EU Wants Member-States to Keep Ethnic Stats for Its ‘Integration and Inclusion’ Plan

People wearing facemasks for protective measures do their grocery shopping at the Barbes Market, on March 18, 2020, in Paris, as a strict lockdown came into in effect in France to stop the spread of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. - A strict lockdown requiring most people in France …
JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union has recommended member states record statistics on ethnicity to assess the effectiveness of the integration of migrants and monitor discrimination.

The European Commission recommended the move as part of its “integration and inclusion action plan” that was released on Tuesday.

According to the plan, “monitoring the effectiveness of policies (related to integration) over the long term, and having accurate and comparable data on the extent and nature of discrimination suffered by migrants, is important,” French newspaper L’Express reports.

The call for the recording of such statistics was also made in September when the EU presented another plan to combat racism in which it noted there was a lack of ethnic data compared to other areas of discrimination.

“Integration and inclusion are an investment for a stronger society socially and economically. It is a win-win,” Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said, adding that “We need to do more in this area.”

Johansson’s native Sweden is one of the countries that seldom publish ethnic data on certain subjects, such as crime statistics, with the government blocking a request for information on the relationship between crime and migration in 2017.

France, as L’Express reports, rarely publishes any ethnic data at all and notes that gathering such information is strictly regulated. French government statistics do, however, note country of birth and the country of birth of an interviewee’s parents.

A lack of data has made it difficult to determine the exact demographics of France, with some noting the rise in popularity of Islamic-origin names given to newborns as a sign of a changing ethnic make-up in various areas of the country.

In a rare move, earlier this year the group France Stratégie, affiliated with the Prime Minister’s Office, released statistics showing the growth in numbers of non-European migrant children in various urban areas from 1968 to 2015.

In the Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis the rates were highest, with the commune of Clichy-sous-Bois, having 83 per cent of its children aged zero to 18 coming from non-EU migrant backgrounds in 2015.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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