A Re-definition of Belonging?

Language and Integration Tests in Europe


Language and integration tests as a condition for naturalisation and various types of legal residence permits are topical issues in several European Member States. The introduction of the tests reflects a change in ideas on the relationship between legal status and integration.
Since the introduction of the tests is a rather recent development, little is known of the effects of the formalised testing schemes. Whether the tests have in fact contributed to the integration of immigrants in the host society or whether they function as a mechanism for selection and exclusion is unknown.
In this book, experts from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom analyse the policies concerning the integration of newcomers and/or future citizens in their countries.
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Biographical Note

Ricky van Oers is a Ph.D. researcher at the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen. She has published on European trends in nationality laws (AUP, 2006) and the recent restrictive turn in Dutch citizenship policy.

Eva Ersbøll is senior researcher at The Danish Institute for Human Rights. She has published extensively on nationality issues, including Acquisition and Loss of Nationality, vol. 1 and 2, (AUP, 2006).

Dora Kostakopoulou is Jean Monnet Professor of European Law and European Integration at Manchester University.

Table of contents

About the authors; Preface;
Dora Kostakopoulou
Chapter 1: All you need to know to become an Austrian; Naturalisation Policy and Citizenship Testing in Austria
Bernard Perchinig, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Chapter 2: Citizenship Tests in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK
Ricky van Oers, Radboud University Nijmegen
Chapter 3: On Trial in Denmark
Eva Ersbøll, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Chapter 4: Integration measures in France: an evolving process between integration and migration issues
Yves Pascouau, Université Libre de Bruxelles and University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour
Chapter 5: Integration tests in Germany: a Communitarian Approach?
Ines Michalowski, Social Science Research Centre Berlin
Chapter 6: Ethnic citizenship – can it be obtained and tested?
Judit Tóth, University of Szeged
Chapter 7: Latvian integration policy: lost in translation
Kristine Kruma, Riga graduate school of law, LL.D.cand Lund
Chapter 8: Language and integration requirements in Belgium: Discordances between the Flemish policy of ‘inburgering’ and the federal legislators’ view(s) on integration of newcomers and migrants
Marie-Claire Foblets and Zeynep Yanasmayan, Catholic University Leuven
Chapter 9: Conclusions
Ricky van Oers, Eva Ersbøll, Dora Kostakopoulou
Annex 1: Levels of language proficiency in the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference.


The book will appeal to academics, scholars working on citizenship and nationality law and undergraduate and post-graduate students in Law, Politics and Sociology. It will be suitable for courses in Nationality and Migration Law, Political and Legal Theory, European Politics, Citizenship, Race and Ethnicity, Migration Studies, the Politics of Multicultural Accommodation at either undergraduate or postgraduate levels. It will also be of interest to NGO’s, lobbyists and practitioners involved in law and policy-making, as well as case-workers, language teachers and others. The book addresses the issues of citizenship, naturalisation law reform and multiculturalism, and relays key information on institutional responses to diversity and migrant inclusion.


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