Challenges and Solutions
Edited by Martin Kahanec and Klaus F. Zimmermann
Chapter 2: An Expert Stakeholder’s View on European Integration Challenges
Amelie F. Constant, Martin Kahanec and Klaus F. Zimmermann The framing of minority integration in the policy and also academic discourse has typically imposed several normative assumptions about what is good and what is bad for the immigrant and ethnic groups involved. Yet the intriguing issue of how the relevant experts and representatives of ethnic minorities themselves perceive their labor market situation and the roles of various internal and external integration barriers has not been answered and in most debates not even considered. However, addressing and responding to what minorities want is precisely this aspect of integration against which policy proposals and analyses need to be scrutinized. In this chapter we go beyond the standard approach of analyzing gaps in social and labor market outcomes of different ethnic groups.1 The novel feature we employ is to rely on the views of expert stakeholders involved in minority integration in order to better understand the risk of minority exclusion, and the inner nature of discrimination, negative attitudes and internal barriers, as well as ethnic minorities’ desires and perceptions about which approaches are better than others in dealing with integration challenges.2 We tackle these issues with the IZA Expert Opinion Survey, a unique survey conducted in 2007. The survey covers the entire EU and contains the responses of 215 expert stakeholders representing public and in particular non-governmental organizations involved in ethnic minority integration. A substantial share of these organizations is led by ethnic minorities themselves (Zimmermann et al., 2008). There are three broad...
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