The research project ‘Access to Citizenship and its Impact on Immigrant Integration (ACIT) has compared how European states regulate the acquisition of citizenship and the impact of citizenship on the socio-economic and political participation of immigrants.
All results of the project are accessible on the EUDO CITIZENSHIP observatory at www. eudo-citizenship.eu. The project was financially supported by the European Fund for the Integration of Non-EU immigrants (European Commission Grant Agreement: HOME/2010/ EIFX/CA/1774).
In its 18-month programme (from October 2011 to April 2013), ACIT developed four sets of citizenship indicators on citizenship laws (CITLAW), their implementation (CITIMP), and their impact on acquisition rates (CITACQ) and integration policies (CITINT) in all 27 EU Member States and accession candidate and EEA countries (Croatia, Iceland, FYROM Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey). Ten EU Member States (Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom) were selected for in-depth case studies because of their large immigrant and foreign populations, diverse citizenship laws and particularly high or low acquisition rates. National stakeholder roundtables were organised by NGO/think-tank partners in these 10 countries (in Vienna, Tallinn, Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona, London). Simultaneously with the ACIT project, EUDO CITIZENSHIP has expanded and updated its national and international legal databases and country reports.
The five consortium partners who carried out the project jointly are: the European University Institute, the Migration Policy Group (Brussels), University College Dublin, University of Edinburgh and Maastricht University.
ACIT made the first-ever impact assessment of citizenship laws in each country and across Europe. The findings compare the impact of legal rules with that of societal factors such as origin, residence duration, gender, age and social status. In addition to databases, graphic tools for the four indicator strands and national reports research results are disseminated in ten national handbooks and four comparative analytical reports based on the indicators. Academic researchers, government and civil society now have access to comprehensive data, comparative analyses and practical guidelines on how to evaluate the outcomes of citizenship policies, set targets and good governance standards, and assess the prospective impact of policy changes. ACIT contributes thereby to evidence-based policies and more effective practices for integration and acquisition of citizenship by creating authoritative, comprehensive and easy-to-use databases, which foster European information exchange and cooperation.