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The Integration Process of Non-EU Citizens in Luxembourg: From an Empirical Approach Toward a Theoretical Model

Authors: Angela Odero, Chrysoula Karathanasi, Michèle Baumann


Integration of foreign communities has been a forefront issue in Luxembourg for some time now. The country’s continued progress depends largely on the successful integration of immigrants. The aim of our study was to analyze factors which intervene in the course of integration of Non-EU citizens through the discourse of Non-EU citizens residing in Luxembourg, who have signed the Welcome and Integration Contract (CAI). The two-year contract offers integration services to assist foreigners in getting settled in the country. Semi-structured focus group discussions with 50 volunteers were held in English, French, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian or Chinese. Participants were asked to talk about their integration experiences. Recorded then transcribed, the transcriptions were analyzed with the help of NVivo 10, a qualitative analysis software. A systematic and reiterative analysis of decomposing and reconstituting was realized through (1) the identification of predetermined categories (difficulties, challenges and integration needs) (2) initial coding – the grouping together of similar ideas (3) axial coding – the regrouping of items from the initial coding in new ways in order to create sub-categories and identify other core dimensions. Our results show that intervening factors include language acquisition, professional career and socio-cultural activities or events. Each of these factors constitutes different components whose weight shifts from person to person and from situation to situation. Connecting these three emergent factors are two elements essential to the success of the immigrant’s integration – the role of time and deliberate effort from the immigrants, the community, and the formal institutions charged with helping immigrants integrate. We propose a theoretical model where the factors described may be classified in terms of how they predispose, facilitate, and / or reinforce the process towards a successful integration. Measures currently in place propose one size fits all programs yet integrative measures which target the family unit and those customized to target groups based on their needs would work best.

Keywords: Integration, Integration Services, Non-EU citizens, Qualitative Analysis, Third Country Nationals.

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