Working Paper

The 2006 French Immigration and Integration Law: Europeanisation or Nicolas Sarkozy's Presidential Keystone?

Published 1 January 2007 / By Meng-Hsuan Chou, Nicolas Baygert

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Introduction

The 2006 French Immigration and Integration Law restructured existing French legislation concerning immigrants and their integration. It promotes a strategy consisting of 'selective immigration', mandatory integration for long-term residents and 'co-development'. Which factors have contributed to this policy change? This working paper examines the substance of the law and the context through which it has been presented and debated. It finds that domestic factors are largely responsible for the introduction and passage of the law. In particular, within the context of the upcoming 2007 French Presidential election, this paper highlights the role that Nicolas Sarkozy has played in the recent policy change. This preference for the national approach implies that the EU will continue to encounter difficulties in its attempts to construct a common EU migration policy.

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