Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly publishes Resolution on use of integration tests

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in a Resolution entitled ‘Integration tests: helping or hindering integration?’, has recommended Member States to reappraise their approach to integration tests in citizenship, residence and family reunification applications. The Assembly notes that integration tests have seen an increase in use, a rise in the standards required, and an expansion beyond language assessment to include ‘citizenship’ questions about the state’s social and political affairs.

According to the Resolution, expected standards exceed what is reasonably attainable, illiterate or poorly educated family members are barred from reunification with recognised refugees, adequate financial support is unavailable for preparatory courses, and failure leads to the denial of citizenship, residence or reunification.

To remedy the impact of integration tests, the Assembly recommends that required language proficiency levels be attainable. Assessment should recognise effort as well as achievement by taking into account literacy and education levels and any characteristics of vulnerability. Testing should not be the only method of assessing commitment to integration, adequate support must be provided in the form of preparation for testing, and failure should lead to requiring further efforts, rather than unconditional refusal.

Read the Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly.

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Family reunification
Integration measures
Vulnerable person
Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly