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Integration and Integration Policies | Croatia |

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Integration and Integration Policies

Pascal Goeke

/ 2 Minuten zu lesen

Whatever one understands under the concept of integration, it should be recognized that there is no large scale political area of activity concerning this matter in Croatia. This owes itself, firstly, to the dominance of the immigration of Croatian descendants next to the simultaneous relative irrelevance of the international migration—the required action or pressure to act is correspondingly slight. Secondly this political field appears to be avoided by the parties. This does not necessarily mean that the integration of migrants runs without problems, nor that of the Croatian descendants, but any difficulties with their integration are not made the subject of discussion in particular.

Single traces of integration policies can be found in the statements about the rights of national minorities and in the asylum law. In order to exhibit and seek to preserve the 22 recognized national minorities or groups which traditionally live on Croatian territory and the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and/or religious characteristics of these groups, high legal standards have been set since the year 2000. A non-assimilative integration of these groups is intended; they may and should keep and care for (as they like) their cultural features, but should at the same time be integrated in the social structure. Not all legally granted possibilities are utilized (e.g. representation of the groups in the state administration) due to the inadequate preparation of some institutions for the related challenges (e.g. addressing the national minorities, informing them of their rights), among other reasons. Also, the minorities themselves and their organizations are not always motivated enough or able to articulate or assert their interests. A similar pattern, that is high legal standards, which are, however, not always taken into account in practice, is found in the asylum policies. Support for asylum seekers is decidedly offered, but is not particularly demanded and the coordination of the participating institutions is weak.

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Dr. Pascal Goeke is research assistant at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Email: E-Mail Link: