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Roundtable: Developing Indicators and Methods of Evaluating the Goals and Actions Related to the Integration of Citizens of Third Countries
On April 28, 2010 a roundtable to present the results of the project Developing Indicators and Methods of Evaluating the Goals and Actions Related to the Integration of Citizens of Third Countrieswas held at the Center for the Study of Democracy. The project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Union through the European Fund for the Integration of third country nationals Participants included project experts, representatives of state institutions (the Migration Department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Agency for Social Assistance, Ministry of Culture), NGOs, representatives of immigrant communities and individual immigrants.

The roundtable discussion was opened by Prof. Andrey Nonchev, project manager. He outlined the main aspects around which the discussion should be centered ,namely: the need for a methodology for the evaluation of policies, , programs and measures for the integration of immigrants.
Prof. Jordan Kalchev of Southwestern University, presented the general concept of a system of indicators for the integration of immigrants, by which it is possible to carry out evaluations of policies, measures and programs in this area. He stressed the importance of reliable data concerning the number and structure of third country nationals in order to assess the levels of their integration.
The theme of the presentation of Stefka Blazheva (National Statistical Institute) was: Statistical indicators on international migration in the EU (Regulation 862/2007). Regulation 862/2007 is the legal basis for collecting statistical information on international migration. The presentations by Stefka Blazheva and Jordan Kalchev highlighted the problem of lack of statistics on the number and characteristics of foreigners in Bulgaria. This problem is caused by the lack of coordination between the MIA’s and NSI’s statistical systems, and by the low levels of involvement of foreigners in population censuses.
Prof. Sonia Chipeva from UNWE presented some schemes for the evaluation of integration policies of some EU countries, such asGermany, Spain, Italy, Austria and Portugal. She stressed that the formulation of future goals of integration policies were very important in evaluating the achievements of specific targets of integration policies and the effects of integration measures.
Svetla Encheva (Center for the Study of Democracy) presented several international systems of indicators for the integration of immigrants. She explained that the involvement and participation of Bulgaria in some of them would be advantageous inasmuch as it would provide useful feedback concerning Bulgaria’s integration standards and achievements.
Valeria Ilareva, lawyer at the Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants, focused her presentation on the importance of legal certainty in the integration of immigrants and identified specific indicators and cases. She highlighted the importance of legal certainty, guaranteed by the Constitution as well as the shortcomings of Bulgarian legislation.
During the discussion Diana Daskalova, lawyer at the “Voice in Bulgaria” Center for Legal Aid, stressed that the lack of willingness to cooperate in the census, demonstrated by many immigrants, is in place precisely becuase of the lack of legal certainty and legal guarantees for their legal status. Elizabeth Todorova (Migration Department at the MIA) said that there were no problems in communication between MIA’s Migration Department and the NSI and that upon completion of the current reforms in the Ministry of Interior it would be possible to supply data compatible with the NSI system.
Stakeholders from the immigrant community, such - Peter Chikoyi from Zambia, Safe Aregay, President of the Ethiopian Society in Bulgaria, Oladotun Ibituy from Nigeria among others, also took part in the discussion.

* This document was created with financial support from the European Fund for Integration of third country nationals, financed by the European Union. Overall responsibility for the content of the document lies with the Center for the Study of Democracy and under no circumstances can be considered that this document reflects the official opinion of the European Union and the Contracting Authority.

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