Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 51.66% of the population was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. Amsterdam is proud of its cultural and ethnical diversity and actively works to attract international students and high-skilled migrants. Like many European cities, Amsterdam experienced a peak in refugees and asylum seekers arrivals in 2015 and in response has implemented a holistic integration model, which starts at the moment migrants arrive and supports them for their first three years. Migrants are not considered as a minority group with different needs, but rather as one group among others with specific characteristics (such as women, the elderly, the disabled, LGBT) whose outcomes are monitored to identify potential structural gaps in their access to opportunities and services. This work compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local actions for integration, across a number of sectors, are being designed and implemented by the City of Amsterdam and its partners within a multi-level governance framework.



Block 1. Multi-level governance: Institutional and financial settings

The Netherlands is a decentralised unitary state (OECD, 2017c). The subnational level comprises two tiers of government with general competencies: the provinces (provincies) and the municipalities (gemeenten). Each level of government has its own responsibilities, with the national government providing unity through legislation and supervision (OECD/UCLG, 2016). The municipality of Amsterdam is located in the province of North Holland. In the Dutch territorial governance system, the central and local levels of government are generally the strongest, with the provincial level in between, with relatively less power. For example, provincial budgets are only about one-tenth of the municipal budgets (OECD, 2017f). However, the provinces play a key role in vertical co-ordination, bringing together formal and informal stakeholders from the different levels of government.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error