Table of Contents

  • When it comes to migrant integration, the local level matters. Where migrants go and how they integrate into their new communities depends on the specific characteristics of cities and regions. Even though migration policies are the responsibility of the national government, the concentration of migrants in cities, and particularly in metropolitan areas, has an impact on the local demand for work, housing, goods and services that local authorities have to manage. Local authorities play a vital role in this integration. Cities can learn from each other and help provide local, regional, national and international policy makers and practitioners with better evidence for integration policy design.

  • The region Ile-de-France, represents close to a fifth (18.1%) of the French population. Of the region’s 12 million inhabitants, around 2.2 million live in Paris. The Ile-de-France region accounts for almost 40% of all foreigners present in mainland France. Within Paris, around 20% of the population is foreign born, among which more than a third have acquired French nationality. Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees have arrived in successive waves and tend to cluster in distinct neighbourhoods of the city, often by nationality. The largest migrant groups are from Algeria, China, Portugal, Morocco and Italy. Almost 80% of total foreign-born population in Ile-de-France settled more than ten years ago.

  • Paris is the capital and most populated city in France with 2 220 445 inhabitants. It is located within the region of Île-de-France which gathers 12 246 200 million people. There are 20 municipal districts in Paris called arrondissements which represent the smallest administrative unit.

  • The increase of international migration in Europe has enhanced public interest about how governments, at all levels, promote the integration of newcomers into host societies. France, and particularly Paris, have historically been migrant destinations and since 2014 the inflows of vulnerable humanitarian migrants increased. The objective of this case study is to provide an analysis of migrant integration policies and related multi-level governance mechanisms in Paris. Successful integration benefits both migrants and the receiving society yet takes time and appropriate measures. In particular, the implementation of multi-sectoral policy requires coordination arrangements among different levels of government and the variety of actors involved.

  • Official statistical data on the presence of migrants use three categories: immigrants, foreign nationals and native-born individuals with at least one parent who is a migrant. According to the most recent INSEE data, immigrant (i.e. individuals born foreign in a foreign country who might have obtained French nationality) represented on January 2014, 8.9% of the population in France (Brutel, 2016; OECD, 2017b). While there has been evolution in the countries of origin in the past 45 years, the main countries remain Italy, Spain, Portugal, Algeria and Morocco. France has a long history of international migration and the presence of migrants today results from several migration inflows from the 20th century. Between the two world wars, workers from Spain and Italy arrived in the country responding to the needs of the expanding industrial and agricultural sectors. After 1945, the reconstruction efforts particularly important in the most populated urban areas, called for workers from colonial Algeria, first, and other Maghreb areas after. They were followed from the 1960s by Portuguese and sub-Saharan Africa nationals, and by the end of the century arrivals of Asian migrants coming mainly from Turkey and China (Brutel, 2016). In 1968, there was a strong concentration of economic activity in the Île-de France region which accounted for, at that time, 40% of the industrial work and 30% of the French population. Consistently, 50% of immigrants settled in Île-de France. Yet, while industrial labour has been declining since the 1970s, especially in these areas, the immigrant population is still highly concentrated in these zones (Brutel, 2016).

  • This section is structured following the Checklist for public action to migrant integration at the local level, (OECD, 2018a) which comprises a list of 12 key evidence-based objectives, articulated into four mini blocks that can be used by policy makers and practitioners in the development and implementation of migrant integration programmes, at local, regional, national and international levels. This Checklist highlights for the first time common messages and cross‑cutting lessons learnt around policy frameworks, institutions, and mechanisms that feature in policies for migrant and refugee integration. This innovative tool has been elaborated by the OECD as part of the larger study on “Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees” supported by the European Commission, Directorate General for Regional and urban policies. This part gives a description of the actions implemented in Paris following this framework.