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Malta

Integration of Maltese Islands (MT0014)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Malta Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Human Rights and Integration Directorate Ministry for European Affairs and Equality

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Citizenship and Immigration, Marginalized Communities

IRM Review

IRM Report: Malta Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Integration = Belonging – Commitment Number 2
January 2019 – December 2021
Lead implementing agency/actor
Human Rights and Integration Directorate
Ministry for European Affairs and Equality
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
This Commitment focuses on the implementation of the Migrant integration Strategy. This Strategy creates a framework for understanding and offers a number of initiatives for a successful integration in Malta.
What is the commitment? Over the past few years, the Maltese Islands have become increasingly ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse. In line with this statement, this Commitment introduces initiatives such as the “I Belong” programme, inter-ministerial Committee on Integration, a Forum on Integration Affairs, actions that focus on training and development of migrants, introduction of cultural mediators amongst others. These measures create a framework for understanding and implementing successful integration.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
Given that integration of migrants in a country mean helping society, the milestones in this Commitment present an opportunity to truly beside the gaps and built an open partnership between government, society and migrants in Malta.
This Commitment will thus address the concept of “true belonging.” This was a public problem brought to the attention of government during the consultations leading to this Integration Strategy.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
This Commitment will certainly improve accessibility through disclosing information to migrants. For example as part of the Migrant Integration Action Plan, in order to qualify for Permanent Residence Status, migrants will attend courses that will give them knowledge of basic Maltese and English as well as Malta’s Constitution and Laws and customs.
Another point to mention is that through the for a such as the Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Forum on Integration opportunities will be created for the migrant communities to take active part in society and recommend what can be improved.
The Integration Unit in this sense will also act as the focal point for such issues.
Additional information • https://meae.gov.mt/en/Documents/migrant%20integration-EN.pdf
Migrant Integration Strategy & Action Plan
INTEGRATION = BELONGING
Vision 2020
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable
Start Date: End Date:
I Belong Programme 2019 Dec 2020
Strengthening of the InterMinisterial Committee on
Integration 2019 Dec 2020
Engagement of Officials whose duties focus on immigration. 2019 Dec 2020
Delivery of courses for Stage 1 and Stage 2 applicants. 2019 Dec 2020
Confidence-building awareness campaigns and ‘befriend a migrant’ project 2019 Dec 2020
Pool of trained cultural mediators to be deployed as required in public services 2019 Dec 2020
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency
Alexander Tortell
Title, Department Integration Advisor, Human Rights and Integration Directorate
Email and Phone alexander.tortell@gov.mt 22263260
Other Actors Involved
State actors involved
NA
CSOs, private sector,multilateral s, working groups
In accordance to the Integration Plan as indicated.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Integration = Belonging

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“This Commitment focuses on the implementation of the Migrant integration Strategy. This Strategy creates a framework for understanding and offers a number of initiatives for a successful integration in Malta.

Over the past few years, the Maltese Islands have become increasingly ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse. In line with this statement, this Commitment introduces initiatives such as the “I Belong” programme, inter-ministerial Committee on Integration, a Forum on Integration Affairs, actions that focus on training and development of migrants, introduction of cultural mediators amongst others. These measures create a framework for understanding and implementing successful integration.

Given that integration of migrants in a country mean helping society, the milestones in this Commitment present an opportunity to truly beside the gaps and built an open partnership between government, society and migrants in Malta. This Commitment will thus address the concept of “true belonging.” This was a public problem brought to the attention of government during the consultations leading to this Integration Strategy.”

Milestones:

2.1. I Belong Programme

2.2. Strengthening of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Integration

2.3. Engagement of Officials whose duties focus on immigration.

2.4. Delivery of courses for Stage 1 and Stage 2 applicants.

2.5. Confidence - building awareness campaigns and ‘befriend a migrant’ Project

2.6. Pool of trained cultural mediators to be deployed as required in public services

Start Date: 2019

End Date: 2020

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, see Malta’s action plan 2018-2020: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Malta_Action-Plan_2018-2020.pdf

 

Context and Objectives

Due to its geographical proximity to North Africa, Malta has been a major destination for migration. For example, since 2002, about 19,000 people have arrived by boat from Libya, and one-third of them have stayed on the island. [6] In 2015, the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (MSDC) carried out a public consultation to start drafting Malta’s migrant integration strategy. [7] According to the action plan, the commitment focuses on the implementation of the migration strategy in Malta.

The commitment is based on an existing portfolio, the “Integration=Belonging. Migrant Integration Strategy & Action Plan”, [8] confirmed in June 2017. The commitment includes different actions to strengthen the Inter-Ministerial Committee on integration; develop integration and language courses for migrants; introduce cultural mediators and conduct awareness-raising campaigns (such as the procedures to apply for permanent residence status or how to enrol in language courses). These measures could ultimately provide integration opportunities for migrants and improve their ability to participate in Maltese society through a better understanding of the country’s Constitution and laws. Therefore, the commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation.

The commitment is verifiable, but the first three milestones (2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) could be more specific. Although pages 9 to 12 from Malta’s Integration Strategy refer to the “I Belong Programme”, the commitment does not mention what specific actions will be taken. Moreover, there is no indication of how the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Integration will be strengthened nor what types of activities will require the engagement of government officials.

Overall, the potential impact of the commitment is minor. Although implementing a migration strategy addresses an important issue for stakeholders in the country, [9] it is difficult to assess the possible added value of this commitment to the pre-existent strategy and government portfolio. It is not clear if the government commits to fostering better compliance to the strategy or pledges to undertake new activities. Providing more details on the activities planned could have raised the ambition and potential impact of the commitment.

Next steps

This commitment could be carried forward to the next action plan as it addresses a major policy area, namely the integration of migrants. To raise its potential impact, the IRM recommends:

  • Clearly establishing the added value of the commitment to Malta's Integration Strategy by, for example, assuring compliance and/or monitoring its implementation;
  • Establishing a multi-stakeholder forum to monitor the implementation of the “I Belong Strategy” including migrants as ultimate beneficiaries of the commitment;
  • Publishing statistics and information on how many people have used the integration services, how many migrants have taken language lessons, and how many cultural mediators have been formed;
  • Delimitating a clear set of responsibilities for public mediators and public officials working on migration integration;
  • Defining the target audience and set expectations of the public awareness campaigns.

 

[6] UNHCR, Malta Asylum Trends, https://www.unhcr.org/mt/charts/
[7] The consultation brought together opinions and proposals from citizens, governmental entities, civil society organisations, academic institutions and international organisations, and its main results can be found in a framework document entitled “Towards a National Migrant Integration Strategy 2015-2020”, which served as a base for the current “Integration=Belonging” migration strategy.
[8] MEAE, Integration=Belonging, Migrant Integration Strategy & Action Plan, Vision 2020, https://meae.gov.mt/en/Documents/migrant%20integration-EN.pdf
[9] Andrew Azzopardi and Jamie Bonnicci, University of Malta, interview by IRM consultant, 9 June 2019.

Commitments

  1. M-Government

    MT0013, 2018, E-Government

  2. Integration of Maltese Islands

    MT0014, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Investing in Technology

    MT0015, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Industrial and Employment Relations Improvements

    MT0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Strengthening Commission for Domestic Violence

    MT0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Participation of Women in the Public Service

    MT0008, 2015, Capacity Building

  7. Public Servant Knowledge Sharing

    MT0009, 2015, Capacity Building

  8. e-Services Online

    MT0010, 2015, E-Government

  9. Public Access to Information

    MT0011, 2015, E-Government

  10. Social Dialogue

    MT0012, 2015, Capacity Building

  11. Having Cleaner Beaches

    MT0001, 2012, Environment and Climate

  12. Construction of Safer Roads

    MT0002, 2012, Infrastructure & Transport

  13. Environment

    MT0003, 2012, Environment and Climate

  14. Transparency in Public Spending

    MT0004, 2012, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

  15. Taxation and Benefits Abuses

    MT0005, 2012, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

  16. Procurement

    MT0006, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. One-Stop Shop for Citizens

    MT0007, 2012, Public Service Delivery