This conceptual paper is intended to create the framework for implementing a proposed project, involving cooperation between local and regional actors in the area of integration policy at the local level. The paper first analyses the meaningof the term ‘integration’and locates it in the context of other concepts prominent in the discourse on immigrantintegration.Integration is understood as the process of inclusion of immigrants in the institutions and relationships of the hostsociety. The question of integrating immigrants into a country is framed primarily at the level of the nation state. Suchan approach makes sense in terms of formulating policies, creating legal and administrative frameworks and for collecting and disseminating statistical data. In practice, however, integration takes place in a specific local context. This paper, therefore, goes on to discuss several areas relevant to integration policy at the local level and how they relate tothe analytical concept of integration; possible target groups for such policies are also named. Since the local level playsan important role in implementing integration policy, and contributing to its shaping, the opportunities and limitationsof integration policies at the local level and the interconnectedness of the levels are discussed.The paper also analyses documents, statements and opinions published by key political actors at the European levelregarding integration and the role that they assign to local authorities. It does not include an analysis of the integration policies, the migration history and the related paradigm for integration policies of European Member States.Furthermore, the study does not provide examples of integration measures on the local level, as implemented inEuropean cities. Both will be discussed in a separate analytical study, which provides examples of integration policies,complementing the conceptual approach of this paper.
© European Foundation forthe Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2006