for the host of similar institutions that exist in many regions and cities
Advantages for the associations• Being part of the Forum enhances the policy influencing capacity of its members• It increases their visibility and prestige, contributes to their social capital, opens the doors of other consultative bodies for them, and offers them an array of contacts and opportunities• It promotes mutual knowledge and facilitates informal negotiation
A final caveat• As attested by the experience so far, the effectiveness of the Forum depends too much on the stance of the government towards it, which in turn very much correlates with its stance towards immigration at large• There are signs pointing towards a less favorable stance than the one which prevailed between 2004 and 2011
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