[EN] Video Transcript
Hello to everyone my name is Margoux Tharaux and I represent the Territorial Dialogues and Migration unit of the OECD.
Using ISOs data on perceptions of migration according to the type of area in which people live, we contributed to the Anna Lindh Report on intercultural trends with an article on how differences in perceptions illustrate the need for place based integration policies.
We chose to focus on four OECD countries, Greece, Germany, Ireland and Sweden. Results from the survey confirmed the fact that within countries perceptions of migration vary according to the type of area in which people live. For the survey, four types of places were considered, rural areas or villages, small or midsize towns, suburbs of large towns or cities, and large towns and cities. Overall, rural residents tend to hold more negative perceptions of migration than urban residents due.
To give you an example that we used in the article in Germany, Sweden and Greece, people living in rural areas were more likely than ones living in urban areas to regard cultural and religious diversity as a threat to the stability of society. In Germany, for instance, 25% of rural area respondents strongly agree with the statement that diversity can be a threat to the stability of society, compared with 16% in large towns and cities. Interestingly, the survey results also seem to reinforce previous OECD research that found the share of foreign born in a location to be positively correlated with migrants’ perceived contribution to the local economy.
So these results nurtured the idea that having more occasions to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds brings people closer. All this data illustrates the need for policymakers to implement integration policies and communication strategies that reflect the fact that their citizens will hold different values and perceive integration policies differently, according to where they live on the territory. This place based approach is even more important now that the COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately harmed some vulnerable groups among which, migrants, but also some territories where positive public opinions regarding immigrants risk being shaken. This crisis brought into sharp relief just how much OECD countries depend on migrants, when countries were locked down, migrants were of course, on the frontline of core activities and filling in pressing labor gaps not only in the health and agricultural sectors.
Overall, one country will start to rebuild their economy and effective integration measures will represent leverage for recovery. In this context, it is crucial to monitor differences in local perception, notably through surveys like the one Anna Lindh and Ipsos did, in order to best reduce intergroup conflict through the promotion of adequate place based integration policies.