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.

This case study Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Paris provides insight into the city’s migrant integration trends and current situation. In order to do so, it applies the OECD Checklist for public action to migrant integration at the local level that is articulated around 4 blocks and 12 objectives. The four blocks cover: 1) institutional and financial settings; 2) time and proximity as keys for migrants and host communities to live together; 3) enabling conditions for policy formulation and implementation; and 4) sectoral policies related to integration: access to the labour market, housing, social welfare and health, and education.

This case study is part of a broader OECD-European Union project “A territorial approach to migrant integration: The role of local authorities” which addresses a critical gap in knowledge on migration issues by analysing the multi-level governance of local integration. The project takes stock of such multi-level governance frameworks and policies for migrant and refugee integration at the local level in nine large European cities: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Paris, Rome and Vienna and, thanks to the support of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, a small city in Germany (Altena). It also builds on information collected from these and 61 other European cities, through an ad-hoc survey and a newly created and publicly available statistical database on migrant outcomes at regional level. The project looks at updates to the governance mechanisms that cities adopted in the wake of the influx of asylum seekers and refugees that concerned EU countries since 2015. Conversely, it also investigates opportunities to extend some of the services recently established for newcomers to long-standing migrant groups.

This and the other nine city case studies, along with the synthesis report Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees, are outputs of this OECD European Union initiative contributing to the programme of work of the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC) implemented by the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE). They also contribute to the OECD Horizontal Project on “Ensuring the effective integration of vulnerable migrant groups” by focusing on improving the integration capacities of the local governments.

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