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Czech integration policy in view of theory Theorising Migration I.

Jana Slavíková 1.2.2010

Instructor: Marina Lukšič-Hacin


1. 2. 2010

Jana SlavĂ­kovĂĄ

Czech integration policy in view of theory

Contents 1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 3

2.

Nation state and minorities .................................................................................................. 3

3.

Acquisition of citizenship ...................................................................................................... 5

4.

Integration models ................................................................................................................ 7

5.

Integration policy of the Czech Republic............................................................................. 10

6.

Bibliography ........................................................................................................................ 14

7.

Appendix ............................................................................................................................. 16

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Jana Slavíková

Czech integration policy in view of theory

1. Introduction The aim of this paper is to sum up possible approaches to integration and naturalization of immigrants in nation states, and locate the Czech integration and naturalization policy within these models. First, I am going to outline the theoretical concepts and models, that is the concept of a nation state, types of citizenship and possible ways of its acquisition (ius sanguinis, ius soli, ius domicile), then I will focus on three basic models of integrating immigrants (the differential exclusionary model, the assimilationist model, the multicultural model). I will also note the current tendencies in the EU. In the following part, I will focus on the Czech Republic and the development and current state of its immigration and integration policy. I am going to find answers to the following questions: What kind of integration policy is the Czech Republic following (e.g. multiculturalism, assimilation)? What are the conditions for becoming a citizen of the Czech Republic? Is it ius sanguinis or ius soli? Besides the obligatory literature for the course Theorising Migration I., the main sources of my paper are: “The Age of Migration” by Stephen Castles and Mark J. Miller and “Přistěhovalectví a liberální stát: Imigrační a integrační politiky v USA, západní Evropě a Česku” (Immigration and liberal state: Immigration and integration policies in the USA, western Europe and the Czech Republic) by Andrea Baršová and Pavel Barša.

2. Nation state and minorities The core of the problem of integration of immigrants lies in the concept of a nation state. Before the formation of modern nation states in the 18th and 19th century, people were subjects of a monarch and their belonging to a state was defined by the territory, not by their ethnicity or culture. Modern nation states are still linked with a specific territory, but in addition, citizens of such a state also belong to the same nation. A nation is a social construct that can be defined as “a community of people, whose members are bound together by a sense of solidarity, a common culture, a national consciousness” (Seton-Watson, 1977: 1 in Castles, Miller, 2003: 41). Another definition describes nation as “an ethnic group that attains sovereignty over a bounded territory ... 3


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Czech integration policy in view of theory

and establishes a nation-state” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 41) and yet another states: “A nation can ... be defined as a named human population sharing an historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members.” (Smith, 1991: 14 in Castles, Miller, 2003: 41) All power of a nation state derives from the people (a nation) and the nationalist ideology demands that every ethnic group constitutes itself as a nation and becomes a nation-state. Formation of nation states is associated with homogenisation, which can mean exclusion, assimilation or even genocide for minority groups. Basically, no modern nation state is constituted purely by one ethnicity, and has ever been. Modern nation states have created various mechanisms to achieve cultural and political integration of minorities, which “include citizenship itself, centralized political institutions, the propagation of [standardized] national languages, universal education systems and creation of national institutions like the army, or an established church.” (Schnapper, 1991, 1994 in Castles, Miller, 2003: 43) “The nation state is still the basic unit for defence, public order and welfare1, but its room for autonomous action is severely reduced.” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 43) The power of a nation state is not restricted just by global markets, but also by international regimes of human rights (see Hollifield in Brettell, Hollifield, 2007). “Immigration of culturally diverse people presents nation-states with a dilemma: incorporation of the newcomers as citizens may undermine myths of cultural homogeneity2; but failure to incorporate them may lead to divided societies, marked by severe inequality and conflict.” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 40-1) Ethnic minorities are portrayed as a threat to economic well-being, public order and national identity. As a

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Vah and Lukšič-Hacin (2008: 9) maintain that the welfare state is a project of nation-building. “The interrelatedness of welfare state, nation-state and solidarity have generated an altered understanding of the latter, as solidarity now increasingly includes ethnicity/culture element, leaving the social element in the background.” 2 Lukšič-Hacin (2007: 139) points out that one of the rare strategies of labour migration that was not in sharp conflict with the nation state ideology was the temporary guest worker model – should it function as intended, i.e. emigration-immigration-return. In reality, the desired temporary immigration turned into permanent settlement, even though countries like Germany did not want to admit it and deal with it. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 198-219)

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matter of fact, ethnicity is just another social construct. It is a product of “otherdefinition” (a subordinate position is assigned on the basis of phenotype, origins or culture) and “self-definition” (collective consciousness based a belief in shared language, traditions, religion, history and experiences). (Castles, Miller, 2003: 33) If the receiving state and society are open, accept cultural diversity and willingly grant citizenship, immigrant groups are allowed to form ethnic communities as part of a multicultural society. Rejection, on the contrary, may lead to formation of ethnic minorities, which are perceived as undesirable and divisive. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 32) “The result is isolation, separatism and emphasis on difference.” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 224) In fact, both ethnic communities and ethnic minorities can be found in most countries – together with a category of settlers who have merged. The main marker for minority status is phenotypical difference (skin colour, racial appearance) and the explanation for the creation of ethnic minorities is racism. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 236-9) Acceptance of cultural diversity is closely connected with linguistic and cultural rights. On the one hand, “[m]aintenance of language and culture is seen as a need and a right by most settler groups”, as it may help them develop identity and self-esteem, and assist their integration into the wider society. Also, “bilingualism brings benefits in learning and intellectual development.” On the other hand, cultural difference may be seen “as a threat to a supposed cultural homogeneity and to national identity”. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 248)

3. Acquisition of citizenship If immigrants are to be accepted as part of society, they should obviously be able to acquire the citizenship at some point, but that is an issue of high sensitivity. What undermines the national ideal is the fact that immigrants might have “divided loyalties” – when they live in one state, but are citizens of another one, or when they are citizens of two states. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 43) The ways in which citizenship can be obtained depend on the definition of the particular nation. Therefore, changing the definition of citizenship “may affect the very nature of the nation-state” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 48)

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Czech integration policy in view of theory

However, accessibility of citizenship for immigrants is crucial also for another reason, and that is the welfare, because its provision is bound to national citizenship. (LukšičHacin, 2007) Vah and Lukšič-Hacin (2008: 10) point out that “[i]n (European) nation state contexts ... citizenship is commonly linked to nationality and culture. As those concepts are frequently used interchangeably, the fact that citizenship is a legal political category that introduces a set of rights and obligations between an individual and a state is often overlooked.” They argue that the welfare system has been associated with nationality to foster a sense of common national identity, which brings about social solidarity. Otherwise, middle classes would not be so willing to contribute to the worseoff groups. “[I]mmigrants with different citizenship and different ethnic/cultural backgrounds3 [potentially and allegedly] pose a threat to the solidarity needed for redistribution.” They conclude (Vah, Lukšič-Hacin, 2008: 19) that “[t]he real question here is whether people of one ethnic group can develop feelings of solidarity towards members of another ethnic group.” That brings us back to the sense of belonging and the concept of nation state citizenship. Castles, Miller (2003: 44-5) outline five ideal types of citizenship4: 1. The imperial model – belonging to the nation is defined in terms of being a subject of the same power or ruler. (The UK formally until 1981.) 2. The folk or ethnic model – belonging to the nation defined in terms of ethnicity (common descent, language and culture). (Germany close until 2000.) 3. The republican model – belonging to the nation as a political community, but also adoption of the national culture. (France)

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Vah and Lukšič-Hacin (2008: 19) observe that: “When immigrants would simply be perceived as a labour force without “ethno-cultural baggage” and with an inherent ability to integrate into a majority society, the broader public would no doubt disregard arguments about the severity of the immigration threat shaking the well-established roots of the welfare system. The real problem seems not to be the quantity of immigrants but their ethnic origin and cultural/religious beliefs that need to be recognised in contemporary European democracies with policies of multiculturalism.” 4 Other existing concepts are “quasi-citizenship”, as a special status for immigrants who have been legally resident in a country for many years, and “denizenship”, as a legal and permanent status of foreign citizens. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 45)

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Czech integration policy in view of theory

4. The multicultural model – belonging to the nation as a political community, cultural difference may be maintained and ethnic communities formed. (Australia, Canada, Sweden in the 1970s and 1980s) 5. The transnational model – social and cultural identities transcend national boundaries, forms of belonging may be multiple. These models are linked to two legal principles of naturalization: ius sanguinis (law of the blood – based on descent from a national of the country) is related to the folk or ethnic model (typical for Germany and Austria) and ius soli (law of the soil – based on birth in the territory) might be associated with the imperial, republican or multicultural model (the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Latin American countries). (Castles, Miller, 2003: 243) “However, most countries actually apply models based on a mixture of the two principles. Increasingly, entitlement to citizenship grows out of long-term residence in the country: the ius domicile.” (Castles, Miller, 2003: 247) As far as the conditions for acquisition of citizenship are concerned, practices are very different, but legal requirements for naturalization seem quite similar in various countries: “good character”, regular employment, language proficiency, evidence of integration, etc. (Castles, Miller, 2003: 246)

4. Integration models Three groups of countries can be distinguished with respect to the forms of immigration (Castles, Miller, 2003: 221): 1. “Classical immigration” countries – encouraged family reunion and permanent settlement, treated most legal immigrants as future citizens. (USA, Canada, Australia, and also Sweden, despite a different history) 2. Former empires – treated immigrants from former colonies better than others – they were often citizens at the time of entry; settlement, family reunion and naturalization often allowed. (France, the Netherlands, the UK) 3. Countries with “guest worker” models in the past – tried to prevent family reunion, reluctant to grant secure residence status, naturalization very restricted. (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) 7


1. 2. 2010

Jana Slavíková

Czech integration policy in view of theory

Based on their approach to incorporation of immigrants, countries may be roughly divided into three categories (Castles, Miller, 2003: 249-52)5: 1. The differential exclusionary model – can be found in countries with the “folk or ethnic model”, the nation being a community of birth and descent. Immigration policies are exclusionary and naturalization rules restrictive. Immigrants are incorporated into certain areas of society (labour market) but denied access to others. Formation of ethnic minorities. Refusal to admit being a country of immigration. (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) 2. The assimilationist model – seems to derive from a merging of the “imperial model” and the “republican model”. Appearance of a slower and gentler kind of assimilation in form of more flexible “integration policies”, which stress that graduality of adaptation and importance of group cohesion. Citizenship is a political relationship, but the implication of cultural homogenization is very strong. (France, but also the UK, Australia and Canada in the past) 3. The multicultural model – membership of civil society should lead to full participation in the state and the nation. Immigrants granted equal rights, can maintain their diversity, but must conform to certain key values. Laissez-faire approach (USA) or a government policy (Canada, Australia, Sweden). Starting 1990s, the concept of common immigration policy and integration of immigrants in the European Union (that is, in the eurospeak, third country nationals = TCNs, because citizens of other EU6 countries enjoy special treatment) began to gain importance. In 1999 in Tampere, the European Council approved the paradigm of just treatment of TCNs: the aim was to ensure the integration of TCNs residing in the European Union, through granting rights and obligations comparable to those of citizens of the EU. Also, TCNs who have been legal residents of an EU Member State for a period of time should be granted a set of uniform rights which are as near as possible to those enjoyed by EU citizens. Since then, the European Union has taken many steps in

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Lukšič-Hacin (2007: 139) also differentiates three models of “practices regarding immigration restrictions, attitudes towards immigrants, and everyday life conditions”: foreign workers model in France, guest worker model in Germany and immigrant model in Sweden. 6 More about the EU migration policy and population groups in Lukšič-Hacin (2007).

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Czech integration policy in view of theory

the direction of common immigration and integration policy, a new European Integration Fund has been set up, two issues of the Handbook on Integration for policymakers and practitioners published, a special website on integration (www.integration.eu) for the exchange of successful practices launched, a Migrant Integration Policy Index for benchmarking of countries developed, etc.7 In 2004, eleven Common Basic Principles for a holistic approach to integration were adopted. The EU recognizes that “integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of Member States”, but the basic values of the EU have to be respected. The significance of labour market integration, education of immigrants, access to institutions and political participation of immigrants was acknowledged, but most importantly, the need for introductory programmes for newcomers and for language courses was recognized. Reaching a compromise among states with such diverse, often opposing, models and approaches has been hard. Nevertheless, this development in the European Union has influenced the policies of Member States, even though the European Union plays a minor role in this area of privileged powers of nation-states. The above mentioned three models have been converging into a model of civic integration (and civic citizenship)8, based on a social contract between an immigrant and the host society: while the immigrant adopts the language and political institutions of the native population, and they respect his / her lifestyle, ethnic and religious identity, given these do not collide with liberal democratic principles. (Barša, Baršová, 2005: 164)

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A list of achievements of the EU in this area is available on the website of the European Commission for Freedom, security and justice: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/immigration/integration/fsj_immigration_integration_en.htm 8 Lukšič-Hacin (2007: 143) says that “[c]ontemporary EU integration policy puts forth principles of multiculturalism – respecting the right of immigrants to preserve their cultural heritage in new environments, while simultaneously respecting the legal-political order of the country of immigration.” It seems that both definitions are the same if we stress the individuality of migrants’ incorporation when speaking about multiculturalism.

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Czech integration policy in view of theory

5. Integration policy of the Czech Republic9 The last census in the Czech Republic in 2001 showed that 90.4 per cent of its approximately 10.3 million citizens claim Czech ethnicity, 3.7 per cent Moravian and 0.1 per cent Silesian. The Czech Republic has only recently become an immigration country. During the communist era, nobody really wanted “in” as much as rather “out”. The only significant exceptions were Greek refugees escaping the civil war in 1946-49, ordered relocation of Slovak Romanies starting after World War II., and study migration of students, trainees and interns especially from Vietnam, but also from other friendly communist countries, with which Czechoslovakia signed special agreements (the first one with Vietnam was in 1974). After the split of the Czech and Slovak Republic in 1993, there were about 50 thousand foreigners in the Czech Republic, about 30 thousand of whom had a permanent residence. In October 2009, there were more than 430 thousand foreigners in the Czech Republic, almost 180 thousand of whom had a permanent residence. More than 25 per cent of the foreigners were of Ukrainian origin, 75 thousand Slovak and 61 thousand Vietnamese.10 Three periods can be discerned in the development of migration policies: 1. 1990-1995 – a “laissez faire” period when basically anybody could enter the Czech territory – it was monitored, but not regulated. On the other hand, there was no legal way (except a marriage with a Czech person) to settle and naturalize. 2. 1996-1999 – a period of harmonisation with acquis communautaire – tightening of laws, but no national strategy for migration. Newly, permanent residence accessible after 10 years of long-term residence. 3. 1999-present – a period of conceptualising efforts – in 2003, Principles of migration policy adopted by the government, but a long-term strategy postponed until the result of negotiations in the EU. The length of long-term residence before naturalization halved.

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This chapter draws mainly on the chapter “Česko“ in Barša, Baršová, 2005. Figures can be found in Appendix. The update is available [31 January 2010] on http://www.czso.cz/csu/cizinci.nsf/t/820057D6CD/$File/c01t03.pdf 10

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Permanent residence may be obtained after 5 years of uninterrupted long-term residence in the Czech Republic, and starting 2009, applicants have to produce a certificate of a passed exam in Czech (level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). There are some exceptions to this rule, for example highly qualified workers can obtain it after 1.5 or 2.5 years and do not have to pass the language exam. Also, since the 1990s, about a thousand Czech expatriates (or their descendants) have been remigrated to the Czech Republic (mostly from the countries of former Soviet Union) and their naturalization was simplified in comparison with other immigrants. However, selective criteria based on ethnicity were not acceptable in view of prohibited discrimination, so the Czech government could only assist expatriates if they were endangered in any way. (Nevertheless, endangered “Czech identity” was enough.) The integration policy has undergone four phases since 1990: 1. 1990-1998 – in 1991, an aid programme for refugees adopted (including accommodation support and limited Czech classes). Beginnings of integration policy facilitated by the initiative of the Ministry of Interior and the Council of Europe, hampered by the need for clarification of immigration strategy and by lack of attention in the EU. 2. 1999-2003 – formulation of an integration strategy, support of research and data collection, reinforcement of cooperation with the non-governmental sector and immigrant associations, efforts to delegate the implementation of integration policy to lower levels of government. In 1999, Principles of the conception of integration of foreigners were adopted, resonating with the approach of the Council of Europe, i.e. a multicultural model of ethnic communities. (However, it was never really implemented.) In 2000, a Conception of the integration of foreigners and in 2003, an Analysis of the situation of status of foreigners were published, both accenting individual civic integration, which had been agreed on in the European Union. A shift from the multiculturalism of communities to liberal multiculturalism can be observed. 3. 2004-2006 – the area of integration moved to the Ministry of labour and social affairs. Continuing the EU trend of emphasising individual integration as an 11


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Czech integration policy in view of theory

intentional and conscious process that can be understood as a contract between an immigrant and the host society. Further conceptualising effort, but lacking implementation and insufficient interconnection with the naturalization policy. 4. 2007-present – in 2007, an amendment of the immigration law adopted. Newly, knowledge of Czech language (documented by passing an exam) required as a condition for the acquisition of permanent residence and citizenship. Such a certificate required since 1 January 2009. Stricter rules for mixed marriages: the spouse of a Czech citizen does not automatically obtain a permanent residence anymore, a transitional period of 2 years introduced.11 In 2008, the domain of integration returned to the Ministry of Interior, and in 2009, six regional centres for the support of integration of foreigners were set up that should provide immigrants with information and various services (including language courses and legal advice), and monitor situation in regions. As has been mentioned above, there has been a discrepancy between the immigration (and integration) law and the law regulating naturalization. When the naturalization conditions set in 1993, they did not take immigration into account at all – and only a few year later was the law adjusted to include a possibility of an immigrant becoming a Czech citizen (without marrying a Czech person). Conditions for naturalization are: 5 years of permanent residence in the territory of the state, no criminal conviction in the past 5 years, proved knowledge of the Czech language and fulfilling of such duties, as paying taxes, insurance, etc. The law was revised in 2003, but that did not bring any major changes. The number of naturalizations in the Czech Republic is relatively low12 (the share of naturalized foreigners is similar to Germany). Dual citizenship is not allowed (with certain rare exceptions). Children born in the Czech Republic acquire the Czech citizenship if at least one of them is a Czech citizen, or both their parents are without a state citizenship. A recent change allows also children of foreigners to acquire

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This change, introduced with the intent to fight fake marriages, may increase the dependence of foreigners on their Czech partner, puts such marriages in very disadvantaged positions with respect to social benefits, etc. Another negative feature is that the police are allowed to unexpected controls or personal interrogations. (Dvořáková, 2009) 12 See a figure in the Appendix.

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the Czech citizenship, provided that at least one of them has a permanent residence in the Czech Republic.

6. Conclusion The Czech Republic has been a relatively homogeneous country since the years following World War II. until the 1990s, when its borders opened and it began to attract thousands of immigrants, especially from the former Soviet Union. These immigrants form the largest group at the moment, with other significant nationalities being Slovaks and Vietnamese. If we apply the three categories of settler groups, while many Slovaks practically merge, the linguistically related Russian speaking group might form an ethnic community (presuming, the Czech Republic will be open enough), while Vietnamese, based on their phenotypical markers, might form an ethnic minority (or already has). On the other hand, if we consider that these categories are also associated with a social-economic status, the situation gets a little complicated. (Vietnamese are very hardworking and mostly independent small business people, while Ukrainians occupy low-paid manual jobs.) What kind of integration policy is the Czech Republic following? The truth is that during the short period of its evolution, it has so far had not managed to acquire a solid form and comprehensive strategy. Mostly, it has been shaped by the directives and recommendations of the European Union, and adopted its model of “civic integration” (or liberal multiculturalism). Nevertheless, the implementation and effective coordination is still lagging behind: systems of the newly introduced language exams as well as integration centres are criticised, and changes in legislation also have opponents. A favourable, and for some time already discussed, change would be one of the naturalization law. Just like other countries in central Europe, the Czech Republic has leaned towards ius sanguinis. It is probably time to stop looking in the past and learn how to embrace a multicultural future – not just in the Czech Republic, in the nation states as such.

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7. Bibliography Barša, Pavel, and Andrea Baršová. Přistěhovalectví a liberální stát: Imigrační a integrační politiky v USA, západní Evropě a Česku. 1st ed. Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity. 2005. Brettell, Caroline B., and James F. Hollifield. Migration Theory: Talking across Disciplines. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2007. Castles, Stephen, and Mark J. Miller. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 3rd ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Czech Statistical Office. Foreigners in the CR. http://www.czso.cz/csu/cizinci.nsf/engkapitola/uvod [available online 30 January 2010] Dvořáková, Daniela. Nové přístupy v imigračních politikách Francie a České republiky. Fakulta sociálních studií. Masarykova univerzita. Brno. 2009. European Commission. Integration of third-country nationals. http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/immigration/integration/fsj_immigration_inte gration_en.htm [available online 31 January 2010] Jupp, James. The Australian people. Cambridge University Press, 2001. Lukšič-Hacin, Marina. To think and live multiculturalism in variol migration contexts of European Union member states. In Drnovšek, Marjan (ed.). Historical and cultural perspectives on Slovenian migration, (Migracije, 14). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2007, p. 137 - 171. Migrant Integration Policy Index II. 2006 – 2007. www.integrationindex.eu [available online 30 January 2010] Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic. Integrace: Informace o procesu integrace cizinců, azylantů a krajanů v České republice. http://www.mvcr.cz/clanek/integrace.aspx [available online 31 January 2010] Ošmera, Radim. Podoba zkoušky z českého jazyka pro účely získání trvalého pobytu. http://www.migraceonline.cz/e-knihovna/?x=2210442 [available online 29 January 2010]

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Tošnerová, Barbora. Podoba integrace cizinců v českých krajích – Krajská integrační centra. http://www.migraceonline.cz/e-knihovna/?x=2210832 [available online 29 January 2010] Vah, Mojca, and Marina Lukšič-Hacin. Contemporary implications of multiculturalism policies for European welfare states. Dve domov. 2008, p. 7 – 21.

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8. Appendix

Source: Czech Statistical Office 16


Czech Integration Policy in View of Theory  

A final paper for the Theorising Migration I. module of JMMIR.

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